Since January 1 of this year, the United Kingdom has officially ceased to belong to the European Union. However, even though the agreement reached by both parties in late December prevented the introduction of tariffs for fruit and vegetable products exported to the United Kingdom, certain procedures have already changed and others will be implemented in the coming months.
“It is a gradual process. Up until March 31, the basic requirement is customs procedures. From April to June 30, the phytosanitary certificates will have to be added, and after that date, the United Kingdom will need to have prepared large customs control areas for the corresponding inspections, possibly with added documentation for organic products,” says Iván Hernández Grabalosa, of Vicasol's Commercial Department.
What are the procedures to follow?
What is now being required is a packing list that includes data on the buyer and the seller, the origin of the product, the product family (fresh vegetables), the number of boxes, the total weight of the truck, transport data, etc., as well as an invoice in order to create customs documentation, says the commercial manager of Vicasol. There is also the possibility of doing it with invoices without a final price (on consignment) and it is recommended to speak with a customs agent for advice.
With this information, the customs agent produces the Single Administrative Document (DUA). In turn, the carrier is given a DAE (Export Accompanying Document), which contains a barcode (MRN) that is scanned at the border, and whose information about the truck and its cargo must match that previously provided to the English authorities. Said information will also include the border that will be crossed and the approximate day and time.
"The responsibility of carrying out customs procedures will depend on the Incoterms with which the exporter and importer are working," he says.
In case of making the return to Europe through the Kent region, the carrier has to obtain a permit called KAP (Kent Access Permit), which is valid for 24 hours and is necessary to circulate in said region.
From April 1
The phytosanitary certificate granted by the customs agency will be required, although there is also the possibility of exporting companies themselves having their own customs, thereby becoming Authorized Centers for Exported Goods. This will allow them to carry out all the necessary procedures with the Treasury and Soivre through software, making a customs agent unnecessary.
Trucks loaded with vegetables from the southeast of Spain will be subject to inspections, and as is already the case in Spain, there will be random controls, with one in every ten trucks inspected.