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Salmon producers warn of added costs from Brexit deal

Scottish Salmon Company

Scottish salmon facing added costs

The UK Government’s Brexit deal could add £8.7m a year to the cost of selling Scottish salmon to the EU, according to the trade body for the sector.

Exports of salmon to the EU currently do not need Export Health Certificates (EHCs) because of free movement of goods within the bloc.

However, the industry – Britain’s biggest food exporter to the EU – says it looks inevitable that EHCs will be required after the end of this year when the transition phase is over because of the UK Govt’s decision not to align with EU regulations in the future.

This will add between £1.3m and £8.7m a year to the cost of exporting Scottish farmed salmon, says the Scottish Salmon Producers Organisation (SSPO).

The proposed deal would mean the processing and signing an extra 50,000 to 100,000 EHCs every year, extra staff at the main haulage distribution hub, the DFDS base at Larkhall in South Lanarkshire, and delays and hold ups in the dispatch of 300 salmon orders to the continent every day.

Julie Hesketh-Laird, chief executive of the SSPO, said: “Scottish farmed salmon is the UK’s biggest food export.

“We now send more than £190m worth of salmon to France, a third of our total exports. Once in the main French markets, the salmon can then be dispatched to almost anywhere in the EU.

“We deal in a perishable product so it is crucial for the thousands of loyal customers we have in the EU that we get our fresh fish to  key markets as quickly and smoothly as possible.”

Ms Hesketh-Laird added: “The addition of an Export Health Certificate for every order of salmon to the EU would place huge unnecessary financial and bureaucratic burdens on our sector – potentially undermining one of the UK’s biggest modern export success stories.

“We are appealing to the UK government to make this a priority in negotiations with the EU.

“We want both sides to commit to allow seafood trade to the EU to continue as it now, without the imposition of any new tariff or non-tariff barriers and we want UK ministers to call for this in negotiations.”

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