Brexit Chaos - 'We can't get anyone to transport our products to the EU'
A South Yorkshire exporter is unable to export to the EU amid the chaos stemming from the Brexit deal – threatening 30 per cent of business and a £1m sales boost.
World Feeds says no transporter will touch their products due to a logjam of shipments at ports.
It comes as a British Chambers of Commerce survey found 49 per cent of UK goods exporters and 51 per cent of manufacturers reported difficulties in adapting to new trade rules - representing an ‘existential’ threat to some.
World Feeds, based in Thorne, makes and exports fish food to 40 countries.
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Managing director Peter Kersch said: “We can't get anyone to transport our products into the EU. No one will touch it. Many large companies have suspended shipments to the EU, which we understand because they have so many vehicles and consignments tied up awaiting clearance due to new red tape and documentation.
“Exporting has now become a lottery. Over 30 per cent of our business is at risk if this is not sorted out quickly. For a small company like ours it is critical. We have major planned business development in Germany and Norway this year to give us an increase close to £1m in sales.”
The UK-EU Brexit deal, which came into force on January 1, has been criticised for imposing a swathe of declarations, tariffs, fees and VAT payments. It has also led to chaos at UK borders due to increased customs checks and red-tape.
Dan Fell, chief executive of Doncaster Chamber said exporters were ‘hamstrung by red tape’ – when the economy should be growing to repair the ‘massive hit’ from coronavirus.
He added: “Our business community has been put through the mill this last year and large elements are, quite justifiably, asking where their friends in government are at present…
“If the economy is to recover fully from the pandemic, businesses must be able to trade competitively with the EU. It is incumbent on government to work swiftly with EU partners to remove the barriers that many companies are now facing through no fault of their own.”
The BCC survey was carried out between 18 and 31 January and received 1,000 responses mainly from SMEs, 47 per cent of which exported goods or services.