Import stagnation due to Brexit: “ the shipment has been roaming at customs for a month ”

Exporting goods to the UK has caused few problems since Brexit. On the contrary, this is a different story. The Anglo-British Chamber of Commerce and the Evofenedex Exporters Association say things are not going well for UK companies and UK customs. The result: Dutch companies are having a hard time getting things into the country.

Marcel Ball imports whiskey from Scotland. This weekend, he finally got his first shipment of bottles from Scotland. “It took us weeks. I couldn’t get anything into the country throughout January.”


Paul doesn’t know exactly where the error is happening. “My suppliers in Scotland didn’t know what to do, what paperwork to fill out and how to move goods across the border. It got to the point where they asked me what to do.”

Customs admit the photo. “At present, imports of products from the UK are about 40 per cent less than last year,” a spokesman said. This is partly because companies bought additional inventory in December, which means less is needed now.

But according to customs, this is not the only reason. “The drop is really important. Coronavirus is playing a role, but also the fact that companies in England have not been well enough prepared for all the Brexit papers surrounding Brexit.”

The box was filled incorrectly

The Dutch-British Chamber of Commerce receives a lot of interested phone calls on the topic: “There are many different problems. If you fill in a box incorrectly, it will be rejected,” says Board Member Lyn Boyinga.

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“What we hear a lot is that the British government has not prepared enough for the business community for Brexit, especially small and medium-sized companies. They waited a long time to prepare and when the deal came it was too late.” Biewinga says there are a lot of mistakes that go wrong with fresh produce that need to be checked. “Companies sometimes forget to set an appointment.”

What also plays a role are the rules surrounding the paperwork. “British companies have to fill in more paperwork for specific products to export to the European Union than vice versa. From the European Union, these rules have been in effect since January 1, and Great Britain has put in place these requirements only from April 1. Especially for fresh produce it would be the matter. For Dutch exporters, starting April 1, it will also be difficult to get their shipment across the border.

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