Huge rise in costs of meat exports and imports from the UK
British meat exporters to the EU are facing new costs related to bureaucracy and paperwork imposed by the UK Government. The topic is not new and it started at the beginning of 2021 when the extra cost to the meat industry of Brexit bureaucracy was estimated to be between £90-£120 million a year for the UK meat exporters and 20% in loss of trade between parts. However, starting this summer, the rising cost of doing business is about to hit European exporters who currently supply 25% to 30% of the food on British shelves.
"Until now, the Government has taken the decision to wave through supplies into the UK without requiring the same paperwork and physical checks. But from July, the same extra time and cost burdens to get through customs will be imposed on our EU suppliers. This means that EU imports will suddenly become more expensive, and European exporters will become less inclined to keep supplying to the UK," the British Meat Processors Association said in a press release.
Starting July, EU meat suppliers in the UK will have to fill out additional papers, besides the Export Health Certificate that is now required. "In addition, there are now numerous new costs and overheads that previously didn’t exist. These include extra administrative staff, additional paperwork, record keeping and systems to support the issuing of EHCs, port charges, customs agents’ fees… the list goes on," warns BMPA.
The costs will most probably be transferred to consumers may raise concerns about the supplies in the market. Nick Allen, Chief Executive of the British Meat Processors Association explained: “After a year of dealing with the new post-Brexit customs and certification system, our members are reporting a huge rise in cost, which either has to be absorbed or passed on to their EU customers, rendering British exporters less competitive. Millions of pounds are being spent on extra paperwork and checks, but for zero extra benefit to British companies. The Government could solve this problem by entering into a Veterinary Agreement with the EU which would instantly negate the need for most of the current bureaucracy and physical border checks and give British exporters a fighting chance to regain the trade they’ve lost – trade that simply can’t be replaced by selling goods to more distant markets”.
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