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Cross-party Parliamentary Committee backs NPA on EU exports

29th Apr 2021 / By Charlie Dewhirst

Today (Thursday) the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Select Committee has published its report into EU exports of meat and shellfish, supporting the written and oral evidence given by the NPA to the inquiry.

The cross-party Committee has called on the Government to take 'pragmatic' steps to resolve the non-tariff barriers still harming the UK’s ability to export to the EU and take specific action in a number of areas.

These recommendations include:

 

  • Seeking agreement with the EU on digitising the certification of paperwork such as Export Health Certificates;
  • Providing the same help to small meat and seafood businesses as they can receive for moving goods to Northern Ireland;
  • Establishing a ring-fenced fund to help create new distribution hubs, which allow smaller consignments to be grouped into a single lorry load, so reducing transport costs.

The Committee also shared the NPA’s frustration that the Government has delayed import checks on goods from the EU until October.

While we understand why the Government has taken the decision to phase in checks over an extended period, we are concerned that this further delay to implementation perpetuates the imbalance between import and exports, giving EU companies a competitive advantage.

Furthermore, there is very little urgency in Brussels to resolve the export issues when EU products can flow freely into the UK. If pigmeat imports into the UK were facing the same stringent checks as exports, we would have more leverage to resolve immediate problems and there would be more impetus to work together to design streamlined and modern trading processes, which in turn would help to reduce paperwork, delays and the associated costs.