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February 27th 2024

Trade body Salmon Scotland today called for swifter action to introduce an electronic system for UK exporters after fisheries minister Mark Spencer hailed similar measures which support seafood imports from Norway.

Salmon Scotland chief executive Tavish Scott attended the Norway-UK seafood summit held in London today, where the progress made on imports was highlighted.

But Scottish salmon farmers, who produce the UK’s largest food export, remain frustrated by the lack of new eCertification for export health certificates (EHCs), and issues with the current outdated system.

Salmon producers are willing to work with the UK Government to put in place any measures that make it easier to export their product to Europe, and have already piloted a successful electronic EHC system which shows what can be achieved.

Salmon Scotland has previously estimated that post-Brexit paperwork costs salmon farming companies in Scotland an extra £3 million a year since the UK formally left the EU on January 31, 2020.

With salmon increasingly popular in traditionally smaller European markets such as the Netherlands and Spain, and soaring in demand in Asia, smoother trade flow and new markets would open up the possibility of more investment in the Scottish economy and more high-skilled Scottish jobs.

The export market alone involves annual salmon sales of nearly £600 million-a-year.
Farm-raised salmon directly employs 2,500 people in Scotland and a further 10,000 jobs are dependent on the sector.

Tavish Scott, chief executive of Salmon Scotland, said:

“We’ve been saying since Brexit that we need electronic systems to reduce the red tape for salmon farmers.

“So given this now happens for seafood imports from third countries like Norway, as highlighted by the fisheries minister, we’re surprised that this still hasn’t been sorted for exporters to the EU.

“International demand for Scottish salmon continues to increase, and it’s vital for economic growth here at home that we remove barriers for key exporters like salmon farmers.”