European import restrictions have become a major problem in UK-EU trade since the end of the Brexit transition period on 31 December 2020, as London left the single market.
British meat exports to the European Union have run into red tape over the past two weeks, with tonnes of fresh supplies worth hundreds of thousands of pounds stuck in EU ports.
Five lorries with 115 tonnes of meat in total are impounded in Calais, while at least five containers of fresh pork have been stuck in Rotterdam for two weeks due to an incorrect veterinary certificate, The Times reported. According to London-based DH Foods, the meat in the containers was “completely rotten” due to the holdback, and there is nothing the company can do about it.
“We can no longer sell it, but we can’t even bring it back into this country because we don’t have the right forms to do so”, DH Foods managing director Tony Hale stated.
In the meantime, chief executive of the British Meat Processors Association Nick Allen noted that the export health certificates system is extremely complicated, as some of the forms have up to 50 different stamps on them.
“The new post-Brexit customs system for meat products is convoluted, archaic, and badly implemented”, chief executive of the British Meat Processors Association Nick Allen said. “If continental supermarkets are unable to have products delivered the way they need them to be, this trade will simply be lost as EU customers abandon UK suppliers and source product from European processors”.
Various British industries have faced new challenges since the country left the EU, as the bloc’s restrictions came into force at the end of the transition period on 31 December 2020. Meat, dairy, and seafood exports were among the first victims of the trade barriers. According to reports, earlier this month, Dutch customs officers even forced British lorry drivers to give up their sandwiches, as they were prohibited from taking meat and dairy products into the EU.