According to GroentenFruit Huis, the British government’s decision to delay strict import requirements due to Brexit by at least six months is the result of a successful lobby.
In a press release, the interest group of Dutch fruit and vegetable trading companies responded with satisfaction to the announcement in the British Border Operating Model. It stipulates that the planning will be revised to introduce stricter import requirements. GroentenFruit Huis describes the deferral of the obligation to supply phyto certificates, and thus a 100 percent inspection commitment on the Dutch side until January 1, 2022, as the biggest gain.
GroentenFruit Huis says it has always sent a clear signal that its members will not export if their shipment cannot reach the customer in the UK with a high degree of certainty. Then the business firms prefer to sell their products elsewhere.
An important role for the lobby
“Our direct lobbying towards the UK and the lobby with other trade organizations played a significant role in this decision,” says GroentenFruit Huis. “Our frequent contacts with the Netherlands Agricultural Council in London have also ensured that important concerns are brought to the attention of the British government.”
GroentenFruit Huis concludes that the British eventually also realized that current business operations would be in grave danger. To the end, a lot of work has been done on the ICT systems to be able to process the large influx of Veto certificates. However, British dealers had little confidence in implementing these systems in sales chains and withdrew at the last minute, according to GroentenFruit Huis.
In the newly proposed timetable for introducing stricter import requirements, a simplified customs declaration remains possible until the end of this year. In addition, required safety and security data and physical checks for high-risk foods and high-risk factories will only begin during 2022.
Better practical solutions
GroentenFruit Huis says the revised schedule remains a challenge, but in any case provides more time to prepare for the tougher requirements. The organization says for some time it has called for better workable solutions for exports to the UK. The goal is the digital flow of certification and vetting approach, as it requires little additional control in terms of risk.