EU Bans All Live Shellfish Imports From UK Fishing Industry indefinitely
Brussels chiefs have informed the UK Government that British fishermen are permanently banned from exporting any types of live shellfish to the 27 EU states, which includes cockles, scallops, clams, oysters, and mussels, with UK shellfish catches valued at £393m in 2019.
Since Brexit, the export firms have only been allowed to send pre-purified, ready-to-eat shellfish into the EU, as long as the goods were accompanied by an export certificate, whereas before Brexit, the shellfish were being purified once they reached their country of destination.
A spokesman for the UK industry says it does not have enough tanks to carry this out before exporting, which in turn slows the export process and makes the goods less viable.
It transpires, as first reported by Politics Home, that the European Commission had written to leading UK shellfish export companies on the 13 and 19 January to tell them that the current arrangement was, in fact, permanent, but the Government was under the impression that the original ban would be lifted on April 21 if Brussels changed its mind.
Speaking with the BBC, the chief executive of the National Federation of Fisherman’s Organisations, Barrie Deas, said, “The issue with shellfish is that they’re are highly perishable, so there are many risks associated with delays. We are really in a high-risk category compared with other kinds of exports”.
The government has promised to continue talks on this matter with the EU.
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