Brexit helpline to help UK seafood sector during transition

Published on
December 18, 2020

A new temporary helpline to help support U.K. seafood businesses with last-minute Brexit issues has been launched by public body Seafish.

Operating from 21 December, 2020, through 4 January, 2021, the service will give seafood businesses experiencing specific matters around the end of the transition period continued access to direct support from the authority’s regulation experts.

To access the helpline, businesses need to book a time slot in advance via Seafish’s website. They will then receive a call-back from a member of Seafish’s support team. Businesses are advised to provide as much information as possible about the issues they are experiencing at the point of booking their slot.

Seafish’s head of regulatory affairs, Fiona Wright, said the helpline would allow Seafish to provide support during a period when its offices would normally be closed, although businesses are urged to first refer to the existing guidance that features on its website’s Brexit transition hub.

The hub provides guidance to businesses based on whether they import, export, process, and distribute or catch and farm seafood. It also hosts other resources, such as a recording of Seafish’s recent webinar on preparing for new E.U. customs procedures hosted with the Institute of Export and International Trade.

“If the guidance doesn’t address your issue, then please use the helpline to get in touch. As always, we’ll do our best to provide support and resolve your issue,” Wright said.

The transition period between the E.U. and United Kingdom is to end on 1 January, 2021.

Also from this date, goods entering the United Kingdom from countries without a free trade agreement, preferential tariff regime, or other agreement in place will adhere to the U.K. Global Tariff.

If the United Kingdom and the E.U. fail to arrive at an agreement on tariffs, the U.K. Global Tariff will also apply to imports from E.U. member-states.

According to Seafish, when compared to the E.U.’s Common External Tariff, the tariffs in the U.K. schedule are identical or slightly reduced for the same commodities.

Tariffs that are reduced have been rounded down compared to the E.U.’s schedule. The rounding down is to align them with simplified tariff bandings. The tariff reductions range between 0 and 4 percent over all seafood product descriptions, with an average reduction of 0.7 percent.

Photo courtesy of Nigel Jarvis/Shutterstock

Contributing Editor reporting from London, UK

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