- BBC World News
“Since Brexit, you are not allowed to bring certain foods to Europe, like meat, vegetables, fish, these kinds of things.”
That was the response a British trucker received when he arrived in the Netherlands when border agents confiscated his ham sandwiches, following the new rules of the Brexit agreement.
The Dutch television channel TV NPO1 filmed the officers confiscating ham sandwiches and other food from drivers coming from the UK.
Officials are seen explaining regulations against the importation of certain items that have gone into effect since the UK formalized its separation from the European Union.
Under EU rules, travelers arriving from outside the bloc countries cannot enter products containing meat or dairy.
In one scene, the officer asks the driver if any of the sandwiches he has wrapped in aluminum foil contain meat.
When the driver answers affirmatively, the border agent says: “Well, we take them all.”
Surprised, the driver asks the official if he can at least keep the bread, to which they replied: “No, everything will be confiscated. Welcome to Brexit, sir. Sorry.”
The departure from the UK means the end of free movement and the imposition of new regulations including those governing the importation of personal property.
The UK formally and fully seceded from the EU on December 31, 2020. Read more about Brexit here:
The British government has issued guides to commercial drivers transporting to the EU, warning them to “be on the lookout for additional restrictions on personal imports.”
“POA (products of animal origin) such as those containing meat or dairy (for example a ham and cheese sandwich) cannot be brought into the EU,” the guides read. “There are exceptions to this rule for certain amounts of powdered infant milk, infant food, specialty foods, or specialty processed pet food.”
On its website, the European Commission notes that the ban is necessary because such products “continue to pose a threat to animal health throughout the Union.”
“It is known, for example, that dangerous pathogens that can cause diseases in animals such as foot and mouth disease in cattle and classical swine fever can reside in meat or milk products, “says the Commission.
Regardless, the Netherlands border agency shared a photo of the food it has confiscated from drivers at the Hoek van Holland port ferry terminal.
“Since January 1, you can’t just bring in more food from the UK,” the agency explains. “So be prepared if you are traveling to the Netherlands from the UK and spread the word. This will prevent food waste and together we can ensure that checks are streamlined.”
The BBC’s economics editor Faisal Islam, described in a tweet the seizure of ham sandwiches and other food products at the EU’s borders with the UK as “a standard implication of the Brexit deal.
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