Brexit: challenges for ACP horticultural exporters

Following on from COLEACP’s November Brexit workshop and background information document, COLEACP has just published up-to-date information on the Brexit process, and specifically the potential impacts on ACP horticultural producers and exporters.

Brexit readiness assessment tool_COVER

Preparing for the UK’S exit from the EU customs union and single market from 1st January 2021:
Challenges for ACP horticultural exporters – Background Information Document N°2

The United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the EU customs union and single market from 1 January 2021 is part of the “Brexit” process resulting from the UK’s decision to leave the European Union.

It will have serious short-term effects and long-term implications for the conduct of ACP horticultural trade with the UK, particularly along triangular supply chains that deliver goods to the UK via initial ports of landing in the EU. Some adjustments will also be required in certain areas for ACP horticultural exports to EU27 markets, especially for deliveries to the Republic of Ireland via the UK.

As Freshfel Europe recently noted, there are still many uncertainties around technical, trade facilitation and contingency measures to minimise disruption in January 2021 and beyond. As negotiations between the EU and UK are still ongoing, and some key issues and areas for action continue to evolve, regular updates will be provided on COLEACP’s websites until the end of the year.

The updated document focuses on all the supply chains impacted:

  • Direct exports (i) to the UK; (ii) to the EU27
  • Indirect exports (i) to the UK via the EU27; (ii) to the EU27 via the UK; (iii) to the Republic of Ireland via the EU27 and the UK

Specific information is provided to clarify related issues, including triangular supply chains and the “UK land bridge”, and actions that could be taken by ACP horticultural exporters.

There are also sections detailing:

  • Customs and trade-related documentation issues: non-tariff issues; the Authorised Economic Operators (AEO) scheme; making use of the Common Transit Convention; GB sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) requirements and controls; and organic certification
  • Border control issues: direct delivery of ACP horticultural exports to the UK; IT system challenges; staffing challenges; and business preparations for EU/UK border controls
  • Logistical challenges: increased warehousing and cold storage costs; “groupage” issues; potential UK road haulage challenges; and the border infrastructure
  • Future market developments: tariff issues in trade with the UK; the most favoured nation (MFN) tariff issue; understanding and applying for Economic Operators Registration and Identification (EORI) numbers and related Binding Tariff Information (BTI) and Binding Origin Information (BOI) decisions; the Registered Exporter (REX) system of origin certification; key contractual concerns; and necessity markets versus luxury purchase markets