Questions and Answers
Questions and Answers
Can Natural Mineral Water from the UK be placed on the EU market?
Yes, but they must be recognised. Directive 2009/54/EC defines natural mineral waters and sets out the terms on which natural mineral waters are recognised. Natural mineral waters are subject to an authorisation procedure carried out by the competent authorities of the EU countries or by European Economic Area (EEA) countries.
Waters recognised by, the UK (excluding Northern Ireland) as natural mineral waters will under EU legislation be considered as extracted from the ground of a ‘third country’ and can only be imported into the EU if they are ‘recognised’ as such by the responsible authority of another Member State. The EU Commission has a list of natural mineral waters recognised by Member States available on its website.
Can I import Spring Water from the UK?
Yes, once it complies with Directive 2009/54/EC and is not subject to the requirement for recognition that applies to natural mineral water. Spring water can be imported from the UK once it complies with the requirements of Directive 2009/54/EC as well as other applicable food law ( e.g. food hygiene, labelling legislation, general food law). In terms of Directive 2009/54/EC on the exploitation and marketing of natural mineral waters, it specifies that:
The term ‘spring water’ shall be reserved for a water which is intended for human consumption in its natural state, and bottled at source, which:
(a) satisfies the conditions of exploitation laid down in Annex II, points 2 and 3, which are fully applicable to spring waters
(b) satisfies the microbiological requirements laid down in Article 5
(c) satisfies the labelling requirements of Article 7(2), points (b) and (c), and Article 8
(d) has not undergone any treatment other than those referred to in Article 4 ( i.e.Other treatments may be authorised by the EU Commission)
In addition, spring waters must comply with the provisions of Council Directive 98/83/EC on the quality of water intended for human consumption.
From 1 January 2021, any national permitted treatments for spring water in the UK (excluding Northern Ireland) (e.g. UV treatment) will not be permitted for spring water from the UK placed on the EU market.
Last reviewed: 2/12/2020