The Scottish Salmon Producers Organisation (SSPO) has announced it is supporting calls by Seafood Scotland for a derogation of new exporting paperwork and administration in order to resolve the current problems getting seafood out of the UK and into EU markets.
The derogation would allow time for companies to manage the complex paperwork now required for each load heading for the EU.
Tavish Scott, Chief Executive of SSPO said: “We are nearly half-way through January and problems are still entrenched in the exporting process. A derogation to fix problems, clarify the administrative anomalies and get systems and staff working seamlessly seems to be a pragmatic and much needed solution.
“Salmon farmers are experiencing a variety of issues getting fish to market in good time. We are working hard with Governments in the UK and Scotland as well as all the key bodies to resolve the problems effectively and as quickly as possible. Companies are indicating some tentative signs of progress.
"However, we are very mindful that every day that supplies of Scottish salmon are delayed or compromised the valuable trading relationships Scotland has across European markets are vulnerable to competition. The Scottish premium is highly prized but, once lost, will be hard to recover.”
Salmon farming companies have reported significant delays in getting fish to market, particularly to the key European fish hub at Boulogne-sir-Mer. These have been caused mostly by confusion over paperwork, notably in France, and by IT issues.
There has been evidence of improvements as paperwork has been processed more quickly and more efficiently this week but issues still exist. These need to be solved urgently if Scottish salmon, 150 tonnes of which is exported to Europe everyday, is to retain its premium place at the top of the EU salmon market.