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Shrimp processing for exports. (Photo: Stock File)

Seafood exporters expect better agreement with UK after Brexit

Click on the flag for more information about India INDIA
Friday, February 09, 2018, 23:50 (GMT + 9)

Indian seafood exporters are optimistic about the start of exports to the United Kingdom after it separates from the European Union.

The EU has initiated steps to treat UK as a country which no longer belongs to the block, and the UK will have to establish systems that satisfy the EU's requirements to export to the EU market.

"Subject to any transitional arrangement that may be contained in a possible withdrawal agreement, as of the withdrawal date (30 March 2019), EU food law no longer applies to the United Kingdom," EU said to its stakeholders, according to Business Standard.

"Given that India is a major supplier of shrimp to UK, I believe separate UK food regulations will be more pragmatic and aligned with mutual trade interests, as opposed to the current stance of EU authorities, which we feel is unfair and unfortunate," said Aditya Dash, managing director, Ram's Assorted Cold Storage Ltd, a leading exporting company based in Odisha.

Shrimp exporters showed discomfort after a team visited seafood processing facilities in Odisha and Tamil Nadu, the leading exporting states, last  November. They also visited fishing harbours in Paradip and the processing units of Falcon Marine Exports and Shimpo Seafoods in Bhubaneswar.

The European visiting audit team ended up meeting with officials of the Union commerce ministry and Marine Products Export Development Authority (MPEDA).

At the end of January, Indian authorities urged the EU not to ban or blacklist any seafood exporter immediately after finding problems with just one consignment, as this extreme step worked against the interests of all stakeholders.

A trade source reported that if it is a “hard Brexit”, the UK will not need to adjust its laws as part of the arrangement with the EU; however, if it is a “soft Brexit”, there will be some compromise aimed at facilitating trade with the EU, and the UK laws will have to aligned with those of the EU.

Once out of the Union, the UK could develop some laws that are more "trade-friendly", but the source highlighted that "any new law is unlikely to lower the strict requirements of food hygiene and safety that the UK has become used to."

Related article:

-Seafood exporters ask the EU to be warned before being excluded

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