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“Brexit is taking us back to 1995 work practices”

Belgian farm minister Clarinval is asking the UK to put grease to its elbow and introduce digital certificates for food products including dairy products that are exported to the UK from the EU.

Mr Clarinval, a Francophone liberal, today visited a transport company in Zeebrugge that ships food products to UK supermarkets.  Starting April and as a result of the UK’s departure from the EU the UK will require such exports to be accompanied by certificates.  Belgium’s Food Safety Agency can issue digital certificates, but the UK authorities are insisting the certificates are issued on paper.  Mr Clarinval hopes his appeal will help to bring the UK into 21st century: “An awful lot of paperwork is still needed.  Here in Belgium everything is digitised.  We need agreement with the UK on total digitalisation!”

Wim Gantois works for transport company ECS2XL: “Every day 7,000 pallets are processed here.  A thousand of these pallets require an original certificate with an original stamp and an original signature.  This takes us back to 1995.  We had become completely digitised.  Now a large share of our pallets will have to be processed using paper certificates”.

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