Brexit Import Rules Could Mean Millions Of Bees Are Destroyed if a British bee-keeper tries to import them
Patrick Murfet is the managing director of Bee Equipment, based near Canterbury, Kent, and every year he has been importing bees into the UK from Italy, to pollinate farmer’s crops.
Now, a new post-Brexit law on imports states that only queen bees can be imported from the EU into the UK, and Mr Murfet has been informed that his ordered consignment of 15 million baby bees could be either sent back to Italy or destroyed after he paid a deposit of £20,000 deposit for the bees, and stands to lose almost £100,000 in costs if the insects don’t arrive.
Mr Murfet, being aware of the new law, had arranged for his bees to be shipped in April, via Northern Ireland, and he told the BBC, “It’s a monumentally stupid situation for a country supposed to be standing on its own two feet and exporting around the world. Fewer honeybees mean less pollination, less top fruits, and more imports”.
He explained how his numerous communications on the matter have been met with just one email, that read, “Illegal imports will be sent back or destroyed, and enforcement action (criminal charges) will be brought against the importer”, adding, “It is the responsibility of the importer to ensure that goods dispatched from Northern Ireland meet the definition of NI qualifying goods or meet import requirements”.
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