The non-tariff costs of exporting red meat to the EU could increase by up to £276 per shipment in the event of a no-deal Brexit, according to new research commissioned by Scottish Government and carried out by SAOS.
The study estimates the administrative cost for the red meat sector exporting to the EU under World Trade Organisation rules is likely to increase as a result of additional costs associated with veterinary inspections.
This is before businesses contend with potential tariffs on red meat as high as 45-50 per cent.
These would further impact Scotland’s export price competitiveness and increased costs linked to transportation and insurance.
The extra export costs are estimated at between £216 and £276 per consignment whether it is single box or a whole articulated trailer load.
Between £140 and £200 of the cost hike would come from extra veterinary inspection costs. Furthermore each consignment would need an accompanying Common Veterinary Entry Document at a cost of £65.
The report also considers the likely changes in the export market.
Currently 26 per cent of Scottish lamb is exported to the EU and if New Zealand continues to fall short in supplying its Tariff Rate Quota there could be opportunities to fill the gap.
This would however be largely for halal meat which is currently not produced in Scotland. The authors of the report describe this as ’a sensitive issue’.
So called fifth quarter exports to the EU and the rest of the world are important in achieving carcase balance but the report warns of problems with the practice of sending products to Rotterdam for grouping with produce from EU member states before onward shipping.
The report suggests a red meat freight liaison working group should be set up to help deal with these issues.
Scottish Rural Economy Secretary Fergus Ewing said: “A no-deal Brexit is by far the biggest threat to our red meat sector and our successful food industry.
“This research is further evidence that Scotland’s red meat sector would be worse off under every scenario when compared to the current trade arrangements.”