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No deal Brexit would mean new food rules at border

A ‘no deal’ Brexit will mean people crossing into Spain from Gibraltar will not be allowed to carry certain foods across the border, including meat, milk, pet foods and fish products.

Details of the restrictions are outlined in a notice issued by the Gibraltar Government today, which sets out the products affected and outlines exemptions, including when the amounts are small.

The notice states, however, that there should be no impact on bringing food purchased in Spain into Gibraltar.

“Provided that goods originate in the customs territory of the EU, nothing contained in this notice will affect the ability of individuals to continue to bring into Gibraltar any of the goods described in this notice,” it states.

“Persons will therefore be able to continue to shop for groceries in Spanish supermarkets, and bring those products into Gibraltar after exiting Spain via La Linea de la Concepcion, as is currently the case.”

The restrictions on taking food products from Gibraltar into Spain would arise due to EU rules on food imports and would apply unless a deal is agreed that addresses this issue.

“Gibraltar’s departure from the European Union means that certain processes and procedures will inevitably become more difficult, cumbersome and bureaucratic,” the Government notice states.

“It is important that citizens and businesses are aware of this and that, where possible, they plan ahead.”

“The Government can only prepare in areas that are within its control.”

“Even then, there will be certain areas where mitigation is not possible because the new situation simply reflects what it means to be outside the European Union.”

In a ‘no deal’ situation, as from January 1, 2021, it may no longer be possible for individuals to carry any quantity of meat, milk, pet food, or fishery products into the European Union, therefore into Spain.

This also includes personal consignments of specific animal products such as honey, live oysters, live mussels and snails unless their combined quantity does not exceed two kilograms per person.

There are other types of foodstuffs that will be allowed across the border including bread, cakes, sweets, chocolates, pasta and noodles.

“The Government wants to make it clear that it is working hard to secure an agreement,” No.6 Convent Place said in a statement.

“However, there are important red lines that we will not cross.”

Spanish border authorities presently exercise controls on persons and controls on goods at the land border with Gibraltar.

“The preference of the Government, as has already been said, remains to remove those controls or to reduce those controls as much as possible,” the technical notice adds.

“Therefore, as part of the negotiations concerning Gibraltar’s future relationship with the EU, [the Government of Gibraltar] is discussing potential new arrangements on goods.”

“Those arrangements may also address some of the difficulties raised in this notice.”

“The guidance provided herein may also be affected by the terms of any future UK-EU arrangements on goods which are yet to be agreed.”