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CJEU - C-157/14 / Opinion

Neptune Distribution v Minister for Economic Affairs and Finance

Policy area:
Deciding Body type:
Court of Justice of the European Union
Deciding Body:
Advocate General
Decision date:

Key facts of the case:

Request for a preliminary ruling from the Conseil d’État (France)

Reference for a preliminary ruling on a question of interpretation and an assessment as to validity — Consumer protection – Regulation (EC) No 1924/2006 — Nutrition and health claims made on foods — Natural mineral waters — Basis for calculating ‘the equivalent value for salt’ of the sodium present in a foodstuff — Consideration solely of sodium chloride (table salt) content or of the total quantity of sodium — Directives 2000/13/EC and 2009/54/EC — Labelling of foodstuffs and advertising relating to them — Marketing of natural mineral waters — Prohibition on the indication of a low salt content — Article 6 TEU — Articles 11 and 16 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union — Freedom of expression and information — Freedom to conduct a business.

Results (sanctions) and key consequences of the case:

59. ...I propose that the Court answer the questions raised by the Conseil d’État (France) as follows:

(1) The provision in the Annex to Regulation (EC) No 1924/2006 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 20 December 2006 on nutrition and health claims made on foods relating to the conditions for allowing the nutrition claim ‘low in sodium/salt’ is not intended to apply to natural mineral waters. On the other hand, that annex expressly prohibits use of the claim ‘very low in sodium/salt’ for natural mineral waters.

(2) The provisions of the second subparagraph of Article 9(2) of and Annex III to Directive 2009/54/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 18 June 2009 on the exploitation and marketing of natural mineral waters are valid.