Spanish fruit and vegetable exports to the United Kingdom in 2021 remained stable in volume but increased by 11% in value

A year ago, the European Commission and the United Kingdom reached the post-Brexit Agreement, which established the bases of commercial relations between both parties since January 1, 2021. This agreement was very well received by the sector grouped in FEPEX, as it avoided the imposition of tariffs on the Community fruit and vegetable exports to that destination.

As FEPEX points out, if there had been no Agreement, Spanish fruit and vegetable exports to this country would have been taxed with the customs duties established in the World Trade Organization (WTO), which means the sector would have had to pay some 198 million euro in tariff duties.

Starting January 1 of this year, the United Kingdom is a third country, which represents a fundamental change in the relations with this country, implying that exports have been subjected to new documentary obligations and controls, which in the fruit and vegetable sector have been established in three phases.

So far, export requirements are in their first phase in which exporters of fresh fruits and vegetables must present a customs declaration (SAD) and a certificate of compliance with marketing standards. Phase two will begin on July 1, 2022, when exporters will be required to present a phytosanitary certificate for their products.

In this framework, and with data up to the month of September, the volume of Spanish exports of fresh fruits and vegetables to the United Kingdom in 2021 has remained practically the same as in the previous year, with a slight 1% decrease in volume totaling 1.1 million tons, 586,911 tons of which correspond to vegetables and 531,770 to fruits. In the same period, the value of exports increased by 11% reaching 1,581 million euro, according to data from the Customs and Excise Department processed by FEPEX.

The volume exported did not fluctuate too much and the United Kingdom continues to be the third market destination for the Spanish sector. However, the exit of this country from the EU has opened a new competitive scenario where the UK market is more open to the productions of third countries with the same products and schedules as Spain, such as Morocco, Egypt, Turkey, and South Africa, according to FEPEX.



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