Respite for Irish smoke house as Brexit checks are postponed

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Irish fish smoker, Hederman Smoked Salmon, is among businesses offered respite by belated postponement of a range of post-Brexit checks on imports from the European Union.

On Monday, Cork based fish exporters Hederman Smoked Salmon tweeted that they would no longer be able to export to the UK in light of the impossible admin requirements brought in as a result of Brexit.

Read more: “The quality of Irish salmon is superlative, in the sense that it can hang”

Mounting red tape, delays, extra charges and new rules on certification of foodstuffs have all posed huge problems for businesses involved in import and export between Britain and Europe.

Smoke house owner Frank Hederman had spoken of his ‘sadness’ at having to fill in what looked to be the last orders for UK customers.

In the latest twist, however, Britain has now postponed a range of post-Brexit checks on imports from the European Union for a second time, saying businesses needed more time to recover from the coronavirus pandemic before facing new border controls.

Export health certificates, which were due to be introduced in October, will not now come in until July next year. A requirement for businesses to pre-notify the British authorities about some goods entering Britain from the EU has been postponed from October to January next year.

The smoke house said that the deferral of controls was “slightly better news” just hours after saying on Twitter that it had possibly taken final orders for long-term customers in the UK because of the “impossibly costly” administration required for export health certificates from October.

Speaking to the Irish Times, Caroline Workman, general manager at the company, said that its UK business “would have been completely gone” with the health certification requirement because the company would lose any flexibility to ship out orders quickly because each export requires a form with 30 unique fields to be completed and sign-off from a health inspector.