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Bottled Water Specifications for International Market, Certificates:Information Required.

Our Company in involved in National & International Trading of many food items.Could you please inform us what should be the water specification required in International Market and What Certificates are required for international Market?

Noor-ud-Din Azad




Further information about the bottled water industry and related regulations can be had from the following websites:


Dear Noor-ud-Din Azad,

There are two Indian Standards, namely IS 13428:2005 for Packaged Natural Mineral Water and IS 14543:2004 for Packaged Drinking Water are in implementation on mandatory basis for production, storage, sale and distribution for the both products which include domestic production and import into India.


Central Marks Department-I
Bureau of Indian Standards
Government of India
New Delhi


Dear Noor-ud-Din Azad,

In international market, all countries follow their own specifications. You need to SPECIFY the country.


Tushar Trivedi
Bottled Water Segment
Bottled Water India
New Delhi


Dear Azad,

If you intend importing bottled water for sale in India, it is sufficient to meet the conditions laid down by the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS).

If you intend exporting bottled water, you have to not only meet the conditions laid down by the BIS, but also meet the requirements of each importing country. The importing countries expect the imported bottled water to meet all the regulations that apply to domestically produced bottled water brands in their countries.

According to WTO, exporters have to adhere to the SPS and TBT Agreements. The SPS Agreement covers Sanitary and Phyto-Sanitary measures applied to protect human or animal health from food-borne risks e.g., additives, contaminants, toxins or disease-causing organisms in their food, beverages or feedstuffs, while TBT Agreement covers Technical Barriers to Trade introduced for a variety of reasons such as national security, prevention of deceptive practices, protection of human health or safety or the environment.

As far as bottled water is concerned, SPS Agreement requires use of safe materials for human health and ensuring no residues of disinfectants and other contaminants in water. TBT Agreement on the other hand requires use of permitted sizes to ensure standard volumes and permitted shapes to allow stacking and displaying shapes.

WTO encourages disputes between countries on marketing of bottled water through negotiation by the countries involved. Thus, the complaint by Canada on the bottled water supplied to Korea in November 1995 could be resolved in April 1996 with Korea agreeing to modify its shelf-life measures through formal consultations.

With a Water Poverty Index (WPI) of 53.2 and a rank of 100 among 147 countries in the World, as computed by the UK’s Centre for Ecology & Hydrology and the World Water Council, India is deficient in the availability of good-quality drinking water with millions of people having no access to safe drinking water. As a result, the quantum of bottled water exported from India is rather limited. Contrary to this, with a WPI of 51.7 and a rank of 106, China's aggressive export policies helped that country to export bottled water on a larger scale.

Countries with higher rankings and scores of WPI such as Finland, Canada, Switzerland and UK are in an advantageous position in publicising the superior quality of their products. These countries even claim their bottled water to have greater shelf life. India cannot hope to compete well in the global bottled water market without being able to improve its WPI rankings.

Another problem with India is that there is going to be opposition by activists for exporting good quality water from India when local people are languishing for good quality drinking water.

Dr. R. Jagadiswara Rao
Retired Professor of Geology
Sri Venkateswara University
Tirupati, AP 517502

Dr. R. Jagadiswara Rao, Professor of Geology Retired, Sri Venkateswara University, Tirupati, AP 517502, India


Dear Noor-ud-Din Azad,

All those regulations differ from country to country. You should ask the different countries.

Thank you

Robert Eibl


Dear Noor-ud-Din Azad,

Have a look at these websites:
For the U.S. market requirements:
Also have a look at the website of International Bottled Water Association (IBWA):


Yo Jojok Sumartojo

7. Export of bottled water from India


This is Himanshu Gohel from Gujarat. I am in to production of packaged drinking water. I want to know how I can do some export business in 1 lit, 1.5 litres packaged drinking water. I also want to know which are the best countries to do this business.

Thanks in advance.


8. Import of bottled water from USA into India - Need details

A company in the USA is interested in exporting their bottled drinking water to India. Could you please let me know what could be the freight from USA to India and how much would be the import duties in India on bottled drinking water?

9. Need suggestions to export packaged drinking water from India

I am a manufacturer of packaged drinking water at Raipur in Chattisgarh. I am intersted in exportiong my bottled water of 1lit, 500 ml, 250 ml.

Please give suggestions regarding the procedure and which are the best countries to export from India?

10. Is ISI mark obligatory on label of imported bottled water ?

Dear Sir,

Normally when any food item is imported under OGL samples are drawn by customs at the time of clearance and the same are sent to PHO for testing and they are realised on receipt of ok report from the PHO.

This means if bottled water is imported then it should meet the BIS specification IS 13428:2005 for packaged natural mineral water and IS 14543:2004 for packaged drinking water, in such situation is there any prior approval from any of the Indian authorities required for one or two consignments ?

Is it obligatory to have ISI mark on label of the imported bottled water apart from manufacturing/expiry date and MRP ?

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