UK driver has ham sandwiches confiscated at Dutch border


(Rules governing the import of personal goods from the UK to the EU changed after Brexit formally came into effect)


A Dutch TV network has filmed border officials confiscating ham sandwiches and other foods from drivers arriving in the Netherlands from the UK, under post-Brexit rules.


The officials were shown explaining import regulations imposed since the UK formalised its separation from the EU.


Under EU rules, travellers from outside the bloc are banned from bringing in meat and dairy products.


The rules appeared to bemuse one driver.


"Since Brexit, you are no longer allowed to bring certain foods to Europe, like meat, fruit, vegetables, fish, that kind of stuff," a Dutch border official told the driver in footage broadcast by TV network NPO 1.

在NPO 1电视台播放的一段视频中,一名荷兰边境官员告诉司机:“自英国脱欧以后,你不再被允许将某些食品带到欧洲了,比如肉类、水果、蔬菜、鱼之类的东西。”

In one scene, a border official asked the driver whether several of his tin-foil wrapped sandwiches had meat in them.


When the driver said they did, the border official said: "Okay, so we take them all."


Surprised, the driver then asked the officials if he could keep the bread, to which one replied: "No, everything will be confiscated - welcome to the Brexit, sir. I'm sorry."


The UK officially finished its formal separation from the EU on 31 December, 2020.


From 23:00 GMT on that date, the UK stopped following EU rules, with new arrangements for travel, trade, immigration and security co-operation coming into force.


A trade deal with the EU was agreed on 24 December, and a week later, UK lawmakers voted in favour of the agreement.


The UK's departure means big changes for business - with the UK and EU forming two separate markets - the end of free movement, and new regulations, including those governing the import of personal goods.


The UK government has issued guidance to commercial drivers travelling to the EU, warning them to "be aware of additional restrictions to personal imports".


"Since 1 January, you can't just bring more food from the UK," the agency said. "So prepare yourself if you travel to the Netherlands from the UK and spread the word. This is how we prevent food waste and together ensure that the controls are speeded up."


The BBC's economics editor Faisal Islam described the confiscation of ham sandwiches and other foodstuffs at the EU's borders with the UK as "a standard implication of [the] Brexit deal".