Repeal new exporting paperwork, say SSPO: “Scottish premium is highly prized but, once lost, will be hard to recover”

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Scottish Salmon still struggling to reach France, say trade organisation.

The Scottish Salmon Producers Organisation (SSPO) is calling for the derogation of new exporting paperwork and administration in order to resolve the current problems getting seafood out of the UK and into EU markets.

The derogation, meaning the reprieve of, would allow time for companies to manage the complex paperwork now required for each load heading for the EU.

Chief Executive of SSPO Tavish Scott said that problems are “still entrenched in the exporting process” as of mid-January.

“A derogation to fix problems, clarify the administrative anomalies and get systems and staff working seamlessly seems to be a pragmatic and much-needed solution,” he said.

“Salmon farmers are experiencing a variety of issues getting fish to market in good time. We are working hard with Governments in the UK and Scotland as well as all the key bodies to resolve the problems effectively and as quickly as possible. Companies are indicating some tentative signs of progress. However, we are very mindful that every day that supplies of Scottish salmon are delayed or compromised the valuable trading relationships Scotland has across European markets are vulnerable to competition. The Scottish premium is highly prized but, once lost, will be hard to recover.”

Salmon farming companies have reported significant delays in getting fish to market, particularly to the key European fish hub at Boulogne-sur-Mer. These have been caused mostly by confusion over paperwork, notably in France, and by IT issues. Scott said that there was some slight improvement, but major issues remain still.

“These need to be solved urgently if Scottish salmon is to retain its premium place at the top of the EU salmon market,” he added.

On Thursday., Rural Economy Secretary Fergus Ewing urged the UK Government to provide compensation for exporters as a result of the current trade issues