SCOTLAND’S FARM-RAISED SALMON SECTOR CALLS FOR MORE EFFORT TO REDUCE £3M COST OF BREXIT PAPERWORK
Scotland’s farm-raised salmon sector calls for more effort to reduce £3m cost of Brexit paperwork. Scotland’s farm-raised salmon sector has urged the UK Government to do all it can to speed up the removal of the bureaucratic post-Brexit paperwork system for exporting goods to the EU.
In a letter to UK Fisheries Minister Victoria Prentis, Mr Scott called for the shift to a digital Export Health Certificate (EHC) system to be accelerated by the UK Government. The new system is due to replace the costly paper process companies are currently having to endure but there is, as yet, no date for the implementation and roll out.
He said trials of a new online system – with consignments of salmon being sent to the EU using digital certificates – have shown what can be achieved in terms of efficiency and cost reduction for the wider seafood industry.
Mr Scott wrote:
“I would reiterate how important it is to get the new system up and running as soon as possible. Salmon producing companies are already having to cope with steeply rising production costs (most notably in feed and fuel), and now face increased paperwork costs because of the EHC changes which were introduced in January (2021).
“We really believe that the time taken to process EHCs will reduce considerably when the system is moved online, that the number of errors will be massively reduced and the whole system will need fewer staff and less time to process – cutting down the costs and delays which are plaguing the system at the moment.”
Mr Scott also called for the UK Government to cover extra costs being imposed on businesses as a direct result of the current export system.
Tavish Scott, chief executive of Salmon Scotland, said:
“Farm-raised salmon is the UK’s largest food export, with overseas sales of salmon exceeding £600 million last year. In 2021, we exported £372 million worth of salmon into the EU. This reflected a 29 per cent increase in value and a 32 per cent increase in volume compared to the previous year. However, our sector and the wider seafood industry currently faces a lengthy and costly process for exports to the EU because of post-Brexit arrangements. We estimate that our companies have endured an extra £3 million of export costs each year since the UK left the EU. We are therefore calling for the EHC system to be fully digitised and moved online as soon as possible to reduce the burden of delays and additional costs.”