A ham sandwich was seized by customs officers from a truck driver who entered the Netherlands by ferry from Great Britain, despite the man’s fervent pleas to leave him at least some bread.
Other customs officers rummaged through the bags in the trunk of the car, discussing whether to seize tin with possibly smuggled sardines.
Scenes broadcast by a current billboard in the Netherlands showed the strict application of post-Brexit import rules after Britain completed its secession from the European Union on 31 December and new travel, trade, immigration and security cooperation agreements were reached. .
The European Union does not allow passengers from countries to carry fruit, vegetables, meat or dairy products, even for personal consumption. And now these foreign countries include Britain.
“We are just complying with the regulations,” said Bob van ‘Kloster, a Dutch customs spokesman. “As of January 1, you are no longer allowed to import perishable goods from the United Kingdom for passengers.” He insisted that this was not picking up the nit.
“We have the same regulations for people entering from the airport in Amsterdam from the UK,” he said.
Due to the pandemic, the effects of the division are yet to be fully felt. There is still relatively little traffic between the UK and continental Europe.
But the Dutch EenVandaag tracking program tracked a team of customs officers working at the port of Hook van Holland as about a hundred passengers disembarked after a nearly seven-hour ferry ride from the port of Harwich in England.
The program quoted Rien de Ruiter, head of the local customs service team, as saying that while passenger volumes are now small, he expects increased waiting times and frustration when travel restrictions are lifted.
“Customs policy has changed,” he said, “but it is not reported in England.”
In another scene of the program, a customs officer seized a can of sardines, declaring that the fish was not allowed. But it turns out that the official himself was not fully aware of the new regulations. Travelers have the right to carry a total of 20 kilograms of fish in the EU
“That’s not 20 pounds,” another employee finished, looking at the tin.
“I don’t think anyone in the UK ever expected that,” said Mr De Ruijter. “But this is Brexit. This is the new reality we have to deal with. “