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Salmon farmers welcome plans to streamline EU export process

The Fish Site
by The Fish Site
29 April 2021, at 8:59am

New recommendations to improve the process of exporting seafood from the UK to the EU have been welcomed by Scotland’s salmon farmers.

Westminster's Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Select Committee made the recommendations today in a new report, called Seafood and Meat Exports to the EU. The cross-party group of politicians called on the UK Government to streamline and speed up the export processes, make compensation schemes more flexible and create more distribution hubs for exporters, particularly those with small loads.

A Scottish salmon, ready for export
A Scottish salmon, ready for export

© SSPO

Tavish Scott, chief executive of the Scottish Salmon Producers Organisation (SSPO), said the report should spur the UK Government into action.

He said: “This report rightly identifies some of the main barriers which are hindering our members in getting product to the European market.

“There are thousands of customers in Europe who want Scottish salmon, who recognise its quality and provenance but who have faced delays and bureaucratic barriers since the full effects of Brexit were felt at the start of this year.

“If we are going to keep the customers we have and attract new ones we need to be as competitive as possible and that means cutting down the paperwork and making the process of getting salmon to the EU as easy, efficient and swift as possible.

“We call on the UK Government to implement these recommendations in full to help us support the huge effort our members are making in keeping exports thriving.”

The EFRA report calls on the UK Government to make the following changes:

  • Digitise the process of Export Health Certificates, to make it quicker and more efficient.
  • Introduce a more flexible approach to compensation for seafood exporters who have lost out since January 1.
  • Provide the same help for small business exporters to Europe as is available for those moving goods to Northern Ireland.
  • Establish a ring-fences fund to create new distribution hubs focused on the needs of the smaller companies, which rely on groupage.