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The leading supermarket in Gibraltar, Morrisons, has encountered obstacles in delivering festive supplies due to EU red tape, prompting a shift to airlifting goods instead of the usual road transportation. In a proactive move to salvage the holiday season, the supermarket opted for flights to bypass intricate EU customs regulations that could disrupt traditional Christmas festivities.

The delivered cargo included seasonal favorites like roast ham, pulled pork, pâtés, cheese boards, and fresh desserts, ensuring a supply of Yuletide treats for Gibraltarians on the island, situated off the coast of Spain. This decision follows challenges faced by the store last year when customers were left without their customary seasonal specialties.

A report from the Spanish newspaper EuropaSur highlights that the latest flight carrying Christmas goods arrived at Gibraltar airport on Wednesday afternoon, with a previous flight occurring on Tuesday.

Anticipating potential roadblocks in the supply chain, Morrisons has already chartered two planes in 2022 to secure an uninterrupted stock of Gibraltarians’ favorite foods during the festive season.

The alternative of bringing goods from the UK, as done traditionally by road, was deemed cumbersome and expensive, leading to the strategic use of air transportation. Morrisons’ management has orchestrated these special deliveries, assuring customers that there will be no additional costs incurred.

The challenges stem from post-Brexit conditions, requiring goods arriving from the UK or other third countries to pass through European customs territory via France and Spain. EU legislation mandates prior authorization at Border Control Posts (BCPs) for transit to occur, necessitating consignments to enter and exit specific territories.

For instance, goods traveling from the UK to France en route to Gibraltar via Spain must first enter French territory through designated BCPs. Similarly, cargo leaving EU customs territory from Spain to Gibraltar must exit Spanish territory through another BCP, contributing to the current logistical complexities.

This situation recalls incidents from 2021, such as Dutch officials confiscating a British driver’s ham sandwiches due to post-Brexit import regulations. Under EU rules, travelers from outside the bloc are prohibited from bringing in meat and dairy products.

The video footage captured officials laughing at the British driver while stating, “Everything will be confiscated – welcome to Brexit, Sir.” These instances underscore the persistent challenges and intricacies faced by businesses and individuals in the post-Brexit landscape, impacting cross-border trade and transportation.

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