Exporters in the UK are finding that some of their routes to the EU have become unworkable. Among the products that are hardest hit by the new rules are animal origin products and organics.
Since the new trading rules with the EU went into effect at the beginning of the year, manufacturers have spent hours trying to comply with new regulations. Some companies have been weighing up the balance and are deciding whether to permanently stop the export to certain EU markets.
Then there is the North Ireland Protocol, which is a set of rules agreed between the UK government and the EU to regulate post-Brexit trade to and from Northern Ireland. In order to prevent checks along the Irish border on goods moving between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, it was decided that the checks should be carried out at Northern Ireland ports, creating an artificial Irish sea border.
In order to give food suppliers and retailers time to adapt to the changes, there is a grace period, which ends in October. According to six supermarkets, the next phase of checks will drive up costs both for them and for Northern Ireland consumers. Representatives from Tesco, Asda, Sainsbury's, Co-op, Iceland and Marks and Spencer have sent a joint letter to the UK government and the European Commission to highlight their concerns.