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Hull’s ports may need more staff for food imports

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Exit from the EU may put more pressure on ports at Hull and Goole because of an increase in check on food imports.

The chief port health inspector for Hull and Goole says more staff could be needed to check food imports into the UK after leaving the EU.
Around 3.7 million tonnes of food imports move through the Humber ports every year. That equates to 11 per cent of the UK’s total food and drink imports. Most food imports being shipped into the estuary comes from the European Union.

At the moment, EU legislation allows the free movement of food consignments between member states. Strictly speaking, they are not ‘imports’ but intra-EU movements.
With the UK set to leave the EU, new entry controls similar to those currently applied to non-EU food imports could form part of any final Brexit deal.

Laurence Dettman, chief port health inspector for Hull and Goole, said this would require a significant increase in staff to cope.
He said: “Before the UK entered the EU, all foodstuffs entering the UK through our ports were subject to our controls under various UK imported food regulations which required a much larger port health presence to prevent the import of unsound or unfit goods.’