Streamlining of systems agreed to help ease seafood exports to EU

Streamlining of systems to help ease seafood exports to the EU continues and MP David Duguid has welcomed the latest changes as “a genuine boost for a key sector”.

The technical changes have been welcomed by the Banff and Buchan MP, who chairs the Scottish Seafood Exports Taskforce.

The joint industry-government group was set up in response to problems at the beginning of the year with exports to the EU.

Mr Duguid said

Suppliers have their premises inspected and approved. They then must issue an official supplier decoration when consigning loads for export.

Industry reported the system involved considerable repetition and I am delighted with the news that the Part II of the support attestation will now cover suppliers for a month.

This technical change is being implemented with immediate effect and I am confident it will have a positive impact on suppliers’ workload and represents a genuine boost for a key sector of Scottish industry.

Our exit from the EU was always going to mean change. We have been working hand-in-hand with catchers, processors and exporters to deliver solutions to complex issues. The supplier declaration change is just one example of us responding to industry’s requirements.

David Duguid MP with Fisheries Minister Victoria Prentis at Peterhead Fish Market

It comes as steps towards fully digitising systems for seafood exporting are being addressed by the national taskforce.

The group meets online every fortnight and has heard calls for a move away from physical paperwork.

Mr Duguid added

As part of a more general consideration of how the journey of world-class Scottish seafood from catch to customer can be streamlined, much progress has been made on technical aspects around entering export details into the system.

We have been able to introduce changes which cut the need for repetition and which generates the required forms more quickly. All of this shaves off time, critical for an industry with high-value perishable goods that need to get to customers in the quickest time possible.

The work is being undertaken in partnership with the EU, who require new procedures now Britain is outwith the bloc post-Brexit.

The Scottish Conservative MP added

Our hope is to move to a fully digitised system, as this will benefit the industry hugely. We are trying to reach that goal as quickly as possible.

Again, we have listened to industry’s concerns and are tackling the problems they have identified.

The taskforce has also heard from an expert who has been engaged to undertake process mapping of seafood exports’ progress, especially from port to plate. He will identify choke points within the value chain for improvement.

The taskforce is considering medium and longer-term problems for a key sector and these are complex, but the joint approach with industry and politicians and officials from the UK Government and Scottish Government is delivering results,

added Mr Duguid.

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