Export advice offered for Scotland’s seafood sector
The Scottish Government is funding additional resources for trade body Seafood Scotland to help manage the new paperwork and processes for exporters following the end of the Brexit transition period.
Two new full time equivalent roles will be created at Seafood Scotland to help companies better understand the new business practices to export to the EU and Northern Ireland, including the customs and export certification processes.
The news comes as seafood exporters throughout the UK say they are still dealing with problems ranging from confusion over paperwork, inconsistencies as to how authorities in different ports have been applying the rules, and significant issues with the new systems. Seafood Scotland says many Scottish seafood companies have struggled to get any product at all to their European customers.
The new posts will be funded through the Scottish Government and Scotland Food and Drink’s joint Recovery Plan.
Donna Fordyce, Chief Executive at Seafood Scotland, said: “This milestone investment comes at a crucial time for the Scottish seafood industry. With its resilience already weakened by a year of Covid-19 restrictions, followed by the French border closure over Christmas, the Brexit issues couldn’t have come at a worse time.
“By appointing our own elite team of exporting experts, we will be able to provide companies of all sizes throughout the country with one to one support, to help guide them through the raft of administrative changes Brexit has brought as we strive to return to a position where product is flowing freely to our valued European customers.
Scotland’s Rural Economy Secretary Fergus Ewing said: “The seafood sector has been devastated by this poor Brexit deal and we cannot wait for the UK Government to solve the administrative problems they have created.
“Our focus is on resolving the issues around exports and making sure the process runs as smoothly as possible which is why as an immediate priority, we are funding these new posts to provide in-depth expert support to exporters across Scotland and help them navigate the new and onerous processes.”
He added that the Scottish Government supports the industry’s call for a six-month ‘grace period’ to allow exporters more time to adjust to the new regime.