Spanish fruit and vegetable exports to the UK in 2021 remained stable in volume but increased by 11% in value
A year ago, the European Commission and the United Kingdom concluded the post-Brexit agreement, which laid the foundations for trade relations between the two parties since January 1, 2021. This agreement was very well received by the sector regrouped in FEPEX, because it avoided the imposition of customs duties on Community exports of fruit and vegetables to this destination.
As FEPEX points out, if there had been no agreement, Spanish exports of fruit and vegetables to this country would have been taxed at the customs duties established by the World Trade Organization (WTO), which means that the sector would have had to pay some 198 million euro in customs duties.
As of January 1 of this year, the United Kingdom is a third country, which represents a fundamental change in relations with this country, implying that exports have been subject to new documentary obligations and new controls, which have were established in the fruit and vegetable sector in three phases.
So far, export requirements are in their first phase in which exporters of fresh fruit and vegetables must submit a customs declaration (SAD) and certificate of compliance with marketing standards. Phase two will begin on July 1, 2022, when exporters will be required to submit a phytosanitary certificate for their products.
In this context, and with data up to September, the volume of Spanish exports of fresh fruit and vegetables to the United Kingdom in 2021 remained practically the same as the previous year, with a slight decrease of 1% in volume totaling 1.1 million tonnes, of which 586,911 tonnes correspond to vegetables and 531,770 to fruit. During the same period, the value of exports increased by 11% to reach 1,581 million euros, according to data from the Customs and Excise Department processed by FEPEX.
The volume exported has not fluctuated too much and the United Kingdom remains the third destination market for the Spanish sector. However, the exit of this country from the EU has opened a new competitive scenario where the British market is more open to productions from third countries with the same products and schedules as Spain, such as Morocco, Egypt, Turkey. and South Africa, according to FEPEX.