Problems in sight for exports of Italian red preserves. “The British government – says Antonio Ferraioli, president of Anicav (the Italian Association of Industrial Vegetable Food Preserves) – has published on its website the tariffs on imported food products applicable from January 1, 2021 if the United Kingdom should not enter into preferential agreements with the EU. Tomato preserves are included in this list: an additional tariff of 14% is to be applied.”
If confirmed, this action would hit Italian exports heavily. “These additional tariffs – Ferraioli says – would create problems for the Italian canned vegetables for which Great Britain is one of the main markets.” In 2019 alone, exports of Italian tomato products to the UK exceeded 250 million euros (15% of total exports).
HARD-BREXIT AND THE THREAT TO ITALY’S RED PRESERVES
Actually, there seem to be rather weak motivations behind the new regulation. “The British government communication – explains Ferraioli – states the need to support the British economy by making it easier and more convenient for companies to import goods from abroad. In addition, the new tariff system will be aimed at protecting, on the one hand, industries in sectors such as agriculture, automotive and fishing and, on the other hand, British consumers who will benefit from a wider choice and lower prices. However, contrary to what is being claimed, in the UK there is no tomato processing company to be protected as there are no British companies specializing in this activity. The new duties will only affect consumers, who will pay much more for some basic products imported from the EU, as well as Italian companies specializing in red preserves.”