Blog: UPDATE 1-Scottish fishermen halt EU exports over Brexit delays – Successful Farming

(Adds quotes, details)

By Kate Holton

LONDON, Jan 8 (Reuters) – Many Scottish fishermen have
halted exports to European Union markets after post-Brexit
bureaucracy added days to their delivery times and hundreds of
pounds to the costs of each load.

Fishing exporters have told Reuters their businesses could
become unviable after the introduction of health certificates,
customs declarations and other paperwork.

Business owners said they had tried to send small deliveries
to France and Spain to test the new systems this week but it was
taking 5 hours to secure a health certificate in Scotland, a
document which is required to apply for other customs paperwork.

In the first working week after Brexit, one-day deliveries
were taking three or more days – if they got through at all.

Several owners could not say for sure where their valuable
cargo was. A trade group told fishermen to stop fishing exported
stocks.

“Our customers are pulling out,” Santiago Buesa of SB Fish
told Reuters. “We are fresh product and the customers expect to
have it fresh, so they’re not buying. It’s a catastrophe.”

Britain’s departure from the EU’s orbit is the biggest
change to its trade since the launch of the Single Market in
1993, introducing reams of paperwork and costs that must be
completed to move goods across the new customs border.

Those trading in food and livestock face the toughest
requirements, hitting the express delivery of freshly caught
fish that used to move overnight from Scotland, via England,
into France, before going on to other European markets in days.

David Noble, whose Aegirfish buys from Scottish fleets to
export to Europe, said he would have to pay between 500 to 600
pounds ($815) per day for paperwork, wiping out most profit.

His concern is that this marks more than just teething
problems, and says he cannot pass on the higher costs of doing
business. “I’m questioning whether to carry on,” he said.

“If our fish is too expensive our customers will buy
elsewhere.”
($1 = 0.7363 pounds)
(Reporting by Kate Holton; editing by Guy Faulconbridge)

© Copyright Thomson Reuters 2021. Click For Restrictions – http://about.reuters.com/fulllegal.asp

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