European Council adds harmonisation rules for materials in contact with water

The Environment Council added rules to the proposal of materials in contact with water. Photo: European Council.

The European Council adopted a General Approach on the Drinking Water Directive on Tuesday 5 March. The Environment Council is proposing a new procedure to set hygienic requirements for materials and chemicals in contact with water intended for human consumption. The European water sector asked for hygienic requirements for materials under this directive since the European Commission announced the recast.

Drinking water companies, industry, consumer organisations and Member States are in favour of harmonisation because it creates a Level Playing Field. The industry wants to produce high-quality products and is asking for a clear framework. This will also help to improve their position on the global market. Five European Member States (Portugal, Germany, France, the Netherlands and the UK) have been working on harmonisation since 2015. The European water organisation EurEau praises the Council position on materials and products in contact with drinking water.  “We  expect that the final text will maintain this level of ambition”, said EurEau Vice President, Claudia Castell-Exner.

Recast procedure

The Commission adopted its recast proposal for the drinking water directive on 1 February 2018. The European Parliament proposed several amendments this autumn. The European Parliament adopted the revised proposal at its plenary on 23 October 2018. Inter-institutional negotiations will probably take place after the European Elections during the Finnish Presidency that starts in July 2019.