Britain’s Flower Industry Hit With New Hurdles With Brexit Rules

Brexit has brought about unforeseen challenges, including the need for flower exporters and customs officials to familiarize themselves with Latin terminology.

In the first week following the introduction of physical checks on certain food and plant imports from the EU, British businesses encountered unexpected hurdles.

Traders reported encountering a higher number of checks than anticipated, causing delays and disruptions in supply chains. Some lorries were held for extended periods before being released without inspection.

These delays have particularly impacted the flower trade, which heavily relies on timely imports from the Netherlands.

The implementation of checks at Sevington has disrupted the seamless flow of flowers from the Netherlands to the UK.

Despite assurances from the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) regarding the percentage of consignments to be checked, flower wholesalers experienced every lorry flagged for inspection, leading to missed deliveries and customer dissatisfaction.

The new Import of products, animals, food, and feed systems (Ipaffs) has further complicated matters, with some plant and flower names missing from the database. This has forced importers to resort to using Latin names, causing confusion and delays in processing.

Freddie Heathcote, owner of Green and Bloom, described how his trucks were consistently flagged for inspection, resulting in significant delays and missed orders.

Similar experiences were shared by Johan Heemskerk, co-founder of Klahee Flowers, who highlighted the detrimental impact on customers relying on timely deliveries for events like weddings and funerals.

British Flower Fields (Credits: Floribunda Rose)

Previously, flowers would arrive overnight, but now exporters must go through additional paperwork and inspections, risking missed ferry connections and delayed deliveries.

While there have been improvements towards the end of the week, challenges persist. Customs brokers have raised concerns about the lack of efficiency at Sevington and the necessity of inputting accurate data into the Ipaffs system.

Despite Defra’s reassurances and efforts to collaborate with traders, disruptions continue to affect businesses, underscoring the need for smoother implementation and coordination in post-Brexit trade processes.

Josh Alba
Josh Alba
Josh Alba stands at the forefront of contemporary business journalism, his words weaving narratives that illuminate the intricate workings of the corporate world. With a keen eye for detail and a penchant for uncovering the underlying stories behind financial trends, Josh has established himself as a trusted authority in business writing. Drawing from his wealth of experience and relentless pursuit of truth, Josh delivers insights that resonate with readers across industries.
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