UK mango importers take action in customs saga

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Martyn Fisher

BY MARTYN FISHER

UK mango importers take action in customs saga

Scottish wholesalers claim it takes over 24 hours to get mangoes through Glasgow Airport, so they're flocking to Manchester Airport instead

UK mango importers take action in customs saga

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Scottish wholesalers have taken drastic action in response to the time they claim it takes for mangoes to get through customs at Glasgow airport.

Importers buying thousands of cases of the exotic product told the Glasgow Evening Times they are having to wait more than 24 hours for their crates to get customs clearance and are heading to Manchester Airport instead.

The wholesalers told the paper that time is crucial when it comes to the mangoes getting through, as they must get into shops within 48 hours of landing.

Anjam Salim, who runs KRK cash and carry in the west end, imports mangoes every summer and sells them across Scotland.

Collecting a five-ton shipment of around 2,000 boxes of mangoes from Manchester airport on Friday (10 July), he said turnaround time was around three to four hours.

He told the Evening Times: “The mangoes have to be in the shops within 48 hours, so time is literally money.

“We live in Scotland, we do our business in Scotland, but we are paying the taxes to England. We need a more efficient system.”

Chaudhry Azam, of Azam International, has been importing mangoes for around 12 years, paying around 45p a box in taxes, according to the Evening Times.

He said the problem with them taking longer than the 24-hour custom target time started last year: “I’ve had six shipments so far this year and they have all taken longer than 24 hours," Azam said.

“I import around 1,500 to 1,700 cases. A lot of people would love to do business through Glasgow Airport but they can’t because the system is very poor.”

Their case has been taken up by Glasgow SNP MSP Hamzala Malik, who raised a motion in the Scottish Parliament saying Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) “needs to look into the problems as a matter of urgency.”

Malik said tax revenue was being lost to the Scottish economy.

He said: “Why should it take so long here? Is it a resource issue? This would not encourage people to import to Scotland."

A spokesperson for Glasgow Airport refused to comment.

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