Since Brexit, meat, fish, vegetables and fruits from the United Kingdom must first be inspected before entering the Netherlands. This is done at the Dutch Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority (NVWA) inspection points at various locations in the port of Rotterdam. But it’s not really stormy there yet.
In fact, the number of inspections so far can only be counted on one hand, according to John Bowman, general manager of the Closterborough Delta Terminal. “This is completely new to our providers. The paperwork will also have to be improved.”
This is not due to the number of judges in the Netherlands, he assures. Before Brexit, there were still concerns about this, but now it is not so. “We have prepared well from forwarders, NVWA and customs, but no one knew where we stood. Everyone needs to get used to it.”
In these first weeks following the departure of the United Kingdom from Europe, reliable products from EU-approved providers are not all checked by inspectors. Documents are viewed, as is the seal of the container in which the product is carried. Product inspections occur only at random.
Klosterboer at Maasvlakte has been offering veterinary inspection since 1993. Now since the United Kingdom is not part of the European Union, the same rules apply to products from the country that arrive for cargo from Asia or South America. All are third countries with strict food safety and public health regulations.
Kloosterborer processes about 24,000 pallets of refrigerated and frozen products per week: from shrimp to spare ribs and from fries to chicken. Mixed products such as sushi are also inspected. This cold store takes place in Vishal’s two inspection rooms. One is for meat and the other for fish. They are indistinguishable for odor and potential cross-contamination, but linked together with a dressing area and office.
Fragrance and color
An inspection room has two metal work tables and a washing facility. There are knives in a sterilizer and a microwave to defrost the products. Bowman: “Our workers unload the container, break the seal and move some boxes from the load to this inspection location. NVWA inspectors saw a piece of frozen product and then melted it. Then they put it in for texture. Let’s check. ” Smell, etc. color and taste. They also measure temperature and provide an opinion on food safety and public health. ”
After inspection, the boxes are re-packaged and receive a new inspection seal from the Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority. Cargo can be unloaded or stored in cold stores on all other approved lots. According to Bowman, no British product has been rejected, destroyed or returned yet. Well on customs.
He does not expect to be much busier in the coming weeks than the first days after Brexit. “The British have already strategically hoarded last year. As a result, batches are now only rarely distributed. I don’t expect much congestion in a few weeks, when everyone is used to the paperwork is.”