July 5, 2020

Treasury prepares businessmen for the new customs brought by 'brexit' – La Provincia

Only 22 days left to learn about the future of the United Kingdom and thelack of prior agreement with theEuropean Unionpushes the country towards a hard brexit, which would greatly affect the Archipelago, specifically the tourism and fruit and vegetable sector of the Islands. In this situation theTreasuryhas decided to prepare entrepreneurs forface the new obstacles that will have the departure of British and Irish from the north of the single market and the customs union. The delay in reaching buyers as a result of phytosanitary controls at the border is one of the issues that most concerns Canarian exporters.

"We are very concerned that the hardness of controls on merchandise increases," explains Francisco Echandi, president of theAssociation of Tomato Exporters of Tenerife (Aceto), who recognizes that the"surveillance of products by the English authorities will cause delays in deliveries", since non-EU countries maintain tighter control of exports. From now on, businessmen will be obliged to obtain sanitary, phytosanitary or quality certifications in order to dispose of their merchandise.

30,000 cards

TheState Tax Administration Agency (AEAT)He has sent a letter explaining all this to 30,000 Spanish companies that operate mainly with the United Kingdom and have no experience with third countries. A document that details the steps that companies must follow after brexit.The presentation of a customs declaration of import / export or the payment of customs duties are other issues that AEAT warns of.

Echandi says that the bureaucratic management necessary to enter a non-EU country "is what least worries Canarian companies" and criticizes that after 130 years of deliveries to the United Kingdom "without incident", now more control is necessary only for " his decision to leave the EU "when nothing has changed in the way the company proceeds.

The AEAT warns in its letters thatAll economic operators must be identified for customs purposes with a registration and identification number, known as the EORI numberand valid throughout the EU. The same Agency has assigned this ex officio code to all operators that had been conducting commercial operations with the United Kingdom.

José Juan Bonny, president of theProvincial Federation of Associations of Exporters of Fruit and Vegetable Products of Las Palmas (Fedex), coincides with Echandi in pointing to merchandise controls as the issue "that can most affect the daily work of companies."

Employer spokespersons recognize that delays caused by controls will not affect sales. "No container is going to be left on land," says Echandi, who explains that "tomatoes travel with a refrigeration system that prevents them from spoiling."The loss of the aid is what really worries the Canarian exporters, "losing the compensation we receive from Europe would be a real disaster",The president of Aceto recognizes, and that is why the Canary Islands, through the Government of Spain, is placing special emphasis on Brussels. The Islands assert their situation in the outermost region.

Nearly 48% of Canarian tomato exports arrive in the United Kingdom, which is why businessmen in the sector recognize "being aware of any new information that may arise" at a time when negotiations are blocked. After a week of technical talks between the British and European teams, Michel Barnier, negotiator of the European Commission for Brexit, declared before the Europarliament that"We are not in a position where we can find an agreement."

In spite of this, the Minister of Economy, Knowledge and Employment of the Government of the Canary Islands, Carolina Darias, expressed yesterday her confidence that there could be a political solution that avoids the exit. The counselor also recalled thatboth the EU, Spain and the Canary Islands have contingency plans if brexit is met. Darias is confident that if the output occurs, this is "with agreement and with a transition period that avoids the situation of uncertainty and complexity for the Canaries."

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