With its departure from the European Union, the United Kingdom is experiencing the bitterness of the poison itself after Brexit. Because, for example, the export of meat to EU countries now has to face (and overcome) a difficult and lengthy bureaucratic process. To meet requirements which, in most cases, were created or suggested by the British themselves on imports from third countries outside the European Union.
Representative of the local meat industry, the Association of British Meat Processors (Bpma) is calling for help. It states that 20% of the sector’s exports are definitely lost and that to respond to transport, sanitary and customs requirements, around 30% to 40% of closed cargo shipments now made are costing 50% more than before Brexit. Or, as bpma points out, “to continue exporting to the European Union we will face an additional cost estimated between 90 and 120 million pounds”.
Seeking to demonstrate the difficulties that the meat industry now faces to reach the EU, the entity has drawn up a document in which it illustrates with an example – export, to Paris, of a batch of pork chops – the pre and post-Brexit bureaucracy.
By December 31, 2020, with an international consignment note (CMR), the transporter simply loaded the truck and the process was terminated. Time: 10 minutes and a single document.
Since January 1, 2021: until the truck leaves the factory, 20 different documents are required, which consumes between 4 and 12 hours. But this does not conclude the process, because, until it arrives in Paris, the cargo goes through nine other bureaucratic processes (passage through border posts, Customs and sanitary supervision, etc.).
To minimize these (for the British, unprecedented) challenges, the BPMA calls for (1) internal improvement in inspection and certification systems; (2) electronic documentation (even the color of the ink of a stamp on an invoice has hampered shipments); and, (3) search for sanitary equivalence with the EU.
In the words of the entity, “we can learn from other countries whose systems are much more flexible… to obtain services efficiently and economically”.