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The Natural Mineral Water, Spring Water and Bottled Drinking Water Amendment (Scotland) Regulations 2004

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Explanatory Note

(This note is not part of the Regulations)

These Regulations, which extend to Scotland only, amend the Natural Mineral Water, Spring Water and Bottled Drinking Water Regulations 1999 (S.I. 1999/1540, as already amended by S.S.I. 2000/62 and 2003/139) (“the 1999 Regulations”). Regulations 1 to 4, 6 to 7, 8(1), 9 to 10, 11(b) and (c), 12(1) and 13 to 15 come into force on 24th April 2004 and regulations 5, 8(2), 11(a) and 12(2) come into force on 1st July 2004.

The Regulations implement Commission Directive 2003/40/EC establishing the list, concentration limits and labelling requirements for the constituents of natural mineral waters and the conditions for using ozone-enriched air for the treatment of natural mineral waters and spring waters (O.J. No. L 126, 22.5.03, p.34).

The Regulations —

(a)prescribe a definition of authorised ozone-enriched air oxidation technique (regulation 3 and the Schedule);

(b)allow, for the first time, treatment of natural mineral waters with an authorised ozone-enriched air oxidation technique (regulation 4);

(c)set maximum limits for certain naturally-occurring substances in natural mineral water and standards for methods used to detect these substances (regulation 5 and the Schedule);

(d)provide for an exception for products produced in other EEA States which do not yet conform to the limits, where the EEA State concerned has not yet implemented those limits and the deadline for implementation has not yet passed (regulation 5);

(e)prohibit the treatment of natural mineral water with unauthorised ozone-enriched air oxidation techniques (regulation 6);

(f)provide for an appropriate form of labelling indication on natural mineral water where it has undergone an authorised treatment with ozone-enriched air or where it contains a high level of fluoride (regulation 7);

(g)prohibit the sale of natural mineral water without the applicable labelling indications (which will become an offence by virtue of the operation of regulation 17 of the 1999 Regulations which also specifies a penalty of a fine not exceeding level 5 on the standard scale) (regulation 8);

(h)provide for an appropriate labelling indication where a spring water has undergone an authorised ozone-enriched air oxidation technique and prohibit its sale without that labelling indication (which will become an offence by virtue of the operation of regulation 11(5) of the 1999 Regulations, the penalty for which is specified by regulation 17 of the 1999 Regulations as being a fine not exceeding level 5 on the standard scale) (regulation 9);

(i)prohibit bottling or sale of water described as spring water if treated with an unauthorised ozone-enriched air oxidation treatment (regulation 10);

(j)create offences in relation to the prohibitions mentioned in paragraphs (c),(e) and (i) above (subject to penalties provided for in the 1999 Regulations as being a fine not exceeding level 5 on the standard scale) (regulation 11);

(k)introduce a transitional defence to allow the use of stock products bottled and labelled before 1st July 2004.

(l)provide that the maximum limits in the new Schedule 6 to be added to the 1999 Regulations shall be the relevant limits for recognition of a natural mineral water, replacing the limits in Schedule 3 to the 1999 Regulations for this purpose (regulation 13);

(m)correct a minor error in the 1999 Regulations (regulation 14);

(n)insert a new Schedule 5 into the 1999 Regulations, which sets down —

(i)conditions to be satisfied before an ozone-enriched air oxidation technique can be authorised;

(ii)a process for obtaining a written authorisation for a treatment from a food authority;

(iii)a requirement to allow officers of the food authority to conduct periodic examinations of the process in order to check that the treatment continues to be necessary and is effective and safe;

(iv)the ability of a food authority to withdraw authorisation by means of a written notice if conditions are not observed;

(v)a mechanism for applying to the Food Standards Agency for review of a food authority’s decision not to grant or to withdraw authorisation (regulation 15 and the Schedule);

(o)insert a new Schedule 6 into the 1999 Regulations, setting down maximum limits for certain naturally-occurring substances in natural mineral water (regulation 15 and the Schedule);

(p)insert a new Schedule 7 containing standards for scientific methods used to detect the substances specified in Schedule 6 (regulation 15 and the Schedule).

A Regulatory Impact Assessment, which includes a compliance cost assessment of the effect which these Regulations have on business costs, has been prepared and has been placed in the Scottish Parliament Information Centre. Copies may be obtained from the Food Standards Agency, 6th Floor, St. Magnus House, 25 Guild Street, Aberdeen AB11 6NJ.

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