Fresh seafood exports from Scotland to EU halted until 18 January – The Guardian

  • Deliveries of fresh Scottish seafood to the EU have been halted until 18 January, after post-Brexit problems with health checks, IT systems and customs documents caused a huge backlog.
  • The industry’s biggest logistics provider, DFDS, pointed to delays regarding health certificates, issues with the IT system interface between the group and local authorities, and incorrect or missing customs documentation from customers.
  • Faced with the backlog, DFDS suspended its “groupage export service” – which allows several exporters to group products together in a single consignment – last Friday, a week after the UK’s departure from the EU. It said it wanted to fix IT issues and train more staff to help its customers to get the customs documentation right.
  • DFDS said it expected to resume deliveries next Monday, but the service would take considerably longer than before Brexit, and highlighted the importance of 100% correct paperwork.
  • The UK government proposed to fast-track empty supermarket food lorries returning to Europe to reload, amid concerns that disruption at ports could lead to food supply shortages. A consultation document sent to the industry by the agriculture ministry on Tuesday said “the potential for further disruption remains high”.

Brexit forces German logistics group to suspend UK deliveries – FT

  • German logistics group DB Schenker on Wednesday became the latest major parcels operator to suspend cross-border delivery services because of new red tape and customs paperwork imposed by Brexit.
  • In a note issued to customers the company said it was suspending shipments from the EU to the UK blaming the “enormous bureaucratic regulations” created by the post-Brexit trading arrangements that had left recipients in the UK unable to handle shipments in a “legally compliant manner”.
  • A spokesman for the company in Berlin said there was no immediate clarity on when services would restart, adding that only 10 per cent of shipments were accompanied with the correct paperwork.
  • Last week another major international delivery company, DPD, suspended deliveries from the UK to the EU, saying that up to 20 per cent of parcels had incorrect information attached. In a statement DPD blamed “challenges” with the government’s New Computerised Transit System (NCTS) since January 1, when the EU-UK post-Brexit trade deal came into force. The company has said it will review the situation on Friday.
  • A consultation document sent to industry by Defra stated “Given the potential for border delays to impact supply chains over the next few weeks, we are proposing an emergency contingency measure . . . to expedite the return of empty food lorries from the UK to the EU where they can be restocked with supplies.”
  • The scheme, if enacted, envisages allowing up to 300 trucks a day to skip queues outside the Channel ports of Dover and Folkestone and would be open only to the largest supermarkets and their subcontractors.
  • Under the proposal, lorries that could demonstrate they were working for a big supermarket or supplier and were planning to return to the UK within seven days would be granted a priority permit to bypass lorries stacked on the M20 under Operation Brock. The new plan would be triggered only when waiting times outside Dover reached eight hours or more and the loads delivered to UK supermarkets had fallen below 75 per cent of expectations for two consecutive days.