New hygiene standards for FCM

On January 23, 2024, the European Commission took a significant step toward enhancing public health by adopting new minimum hygiene specifications for materials and products coming into contact with drinking water. These harmonized specifications represent a comprehensive framework applicable to various elements involved in water abstraction, treatment, storage, and distribution, as well as repair works.

The scope of the new specifications encompasses a wide range of materials and products crucial to ensuring the safety and quality of drinking water, including supply pipes, valves, pumps, water meters, fittings, and taps. Compliance will be indicated by an EU declaration of conformity and a specific EU marking, providing consumers with assurance regarding the safety and suitability of products for use in contact with drinking water.

Central to the implementation of the specifications are the draft Implementing Decisions and Delegated Regulations proposed by the European Commission. The Implementing Decisions outline the establishment of a Positive List of starting substances, compositions, and constituents authorized for use in manufacturing materials or products intended for contact with drinking water. Additionally, they define the methodologies for testing and accepting these starting substances, compositions, and constituents, as well as the final materials used in the products.

On the other hand, the Draft Delegated Regulations serve to supplement the Drinking Water Directive, setting forth essential procedures and specifications to ensure the effectiveness and uniformity of the standards across member states. They introduce procedures for adding new substances to the Positive List, lay down conformity assessment procedures for products, and establish harmonized specifications for product marking.

Of particular note is the involvement of the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) in the process. Applicants seeking to include new substances in the Positive List must notify the ECHA well in advance, allowing for a comprehensive evaluation of scientific information and potential risks to human health.

While the European Parliament and the Council have a two-month window to raise objections to the delegated acts, the ultimate goal is for these acts to enter into force and be published in the Official Journal of the European Union. Once in force, the standards are expected to generally apply from December 31, 2026, with transitional provisions to facilitate a smooth transition to the new regulatory framework.

IBE-BVI member advantage:

IBE-BVI members can obtain the copy of specifications by clicking here

Post 04/03/2024

Federico Bassotto March 4, 2024
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