Three quarters of UK companies exporting products to EU countries complain about increased waiting times and customs procedures due to Brexit. A quarter (26 percent) of UK SMEs trading with the EU are now considering relocating some of their European operations outside the UK.
Nearly one in five UK exporters said they had already decided to move some or all of it to the single market because of Brexit.
European companies are already suffering export losses due to the British departure from the European Union, while the real customs controls have yet to be implemented. In addition, EU exporters must comply with so-called 'pre-registrations' from 1 January, the European Parliament's AGRI Agriculture Committee was told on Thursday in a Brexit briefing session.
The British government will then tighten up the certification requirement for most phytosanitary and veterinary products, organic or not. Depending on the products, the new requirements will come into effect between July 1 and November 1, 2022. The pre-notification as of January 1 will apply to every agri-food entrepreneur who exports to the UK.
They need a British importer or their own branch in the United Kingdom to arrange this. An exception applies to Northern Ireland. Trade in organic products between the EU and Northern Ireland remains the same as before Brexit.
A UK survey has found that only one in four small importers is ready for the imminent changes, while one in eight importers said they were unable to prepare for the introduction of controls. It is already known that British customs have not even trained the necessary staff yet, and that the software programs of their computer equipment do not connect to European systems.
Over the past year, UK imports from the EU fell by almost a quarter (24.8 percent), while exports to the EU fell 13.1 percent. According to the report to the Agriculture Committee, the consequences of Brexit are clearly not positive. Brexit has not facilitated trade.
"And then to realize that 2021 was just a transition year," noted the Dutch MEP Bert-Jan Ruissen (SGP). He fears that the real consequences will not be felt until the next boiling year. Then the physical checks and forms requirements begin.
Ruissen drew attention to the export of potato seed potato exports. The Netherlands had a lively trade, of more than 18,000 tons per year. That is now completely silent. Surely it must be possible to recognize each other's standards?, he remarked.