We are reluctantly forced to close our online shop to customers in the EU and Northern Ireland. We have grown our business over the last 20 years and viewed all 500 million citizens as our domestic market.
Until our government and the EU agree dynamic alignment of seed potato certification and plant health standards we are not permitted to send seed potatoes or table potatoes to the EU or Northern Ireland.
Seed potatoes, like other plant, animal and food products are closely regulated for plant, animal and human health reasons. We require our the government and the EU to agree reciprocal, and probably dynamic, acceptance of seed certification and plant health standards. For potatoes we need something called Third Country Equivalence, but even with this there will be a huge increase in paperwork to supply our EU customers including phytosanitary and other documents required at customs (these are standard for other export markets).
Even once a deal is done, and our standards are recognised in the EU, it might still not be possible for us to open the shop again – the paperwork required to accompany orders and the tariffs might be prohibitive. While this extra paperwork might be viable with larger orders, if/when the border opens again, most of our customers are smaller and the cost of paperwork might be prohibitive. EU exports are currently vital to our business so please stick with us.
We have tried as hard as possible to dispatch all existing orders in time – we will be in contact if any do not get out of the UK before the border closes. We would like to thank our loyal EU and Northern Ireland customers large and small for your custom and words of support recently, it really does mean a lot to us.
To all our friends across the EU and Northern Ireland – Have a lovely Christmas!
From our family firm,
Skea Family, staff, and colleagues
For background information on this please see:
EU to allow post-Brexit UK farm produce exports – BBC 24/12/2020
Brexit and trade: Tattie buy bye – BBC – 14/10/2020
Brexit: Seed potato sector on brink of EU and NI export ban – Potato News 22/10/20
EU rejects application to resume British seed potato exports Press and Journal 30/1/21