The BFFF has received the following communication from DEFRA regarding another barrier for the movement of goods.
Defra has been informed that there are reduced operating hours at the Rotterdam Border Control Post (BCP) that have been in place for the past two weeks and will continue until at least 30 August 2021. During this time there will be no inspections after 15.30pm (local time in Rotterdam) but there will be extended inspections earlier in the day. The last inspection will be 15:00pm as there will be no officials present at the BCP from 15.30pm. Dutch authorities have provided the following advice:
- Exporters should put shipments on ferries to arrive early into Rotterdam
- Exporters should request that their Dutch importers speak to the inspection points to ask that their perishable product be prioritised
- Dutch authorities have advised that each control point within the Rotterdam BCP is operated by a different private company. Therefore, exporters/importers might want to try a different control point if they do not manage to develop a good working relationship with their initial choice
Defra has also been informed that the Gothenburg BCP is no longer carrying out checks on refrigerated and freezer trailers from GB that contain several consignments of chilled and frozen food.
The Swedish Food Agency has advised the reason for this decision is that the BCP’s premises at Gothenburg is not set up to check several consignments in trailers as they are unable to unload goods for inspection without risking breaking the cold chain of the food.
However, the BCP will continue with the inspection of refrigerated and freezer trailers containing one single consignment, where the food is easily accessible and is loaded directly inside the trailer doors. It will also continue with checks for consignments of shelf-stable food transported in trailers.
The information we have received from the Swedish authorities indicates they are looking to resume checks on chilled and frozen containers containing multiple consignments in the future, once the facilities are available.