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No progress with the Plant Protection certificate

Partida Logistic Álvaro Partida

Partida Logistics is truly concerned about the lack of steps taken in the face of the bureaucratic avalanche due on the 1st of January to export to the United Kingdom

“Brexit is like a child; it is growing.” This eloquent sentence could be heard on Extenda’s webinar ‘Technical keys for agrifood produce after Brexit’, in which Partida Logistics, one of the companies that are helping in this growth progress for exporters, took part. In just 6 months the sector has been forced to implement many operational changes in its everyday work to export to the United Kingdom, and there are many more still to come, such as the Plant Protection Certificate, which will come into effect on the 1st of January, 2022 after its recent extension (it should have come into effect on the 1st of April) and a more than predictable change in the language used for the contracts into English, because, as Álvaro Partida, Head of the Brexit Department at Partida Logistics, recalls, “the United Kingdom left the EU and as a client, it now imposes its own rules.”

Regarding the Plant Protection Certificate, Partida is concerned because it will be necessary for exporting vegetable produce (except for some such as citrus fruits, persimmons, coconuts, kiwis and passion fruit) and, in the same way that the Administration was not ready to carry out this huge volume of daily inspections in April, at present no progress has been made. “In almost all the ports there are BIP, but we are not aware that they are building more for what is about to come and the working hours are crucial. Currently, some customs organisms are not operational on weekday afternoons, nor at the weekends or on bank holidays. Only in Algeciras do the customs organisms give service 365 days a year.”

Another important stumbling block for perishable goods is that it is compulsory to physically carry the documentation along with the goods. “At all the times when we have had the chance we have passed on the need for this to be changed and to be able to use a digital version of the Plant Protection document because in this sector times are crucial and a lorry cannot be kept at a standstill.” If the correct steps are not taken, there will be delays and added costs due to the losses for the fruit and vegetable sector.

Centenary experience

In this context of change, it is essential to get advice from reliable sources to keep up to date with the new developments and legislation in force. Since Brexit came into being, the EORI code is required with which “the Customs and the Treasury have come right inside the companies. They have also become serious about REX (it justifies the origin of the goods) and the SAD (Single Administrative Document), which gives the go ahead for exporting, this is what the official at the gateway to the Eurotunnel asks for before allowing any entry.” Partida is helping with this arduous documentation process to ensure that nothing is missing. The company’s extensive experience (they will celebrate their 100th anniversary shortly) and a partner in the United Kingdom turn them into the best travelling companion for export companies.

Partida highlights the work carried out by the hauliers, who “have stepped forward and have tried to help clients with the customs procedures in spite of the fact they have had a hard time due to Covid, caused by the important additional costs that they have had to face up to by being forced to return with empty lorries.”

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