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Northumberland seafood firm faced losing (11th Jun 22 at 8:44am UTC)
Northumberland seafood firm faced losing £50,000 shipment over Brexit error

Seafood firm bosses warn "ridiculous" Brexit paperwork is making trade "fraught" after a £50,000 load faced destruction due to a "clerical" error.

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The consignment from Northumberland's Coquet Island Shellfish Company was rejected by French authorities because a form signed 43 times by a UK official did not include a printed name.

The company incurred thousands of pounds of costs having it returned.

The government said it was working to "resolve any issues" exporters face.

Tom Newton, owner of the Amble-based company, said border control workers in France had turned the shipment away as the UK certifying officer missed printing their name in two places on the 14-page document.

"We then had two options - destroy the product or bring it back. We managed to salvage it as we have a frozen arm to the business, but it meant we had to pay the transport company and bring in a team of 75 people the next day to reprocess and repack it.

"I can't bring myself to calculate the number because it's so high. It's got to be a minimum of £10,000 or probably nearer £15,000.

"Every morning when we send out our goods we're on tenterhooks wondering whether they're going to get to where they need to be."

Sales director Jane Pedersen said businesses "can't continue like this".

"The food safety of the consignment was never in question. It was simply a clerical omission.

"As a company and as an industry, there have been no discernible benefits of Brexit. Everything takes longer and costs more. This incident was quite ridiculous.
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