Just before Christmas, the United Kingdom and the European Union finally managed to finalise their trade agreement. The deal became effective on the 1st of January. Dick van Bommel, Operational Director of Heemskerk Flowers in Rijnsburg, has noticed a steep increase in paperwork requirements for their trade in the UK, as well as the additional phytosanitary inspections. However, he’s still optimistic. “Once the rough edges are smoothened out, I think it will be business as usual within half a year, and our turnover will stay the same.
”What’s the trade in the UK been like since the deal?“
There’s considerably more paperwork. That already started in November. Our British bank account was suspended. We had to set up a company in the UK, that would allow us to apply for a British bank account. From the 1st of January, we’ve been facing lots of extra paperwork, as well as plant inspections. It’s more work and higher costs. It used to be that trolleys and containers were considered part of the lorry. But when we return from the UK nowadays, all empty containers must be registered individually. That’s an additional administrative task. Returning via France is very difficult. What doesn’t help either, is that all drivers who want to go through the Channel Tunnel must test for Covid-19. All our lorries are coming back by ferry for now.”
Is there chaos at the UK borders?
“No, it isn’t busy at all. (..)”
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