The UK has confirmed that major European mineral water brands like Evian and Perrier will lose their automatic right to export to Britain from January next year.
Mineral water giants will now have to cross a series of hurdles to be allowed to ship their products to Britain, after a post-Brexit transition period ends.
It was suggested in February that accreditation of mineral water could be denied by the UK government in response to the EU’s decision to ban UK shellfish.
Environment Secretary George Eustice wrote today to EU food safety czar Sandra Gallina to tell him that “all natural mineral waters which have gained recognition as a Member State will no longer be allowed to be imported into England ”, unless they are accredited by UK regulators.
A spokesperson for Downing Street said: “We have been working with all major vendors to support them and inform them of the changes.”
The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) has asked European water exporters to contact the Department, Food Standards Scotland or the Food Standards Agency for Wales to continue shipping their products l ‘next year.
A Defra source said applications will be assessed on a first come, first served basis.
Water brands will still be able to export to Northern Ireland without re-accreditation, as they still adhere to the rules of the EU Customs Union and Single Market.
Important sources from Whitehall said earlier this year that “there are discussions about where we could leverage in other areas” in response to the EU’s ban on shellfish, including access to the shellfish. ‘mineral water.
It comes after the UK and EU negotiated a truce on the so-called sausage wars just days ago, meaning chilled meats can still be sent from Britain to Ireland. from the north until September.
A Defra spokesperson said: “This update gives producers six months’ notice of changes and outlines all the necessary steps they need to take to continue selling their mineral water in Britain. We will continue to engage with industry to ensure a smooth transition. “