Dutch exporters worried about new post-Brexit checks at UK border

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There is a lot of uncertainty among Dutch flower- and plant exporters about the consequences of physical inspections that will now be carried out upon entry to the United Kingdom. The United Kingdom will launch the second phase of its post-Brexit border control upscaling on Tuesday, which steps up physical checks of plant and animal imports from the European Union at U.K. ports and border crossings.

Last year, flower and plant exports to the United Kingdom totaled 993 million euros, making it the second-largest foreign market for the Dutch sector. The flower and plant exporters’ association, VGB, already raised concerns about the British Border Target Operating Model scheme in January.

The new rules could have a harsh impact on the Dutch horticulture sector, as flower bulbs, cut flowers and woody crops will all be subject to the new rules. Until now, the inspections were allowed to be carried out when the plant and animal products arrived at their destination. By moving them to the external border, the sectors are fearing the worst and are predicting long delays amid a confusing rollout.

According to Matthijs Mesken of the VGB, there is insufficient capacity in the ports to carry out the inspections, causing delays that could be devastating to Dutch exporters. “Sometimes as many as 150 trucks with flowers and plants arrive at the same time. Of these, 100 percent of the plants and an expected 3 to 10 percent of the flowers will have to be checked. The question is, which ones do they take out? And what if the refrigerated trucks have to wait in the sun? What consequences does that have for the quality?”

Read more at nltimes.nl

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