The Pet Industry Federation is in discussion with its members and an international logistics company to help pet businesses overcome post-Brexit barriers to export and more easily get their products to the EU.
Since the end of the transition period, many pet companies have found the export situation increasingly challenging, PIF says. A recent survey of members revealed that pet food and pet product exports to the EU had HALVED since the beginning of 2021.
The survey also revealed that the biggest issue being faced by PIF members was on transport to the EU, with many hauliers now refusing to carry groupage (one or more pallets) due to the complexity of the paperwork and the risk of the whole load being rejected at the border post.
Nigel Baker, PIF CEO, said: “The situation for pet companies attempting to export to the EU has become hugely frustrating.
“Sixty-seven per cent of respondents to our export survey reported that they were now experiencing barriers to exporting. Customs procedures, increased paperwork and time, the need for veterinary sign-offs and a lack of consistency between any EU countries, combined with an increase in shipping costs, are just some of the issues faced by our members.
“Many of our members enjoyed strong exports to the EU prior to the end of the transition period, but trying to maintain these in this post-Brexit world has become almost untenable.”
A collaborative solution is, therefore, being sought to formulate an end-to-end export process for UK firms. PIF is in discussion with a number of different businesses, including a logistics company and a leading veterinary certification company, to develop a more streamlined and cost-effective approach to open up the EU pet export market to UK companies once again.
Nigel said: “It’s clear that something needs to be done and PIF is working with its supplier members to develop a solution which really works for them. As a membership association, we represent our members, so I’d urge non-members who are also experiencing export problems but who want to be part of the solution to become a PIF member to ensure their views are also heard.”