Tuesday 19 January 2021 10:58 am

Tonnes of meat from UK thrown out at EU borders due to post-Brexit changes

UK meat exporters have warned the government that post-Brexit changes at the border have caused disruption to meat shipments crossing the channel.

Tonnes of produce worth hundreds of thousands of pounds coming from the UK has been confiscated at EU ports over the past two weeks due to companies not filling out the right paperwork.

Read more: Fishing industry to be compensated for Brexit ‘teething problems’

UK companies exporting into the EU now have to fill out a set of customs declaration forms and some goods, like agricultural products, have to undergo checks at the border.

Nick Allen, chief executive of the British Meat Processors Association, told The Times that one British exporter had 23 tonnes of meat worth £500,000 impounded at Calais, France, for three days.

Most of the meat that has been impounded will need to be destroyed as products like pork and chicken need to be processed within eight days of being slaughtered.

“The new post-Brexit customs system for meat products is convoluted, archaic and badly implemented,” he said.

“If continental supermarkets are unable to have products delivered the way they need them to be, this trade will simply be lost as EU customers abandon UK suppliers and source product from European processors.”

It comes as dozens of lorries from the seafood industry descended on Downing Street yesterday to protest against post-Brexit trade friction.

Boris Johnson has described the issues at borders as “teething problems” and yesterday announced a £23m fund to compensate seafood exporters hit by disruption.

Read more: Brussels to extend deadline for Brexit deal ratification by EU Parliament

Road Haulage Association boss Richard Burnett predicted in November that there would be chaos at the border from 1 January as not enough companies were prepared for post-Brexit changes.

He told City A.M.: “The complexity of what needs to be carried out between now and the end of the year is blowing businesses minds.”