Bulletin of Industry
Due to regulatory obstacles following the end of the Brexit transition period, Scotland’s food industry says the export of seafood to Europe is “very challenging”
According to the industry association Scotland Food and Drink, additional bureaucratic measures are causing “major problems” for perishable food goods that must enter markets on the continent within 24 hours.
The new rules were dubbed a “shambles.” by some fishing and seafood firms.
Seafood has been transported to logistics centres in central Scotland since Jan. 1, where it can be approved for further transport to the EU.
Yet uncertainty about paperwork has contributed to the holding up of several shipments.
James Withers, managing director of Scotland Food and Drink, said there have been problems at the hub in Larkhall, South Lanarkshire, as well as IT issues on the French side of the channel.
Brexit: despite customs delays, the Scottish seafood industry grumbles at ‘shambles’
“He said, “It has been a very difficult 72 hours for industry and authorities to adapt modern, complicated trade rules without having time to properly test them.
For months, we have been advising of the lack of planning time for all sides, and sadly, these problems come as little surprise.
“There are now a lot of bureaucratic steps to go through to get products from Scotland to France, and small delays at various points can quickly lead to big problems for a range of products whose value depends on getting to European markets within 24 hours.”
“Mr. Withers said discussions were held at Larkhall on the problems and continued, “The prioritization of easier loads of individual forms of seafood, such as salmon, would be a huge move forward.
This would make it easier to move the emphasis to more complicated shipments, such as those containing multiple goods and lots from different firms.
“There’s no doubt that some fishing companies will struggle with the new paperwork requirements, as we knew they would.”
He said that in the coming days there would be a “big exercise” to clarify to businesses the new rules to prevent more delays.
He also said there was uncertainty over the “new, complex paperwork” and cautioned that if a solution is not found, “many exports will come to a halt”
@FSScot’s helpful, fast move to warn the industry of export problems tomorrow. @SeafoodScotland Info @FSScot coming soon. Confusion about new, complicated documentation (as we warned, there was no time to test processes before Dec 31). We need to work on this or there will be a stop to many exports. https://t.co/8pUB3fRMoIIf
January 7, 2021 – James Withers (@scotfoodjames)
Scottish salmon is one of the main food exports in the United Kingdom and is sold all over the world.
SB Fish, based in Troon, South Ayrshire, tweeted on Wednesday that their commodity had been kept on its way to France, calling the operation a “shambles.”
In the U.K. The government previously claimed that it was aware of a “small number” of problems related to seafood because data was not correctly entered.
A spokeswoman said, “Both the systems in Britain and France are working.”
“We are liaising with exporters, their agents and transporters to help them understand the requirements and we will work closely with them to keep their goods moving.
“It is critical that exporters verify they have entered the details correctly and ensure they have provided the correct documentation to the carrier of the goods.”
The Scottish government’s rural economy minister, Fergus Ewing, said logistics hubs in central Scotland had the capacity to handle the burden of the new red tape.
We know how frustrating, time-consuming and actually costly this is for Scottish businesses,”We know how frustrating, time-consuming and indeed costly this is for Scottish businesses – we warned the U.K. government that we needed much more clarity, much sooner than we got it, about how the export process will work after the end of the transition period, and that their plans to leave the single market will create barriers like this.”we warned the UK government that we needed much more clarity, much sooner than we got it, about how the export process will work after the end of the transition period, and that barriers like this will be created by their plans to leave the single market.
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