Fresh and frozen produce supplier Place UK says WTO trade rules could mean higher costs for its customers in the event of a no-deal Brexit.

Releasing a statement today, the company warned that Britain was still facing a no-deal scenario come January 31, as the Tories promise to deliver Brexit by the end of January, despite being strongly contested by opposition parties.

The Norwich-based company said if the country was to crash out of the EU without a withdrawal agreement, then the automatic reversion to World Trade Organisation trading rules would likely push up costs on imports.

“There may be some unavoidable costs. Primarily, goods imported into the UK from the EU may be subject to import duty and VAT. Should the UK revert to WTO rules, additional customs formalities could also add cost to our supply chains,” the company stated.

“In this instance we would have no choice but to invoice you separately to recover these costs.”

Like many fresh produce companies in the UK, Place UK revealed it has put in several measures to protect its business from congestion at ports such as Dover and Calais, which could hold up fruit and veg imports following a no-deal, as well as after the withdrawal agreement expires.

“We currently hold significant stocks of raw materials in the UK which means any delays at ports of entry into the UK will not impact our ability to service our customers,” stated Place UK.

“All of our imported goods have relatively long shelf lives meaning they are not vulnerable to deterioration in the event of any delays or disruption at ports.”

The company also stated it had an EORI (Economic Operators Registration and Identification) number and has registered itself with Transitional Simplified Procedures to expedite the smooth transition of goods through customs,

Another company to have done so is fellow fresh produce supplier Florette UK, which imports much of its produce from France and Europe.

“Our currency purchases have been well thought out in order to limit the impact of shifting exchange rates in the short term,” the company added.