Brexit Webinar chat Q&A - World Horti Center

Q&A during Brexit webinars

Answers to the unanswered questions during Brexit webinars

In association with The International Association of Horticultural Producers (AIPH) and FloraCulture International (FCI), we organised two international webinars on Wednesday December 2nd and Friday December 4th to inform the supply chain in the ornamental business of the changes that will take effect on 1 January 2021. During that webinar not all questions could be answered by the speakers. We have collected some unanswered questions of the participants.

Disclaimer: there are many uncertainties concerning Brexit. All answers were given to the best of the speaker's ability at the time being, but may have been overtaken by the latest developments. Therefore, if in doubt, always check the current state of affairs on the government websites.

  • Is there an expectation amongst the growers that you are going to keep the business that is there with the UK now, are they anticipating that some of it will go or are they looking for other market opportunities?
    "I don’t have any signs yet that they are actually leaving the British market. Of course, but we noticed and that has already been in development since the announcement of the Brexit. But we see some growers diversifying their assortment. So if they had an assortment which was 100% suitable for the UK market, you now see that, especially for lilies and chrysanthemums that they’re also planting other varieties which are suitable and interesting for other markets as well."
  • What will Royal FloraHolland do with the outcome of this analysis?
    "Of course, the impact gave us a lot of insights, but it will be a little bit too late if we acted only after knowing the consequences. Since the announcing of Brexit, we followed the developments closely. From our perspective, we are also trying to mitigate the risk of business as usual that we are facing today compared to the situation I described in my presentation. So our lobby is focused on mitigating the risks, hopefully for import duties to be as low as possible. And also with as less trade barriers as possible. And in the Netherlands, we do the lobbies not just by ourselves, but together with the VGB, the trade association in the Netherlands and also Union Fleur, which we are also working very closely with on European level."
  • For our cut flowers in Turkey, some of our UK customers have been delivered to Holland and the flowers were taken to the UK. As of January the first, our UK customer will re-export the flowers to the UK. Are there any extra customs cost for it?
    "In an event of a no deal, there’s no expected tariffs from flowers that are from a third country that come through the Netherlands if they’re not imported in the EU at that moment. So if they are received in transport and exported again, then they are still considered as non-EU flowers and then there’s no import duty involved. It is another scenario if they are repackaged (with added value) and become a new product."
  • Does the 8% duty tariff apply for trade between Northern Ireland and the UK as well.
    "In reality yes, the trading from Great Brittain to Northern Island is going to be, from a bureaucracy point of view a whole lot more complex than it’s ever been before. From a phytosanitary point of view. If the goods are being exported from GB to Northern Island, you will have to go through that formal export process of having a phytosanitary certificate and much more. In terms of duty and VAT and other things in essence, the broad principle is that there will be a border in the Irish sea. This is based on the current information available, but the UK government still got an awful lot of information to provide so that it’s absolutely clear which process they will adopt."
  • Will there be any changes in transferring money from the UK to the EU and VISA VERSA?
    "As I understand, the UK will maintain its participation in the single euro payments area even though this SEPA has a much wider geographic scope than just the EU. So SEPA transactions could still take place after the January 1st even though these typically need more information, more details than when the UK remained a participant of the single market of the EU. The European Payment Council is one of the entities that is involved in these matters and they have urged all payments services providers to implement all sorts of measures to ensures smooth processing of these cross-border payments"
  • Is it certain that flowers do not need phytosanitary certificate?
    "That depends on the requirements of the UK. They have proposed a phased approach to this and information is continuously updated on the UK Border Operating Model websites. Best of all, you should keep these under constant review and take phyto requirements into account."
  • Fruit and vegs will need phyto only as per April 1 2021, is this same for flowers?
    "The UK requirements may vary per product (/group) and can be found in the border operating model or related UK government websites (that are being updated on a regular basis so keep following those)."
  • Do all plants will require border inspection? also it is imported with PC?
    "This depends on the type of plant/plant product. The UK government has indicated it will use a phased approach, see the websites I posted. Depending on the plant this will require PC and prenotification and controls as of January 1 or April 1 (locations of controls might vary). Remember that any PC will require planning on the EU side (requesting PC) and on the UK side (pre notifiations, checks etc.). In addition: import into the EU after january 1 will follow the usual third country process for import (incl. PC and checks). For import procedures through the NL see the NVWA website: "
  • Can you say more about how UK importers can defer some of the requirements from 1st jan to 1st July?
    "I think we need to be very clear on this. The only aspect that you can defer from the first of January would be your customs, processes and potential declarations and duty payments but I would take significant advice before you choose to take that option. That doesn’t mean to say you’ll never pay those fees. If fees are applicable, at some point you will be required to provide that information, certainly no later than the first of July. So it is only for that customs process. Be very clear, the first of January is what is called High Priority plants. In essence it’s plants with roots including some other items such as potatoes but cut flowers and other fruit vegetables are not involved until documentary systems on the first of April and potential physical inspections on the first of July. It is important that you understand, you know the different phase process for the range of products that you are looking to market in the UK."

Read the summary of both webinars here:

I would like to read the summary