Irish food exporters face a new Brexit strain from January if they land goods in Welsh ports.
ales is the first of the UK’s decentralized governments to begin introducing delayed border controls, which were due to roll out earlier this year and are already affecting other EU countries. Northern Ireland is subject to special rules under a protocol to the UK’s 2019 Withdrawal Agreement.
The new rules apply to Irish traders in the ports of Holyhead in North Wales – the main entry and exit point for Irish and British trade – and Pembroke and Fishguard to the south.
“We got off completely scot-free [so far]said Paul Kelly, director of Food Drink Ireland, the Ibec group that represents the industry.
“The ‘business as usual’ environment will not last forever. This will be an administrative burden and the first tier of what border controls will be.”
Irish food and drink companies are by far the most exposed to Brexit of any EU country, with a third of Irish agri-food exports going to the UK.
From January, animal and plant exports from Ireland must be pre-notified to Customs, Agricultural and Health Authorities in Wales.
Companies exporting high-risk live animals and plants, food and feed are already required to submit a pre-notification.
It means entering “a limited amount of information” into an online system, the Welsh Government has said.
No papers or certifications are required for the time being, but further controls are expected to be introduced in ports in Wales and the rest of the UK in 2024.
The EU – including Ireland – introduced full border controls on goods coming from the UK in January 2021, with initial delays and difficulties at Dublin Port now largely resolved.
Dave Field, founder and chief operations officer of Irish firm Coll-8 Logistics, which handles customs clearance on behalf of importers and exporters, says companies are getting used to the extra red tape.
“Britain is now viewed like China. There are a lot of people who are disclosing that it’s affecting business, and it is,” he said. “But people are getting used to what needs to be done.”
However, the unilateral controls have hit British firms.
A survey this week by the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) found that 80 per cent of UK businesses have seen import costs rise since January, 53 per cent say sales margins have fallen and 70 per cent have suffered from shortages of goods and services.
A manufacturer in the East Midlands told the BCC that Brexit was “the most bureaucratic business to date” and “a great time-consuming nightmare”.
While UK exports to the bloc have yet to recover to 2019 levels, EU (including Ireland) exports to the UK are up 22 per cent compared to 2019, before controls were introduced.
An analysis by John Springford, deputy director of the London-based think tank Center for European Reform, found that Brexit had sapped Britain’s growth by 5.5 percent by June this year.
The British economy shrank by 0.3 percent in the third quarter.
https://www.independent.ie/business/brexit/exporters-face-brexit-delays-from-red-tape-at-welsh-ports-42239581.html Exporters face Brexit delays from bureaucracy in Welsh ports