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EU overview of Natural mineral waters

There are different categories of waters intended for human consumption and natural mineral waters are just one of them.

Natural mineral waters are characterised by their purity at source and their constant level of minerals.

The Directive 2009/54/EC, defines the provisions applicable to the marketing and exploitation of natural mineral waters.

Commission Directive 2003/40/EC of 16 May 2003 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.

Natural mineral waters are subject to an authorisation procedure carried out by the competent authorities of the EU member states or by European Economic Area (EEA) countries.

SCADPlus : Legislation on natural mineral waters.

The lists of natural mineral waters officially recognised by the member states of the EU and of the EEA ( Iceland) and ( Norway) are published by the European Commission in the Official Journal of the European Union. These lists are regularly updated on this page.

Natural mineral waters and spring waters may be treated at source to remove unstable elements and some undesirable constituents in compliance with the provisions laid down in Article 4 of Directive 2009/54/EC.

Treatments other than filtration with possible oxygenation have to be assessed and authorised at EU level prior to their use by industry.

Commission Regulation (EU) No 115/2010 of 9 February 2010 lays down the conditions for use of activated alumina for the removal of fluoride from natural mineral waters and spring waters.

The following report on the technological assessment of new treatments is available:
Report of the Ad Hoc Working Group on the evaluation of treatment by manganese and iron oxihydroxides media for the removal of manganese, iron and arsenic from natural mineral waters and spring waters.

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