Brexit: Expert reveals ‘problem’ with exporting fish to EU
Scottish Creel Fishermen’s Association National Coordinator Alastair Sinclair Barrie argued Boris Johnson and his Government must address the issues fishermen have faced while exporting fish after Brexit. During an interview with Channel 4’s Krishnan Guru-Murthy, Mr Sinclair described some of the problems facing trawlermen shipping their catch to Europe. He argued the UK needed to push back against excess regulations which have seen fish returned over minor form filling errors.
Mr Sinclair told Channel 4 that the situation facing the UK fishing industry at the current time was “pretty bleak.”
He said: “Unless Boris can do something, maybe he can wave a magic wand I’m not quite sure on that one.
“He did promise us that he had an oven-ready deal but it strikes me he doesn’t even have the oven-ready deal out the freezer yet.
“What could he do that would solve the problem?” inquired Presenter Guru-Murthy.
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Mr Sinclair said: “Well, he has got to sort this transition down at the border.
“Our documentation requirements prior to Brexit was one document actually carried for a whole truckload of goods.
“Now we need numerous documents, I guess around seven or eight now, they are not quite sure.
“And if the documentation is not written on in the right colour ink they will return the load.”
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He continued: “And all these things have just come to bear since the first of January.
Earlier this week it emerged the EU would not be changing its restrictions on exports of shellfish, such as mussels, clams, cockles, scallops and oysters.
Under longstanding EU rules, catches of live molluscs from non-EU member states can only be imported without treatment if they come from “class A” waters – those deemed to be the cleanest and of the highest quality.
UK waters do not fall within this category.
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Since the UK left the bloc, UK firms have only been able to send pre-purified, ready-to-eat shellfish accompanied by an export health certificate to the EU.
Prior to January 1, 2021, UK shellfish were allowed to be purified after they reached their destination.
But EU rules forbid shellfish from being imported without first being purified and fit for human consumption from any third countries, which now includes the UK.
The UK Government were led to believe this rule would be changing from April 21, as Brussels was due to bring in new animal health legislation.
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