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Dutch shops complain of delays amid Brexit paperwork chaos

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Suban Abdulla
·3 min read
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Scrambled eggs with fried bacon and sausages served in a pan with toast
Some retailers said that while some products are available from Ireland, the country itself is also facing delays with similar products from the UK. Photo: Getty

Dutch stores that sell British goods in the country have complained about product delays and cancellation, blaming it on the Brexit paperwork chaos.

Retailers have turned to Ireland for products such as bacon and sausages as the paperwork from the UK is preventing meat items from reaching the Netherlands, Dutch news reported.

Some companies were particularly frustrated with the delay in meat products. Under current Brexit rules, meat exporters have to complete a few checks before they trade in the EU, including getting an export health certificate.

All items of animal origin including milk, eggs, meat and honey, as well as regulated plants and plant products, will require full documentation and, where necessary, veterinary certificates to be sold in the UK.

Likewise, from 1 July, all firms exporting to the UK will be required to fill out full customs declarations and goods could be subjected to physical checks at new UK customs centres.

The delays have also hit canned items, including Heinz soups and pies, with some wholesalers giving up exporting cheese from Britain altogether.

Businesses said that deliveries that would ordinarily take up to 10 working days now take around eight weeks on average. Some retailers said that while some products are available from Ireland, the country itself is also facing delays with similar products from the UK.

The Confederation of Netherlands Industry and Employers notes Britain as one of the Netherlands’ top five trading partners. According to figures by Statistics Netherlands, exported goods and services were worth €28.3bn (£24.4bn, $33.8bn) in 2019.

READ MORE: UK delays Brexit checks as one in five businesses give up on EU

Earlier in March, three in four UK manufacturers said they were facing export delays due to Brexit.

Make UK, the industry group for the manufacturing sector, said 74% of its members had faced delays in the past three months and many were still struggling to get goods through ports.

It comes after, the UK government announced earlier in March that it would delay the introduction of full border control processes by six months to enable businesses to focus on their recovery amid the pandemic.

Separately, a survey by the Institute of Directors (IoD) found that one in five directors of companies trading with the EU said they have stopped doing so in January after the Brexit trade deal was announced.

The study of 900 directors found around 20% of companies have halted their trade with the EU.

"The government has listened to businesses who have faced an unprecedented challenge during the pandemic and will now introduce full border control processes on 1 January 2022, six months later than originally planned," the Cabinet Office said.

It explained that this will provide businesses with more time to prepare for changes at the border and minimise disruption as the economy gradually reopens, recognising the challenges businesses have been facing in adjusting to the new requirements, at the same time as dealing with the impacts of COVID-19.

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