It looks like a movie straight out of The Ideal World, but it’s bittersweet. Dutch customs officers take sandwiches from a Polish truck driver because they contain fresh meat products. It can no longer be imported only from the United Kingdom. “Welcome to Brexit,” says customs officers. Here, too, the competent departments assert that “the import of even small quantities of fresh meat products is no longer permitted without the correct permits.” Which raises the question of whether you can still travel from London to here with a sandwich.
The video played by the Dutch Current Affairs Program team one day, shows how customs at Hoek van Holland – where the ferries arrive – ask a Polish truck driver “if there’s meat in his sandwiches”. After he answered in the affirmative, he confiscated everything. The man is still trying to ask if he can take out the meat and keep the bread. But the customs officers are clear: “No, everything will be confiscated.” This is followed by a smile and “Welcome to Brexit”. You might think crazy, but it’s clear that the Polish truck driver isn’t the only one running around in the light. Correspondents see how there are two full containers of waste with food products.
Meanwhile, the video clip was picked up by the British media and even led to some controversy. “This is seen as shaving hands‘,” UK correspondent Patrick van Isendorn tells the Dutch programme.
“I’ve seen the video, too,” says Helen Ponty of our Federal Food Safety Agency (FAVV), which is responsible for these checks. “And it may sound strange, but it is true. Since Brexit, the UK has been considered a third country. This means that for the sake of food safety there are now also rules associated with the import of food. For example, you are not allowed to bring even the smallest quantity From meat or dairy products without the right leaves, except for baby food. For fish, fruits and vegetables, it comes down to a limited number of kilograms.”
Applicable to many countries
In short, who gets off the plane from London in Zaventem with a ham sandwich, are they sick? “FASFC will essentially do import checks on food that ends up on the consumer plate here in the food chain. Even occupational loads. But customs can in principle confiscate the hamburger. Although there is a good chance that travelers will be required to throw it away before Boarding the plane With truck drivers who come here from England it is also possible, as in the Netherlands, to show their own stock, and for things to be confiscated. This is really not all that new. These rules apply to every country outside the EU Not many people think about it, but if you buy a pork sandwich in China and don’t eat it, you won’t be able to enter our country in Zaventem either.”