Britain’s fish and seafood exporters who have faced post-Brexit disruption at the border will be able to claim a maximum of £100,000 per business as a part of a new £23m fund.
James Quinault – one of the top civil servants at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) – told a parliament committee today that businesses will have to show “evidence a genuine loss in exporting fish and shell fish to the EU” to be eligible.
The payments will be “immediate” and backdated to 1 Janury, according to Quinault.
Boris Johnson announced earlier this week that he was launching the £23m fund, after widespread reports of disruption at the borders when the Brexit transition period ended on 31 December.
British fish exporters are now forced to fill out a series of customs declaration forms when selling their goods to EU countries.
Businesses have had to abandon tonnes of fish due to not having the correct paperwork or problems with implementation at the border.
Dozens of seafood lorries descended on Downing Street to protest against the disruption on Tuesday.
Speaking to Westminster’s Public Accounts Committee today, Quinalt said: “Support will be made immediately and will retrospectively to cover losses incurred since the 1 January.
“The scheme will be targeted at small and medium sized enterprises and the maximum claim available to individual operators will be £100,000.”
He added: “We’re still seeing issues because of individual interpretation at border control posts and of course traders getting used to adjusting to the new requirements, but we are working every day of every week to help business with those issues.”