Salmon Scotland has called on the UK government “to speed up the removal of the bureaucratic post-Brexit paperwork system for exporting goods to the EU” that has hit the sector with £3 million in extra costs.
“Member companies have faced an extra £3 million in export costs each year since the UK left the EU,” Salmon Scotland chief executive Tavish Scott warned, as the organisation wrote to the UK Fisheries Minister Victoria Prentis.
Scott called on the UK government to accelerate the move towards a digital Export Health Certificate (EHC) system, which would replace the costly paper process companies are forced to currently endure post-Brexit. The UK government has not set a date for the implementation and rolling out of the new digital system.
“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),” Scott stated.
“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,” Salmon Scotland’s chief executive added.
The new online system has undergone trials with salmon exports being sent to the EU using digital certificates, showing that they can be more efficient and reduce costs across the salmon and seafood sectors.
The post-Brexit measures brought in have seen the seafood industry in the UK forced to face a lengthly and costly process to export goods to the EU, with an extra £3 million of export costs being added each year to companies.