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SSA on Brexit Deal

Jimmy Buchan, chief executive of the Scottish Seafood Association, said the fact that a deal had been done would ensure stability and certainty for businesses.

“It is not perfect, by any means, but for exporters there is now clarity on the state of the market, with tariff-free trade continuing and an offer of financial support for the sector which will absolutely critical for us to improve our position globally.”

Mr Buchan did, however, highlight the additional cost burden imposed by the deal on businesses exporting seafood into the EU.

Due to new export-related documentation and certification requirements, each consignment of seafood, regardless of size or value, will cost hundreds of pounds more to deliver to customers in the EU.

“Our members who are exporting seafood into the EU will be financially worse off due to these new costs from 1st January.

“This additional burden, which in some cases amounts to hundreds of thousands of pounds annually, severely blunts our competitiveness when many small and medium sized businesses are already struggling due to the Covid-19 pandemic.”

He appealed to the government to consider subsidising the cost on the basis that “no business should be worst off from Brexit”.

Mr Buchan also called on the government to bring forward in short order a replacement for the EMFF funding scheme in addition to the £100m already promised to support the seafood sector and take advantage of the increase in some fish and shellfish stocks.

“A new and powerful scheme is required to stimulate the capital investment that the processing sector in Scotland requires to secure its place in new markets across the world.

“We are now a direct competitor with Norway and Iceland, and if we are to succeed in the global marketplace we need a transformation in the levels of ambition and financial support from our governments to match, if not better, what happens in those countries.”

Mr Buchan said that as ever the SSA would be willing to work closely with the UK and Scottish governments to transform the sector and create compelling reasons for customers to buy the wonderful seafood harvested and processed from Scottish waters.



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