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Logistics UK briefs MPs on issues affecting the Scottish seafood sector

Logistics UK’s Director of Policy Elizabeth de Jong and Head of Policy for Scotland Mags Simpson briefed 18 Scottish National Party MPs, led by Ian Blackford MP, and their support staff, last Friday on the new export processes affecting the Scottish seafood industry.

The MPs were providing representation for areas in Scotland which have particular links with the seafood industry.

The seafood industry has needed to make a number of very significant changes to its processes since the Brexit transition period expired at the end of 2020. Now, instead of a simple consignment note, each load of seafood for export to the EU must be accompanied by a raft of paperwork, including Customs declarations, catch certificates and health certificates.

“So now rather than one or two forms you have got reams of paper that need to accompany each load,” explained Mags Simpson.

Logistics UK looked at the barriers and divided them into three areas: understanding the process, process elements and IT systems elements.

Mags Simpson identified the challenges and Elizabeth de Jong proposed potential solutions for each of these three areas. A lot of government guidance has already been issued to help exporters understand the new processes, and she said that it is imperative that those working in the industry make full use of these resources.

In terms of the new processes, it is hoped that the sanitary and phytosanitary checks can be simplified in part, and as businesses get used to this new way of working it was suggested that it may be possible to look at some kind of trusted operator scheme. In terms of the IT systems, it was recommended that the seafood industry representative bodies would be able to identify which elements, if any, are no longer fit for purpose.

Mags Simpson said: “It was a very positive meeting, the MPs were all very much there to learn about how this complex supply chain works. The MPs also shared their constituents’ experiences from across different areas of Scotland, which was helpful. It was a two-way process.

“One final point is that the UK Government has published its future UK Border Strategy, which carries a 2025 date. We support the goals and are working closely with government to achieve them, but we believe the aim should be to deliver this in 2022, not 2025.”


Published On: 21/01/2021 17:00:12


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