A live example of the issues on why businesses are not better prepared for post-Brexit red tape - thread

Over past few days I have been really annoyed with myself that I did not foresee and warn #coldchain members about key processes on food (SPS) exports that have come to fore
Remember I am not a customs/trade expert, my knowledge comes from 2 years of engagement on government policy and acting as a conduit between industry and policy makers in Brexit preparations - others across industry are genuine experts and may have foretold this better than me
Before you import food goods to EU you the importer must make entry onto an EU IT system (called TRACES NT) this can only be done EU side by the importer or an agent - for meat or dairy you need a Certificate signed by a vet before TRACES (all that I knew) webgate.ec.europa.eu/tracesnt/login
The bit I did not know well is that this TRACES process creates a Common Health Entry Document - filling in the 'CHED' correctly is one of the key live problems - it has to be done 100% right. Ensuring the CHED is right has proved to be a key priority issue for border officials.
Getting the CHED right is vital and, in practice, it requires the use of a specialist agent (a private professional) based IN THE BORDER POST - Imagine a row of car rental booths at the airport - each one charges a fee to make the entry and vouch for the goods (anyone got a pic?)
With loads of businesses UK side being caught out on this need in the past week, the cost of these agents services has spiked (as much as 400 euro a consignment) That will settle down to a lower amount but its still a new cost (millions a year) and additional to vet costs.
Where these agents are in place > they receive the right info > and they treat you as a priority customer - you can get your food goods through.

If you don't have a good agent relationship or get some info wrong your lorry will be held or turned away.
This is a common Brexit-bashing trope I know , but the extent to which this is a return to the 1970s cannot be overstated.

This is people in booths, shuttling bits of paper between desks, getting this process working well, will rely on relationships, insider knowledge and money
note - I don't mean corruption - I mean good agents at the French Border will be in demand, and competition for their services will be fierce. Also businesses that know the game well and build the relationships will prosper, the naive or inexperienced will hit problems.
Also pre-empting the pile on to say 'how ridiculous' and 'we can do it better' tweets remember THEIR BORDER, THEIR RULES.

Also there is genuine amazement EU side that we did not know that this is what they require, it's what they do for all 3rd countries (and so should we BTW)
Genuine question- are we going to mirror all this in July?. Are going to have agents booths at our new Sevington super facility? will we be charging £100-£300 a pop to check some forms and shuttle some paper around? If yes - INVESTORS CALL - I have a business proposition for you
So back to me beating myself up - I reread the UK-side traders bible the Border Operating Model. There is no reference to these key real world issues, hardly any references to 'CHEDs' at all and no major talk of the role of the customs agent, assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/upl…
I said it at the weekend, but I repeat - what really matters now is not what the UK Government wants or expects to happen.

Any trading or logistics company looking to survive the weeks ahead has to get their head around what the French (or Irish, or Dutch...etc) need and do it.

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More from @ColdChainShane

9 Jan
As @michaelgove admitted yesterday we are expecting significant disruption in our #trade flows with the EU in coming days. The fact he is willing to say this confirms what most of us feel, that problems are building. This thread is a summary of what I have learnt in the past week
DISCLAIMER I run a trade body and spent the week in my back bedroom on the phone to members, reading the media and on zoom calls. I’m not on the ground and I am not in the operation rooms. So my info is second hand and partial. No one has a complete view. IT IS HIDEOUSLY COMPLEX
The first obvious problem is the number of different actors involved. On the commercial side - within 1 exporter there are multiple depts. There is also the buying company and the logistics company. They all have to sync. 1 load of goods involves multiple commercial actors.
Read 20 tweets
24 Dec 20
We haven't seen the text (disclaimer) but nonetheless here is my pre-Christmas thread in reaction. This is a #hardBrexit deal (by design) and that means for food it is hardest of all. No rabbits out of the hat - the UK gov have followed through on their stated intent...1/
All food exports from the UK into EU will be subject to the same checks and inspections as EU imports from Russia, Chile, and yes.. Australia - this despite the fact that the UK rules will be 100% the same rules on safety, env, and animal welfare 2/ ec.europa.eu/food/animals/p…
So (eg) in 7 days all our meat, fish and dairy will require export health certs - gov estimate is 300k next year (industry thinks it will be more) that's 10x more than now (btw for most supply chains the EHC is just the last piece of paper) we have 2x as many vets to do this 3/
Read 10 tweets
9 Jun 20
I'm coming to this a bit late but @michaelgove's attempt to dismiss our concerns about just how unprepared the UK is to operate a functioning border as 'part of the game' in parliament last month is pretty infuriating (#Brexit thread, cause we all love those) 1/
It's not hyperbole - it's a reality - @michaelgove told us in February that 'deal or no deal' the UK would conduct food health checks on EU goods - and that EU goods would be treated no differently to goods from anywhere else in the world - and yet ... 2/ gov.uk/government/new…
as @pmdfoster reported this weekend we have no infrastructure in place, no process to do it and no time to make this a reality - that to me is the definition of 'hopelessly ill-prepared'. 3/ ft.com/content/7efb87…
Read 5 tweets

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