Brexit: Shrimp held for five days in Holland border delay

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image captionLynn Shellfish's first consignment under new Brexit rules was stopped at Rotterdam port on Friday morning

Thousands of kilograms of shellfish were held at Holland's border for five days due to a Brexit paperwork issue, a company said.

Lynn Shellfish said its consignment, containing 9,500 kilos (20,944 lbs) of shrimp, was stopped at Rotterdam port on Friday morning.

The King's Lynn company said customs officers refused to recognise the export certificate.

The government said exporters hit by problems would be compensated.

Since the beginning of January, all foodstuffs need an export certificate stamped by the local authority, but the firm said customs officers in Holland refused to recognise the one from Norfolk.

image captionAbbie Williamson from Lynn Shellfish said customs officers in Holland refused to recognise their export certificate

Abbie Williamson, from Lynn Shellfish, said it was the company's first consignment under the new rules.

"We were told to be prepared, we were told to be ready, we've been practising, I've been working with the local authority since way before Christmas."

After involving officials from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA), the lorry was released into the European Union on Wednesday.

"Somebody at DEFRA in London has clarified that there is nothing wrong with our stamp and how the local authority have stamped it," she said.

"I'm lucky that our product is frozen because if our product had been fresh it would have been rotten and no good."

David Lindars from the British Meat Producers' Association said there was a "big inconsistency" with border control posts' interpretation of the conditions that go with export health certificates.

"You could go to one border post, be stopped and not enter the country, go to another one and you get through," he said.

DEFRA has announced £23m of funding to help firms which have been disrupted.

Environment secretary, George Eustice, said the scheme would "provide crucial support for fishermen and seafood exporters, who have experienced delays".

"We are continuing to work closely with the fishing and aquaculture sectors to make sure that they are supported, and can continue to fish whilst contributing to the economies of our coastal communities."

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