Percy Pigs face tariffs in Ireland, Marks and Spencer warns

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The popular pink sweets are subject to very complex 'rules of origin' regulations that form part of the UK-EU trade deal. Photo: Marks and Spencer
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Marks & Spencer warned its popular Percy Pig sweets could be hit by tariffs if it re-exports the product to Ireland and European Union countries.

Chief executive Steve Rowe said the pink sweets, along with about a third of the products in M&S's food business, are subject to very complex “rules of origin” regulations that form part of Britain's trade deal with the EU struck on Christmas Eve.

The rules relate to the composition of individual products and how much of it has been altered in the UK.

Any product that is manufactured in Europe, imported into the UK and then re-distributed to EU countries faces a tariff.

“The best example I can give you of that is Percy Pig,” Rowe told reporters, as M&S updated on Christmas trading.

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“Percy Pig is actually manufactured in Germany. If it comes to the UK and we then send it to Ireland, in theory it would have some tax on it,” he said.

M&S warned on Friday the tariffs issue would significantly impact its businesses in Ireland, the Czech Republic and its franchise business in France.

It said it is working to mitigate the problem.

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This comes as Revenue temporarily eased Ireland's post-Brexit customs arrangements after some trucks were unable to deliver goods from Britain.

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The difficulties prompted Stena Line, the largest Irish Sea ferry operator, to cancel some sailings from Friday.

Meanwhile, parcel courier DPD UK will halt its road delivery services into Ireland until at least Wednesday, it said in a statement on Friday.

The pause will apply to road delivery services to the whole of Europe until January 13th, the courier said.

It said the move was a response to “complex” customs processes post-Brexit that had placed pressure on its turnaround and transit times.

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