Defra has been accused of providing contradictory information to shellfish exporters on their website in relation to LBM exports to the EU

Defra has been accused of providing contradictory information to shellfish exporters on their website

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs have been accused of providing contradictory information to seafood exporters on their website.

On Friday, Defra issued advice to UK exporters of shellfish to contact the embassy of the country they are exporting to, for assistance if they require it whereas they continue to advise that live bivalve molluscs from Class B waters cannot be imported from the UK into the EU.

The Defra website information has been updated to read:

“your export must be accompanied by an export animal health certificate. You of your importer must find out the animal health certification requirements from the competent authority or official service for aquatic animal health in the destination country, contact their embassy in the UK if you require assistance.”

In another section of the advice, it says:

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“The EU Commission has indicated that undepurated LBMs from Class B waters cannot be imported from Great Britain into the EU for the purpose of depuration (purification). This affects both wild harvested and those from aquaculture. The FHI are unable to certify for these consignments until this situation is resolved. Defra is continuing to look for a solution to allow exports of wild-harvested live bivalve molluscs to the EU to resume.”

Independent Fisheries Adviser, Terri Portmann has asked “Why is the Government’s new advice that individual exporters should contact diplomatic staff of a foreign embassies to export molluscs from B grade waters?

“Has our Government diplomats given up acting on behalf of our fishermen and exporters?”

“It’s understandable why so many fishermen and businesses involved in the live bivalve molluscs feel abandoned by Government. This latest advice, pushed out on a Friday before recess, that conflicts itself, is further confirmation if any were needed that Government is simply not interested or capable of resolving this and offering the certainty the sector needs. Many fisheries will have seasonal closures start at the end of next month meaning 50% of their trading period for 2021 will have been lost.

“On the hand Government advise fishermen and businesses to contact foreign embassies to check what is needed, then self contradicts a few paragraphs later and say they won’t do it. “

Defra accused of providing contradictory information to shellfish exporters

by editor time to read: 6 min
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