A BRITISH expat has branded Spanish border officials ‘ridiculous’ and ‘clueless’ after they confiscated his Nando’s Peri-Peri sauce at the Gibraltar border.
Joseph Lathey, 27, was left fuming when much of his weekly shopping was binned as he tried to cross back into La Linea.
This meant seeing his bananas and leeks being tipped into a customs officer’s bin.
It also included his vegetable samosas, one of his favourite weekly treats he buys from Ramsons, on Waterport Road.
Meanwhile, his chilli and cloves were deemed acceptable.
“I was completely stumped. I had a chicken which I thought might have been stopped but not the Peri-Peri sauce,” Lathey told the Olive Press.
“The officials said it contained onion puree, meaning it contained processed veg and was therefore not allowed over.
“I said that that was ridiculous as that would mean most of my shopping would also not be allowed in.”
Indeed, officials told the Brit the only items from his £55 shop that could cross the frontier were his cloves and chilli powder.
“It didn’t make any sense,” he added, “they seemed to be pretty clueless.
“I asked them to provide documents to justify what they were taking and they just sent me a photo of a link to a Spanish Government website.”
Lathey was told he could take his shopping back onto the Rock to store it.
“I ended up selling it all for £20, which is better than nothing,” added Lathey.
It comes after several reports on social media groups of Brits having food seized at the border.
One expat, who asked not to be named, admitted that he stuffed bacon down his underwear after hearing they were seizing the majority of someone else’s products.
The EU now classes the UK as a third country, bringing in tougher controls on what can and cannot cross the border into the bloc.
According to the Gibraltar Government website, several items for personal consumption are now banned, including all meat and milk products (bar powdered infant milk, baby food and special food required for medical reasons or pet food required for animal health reasons).
You can not bring in more than 20kg of any fish product or more than 2kg of other specific animal products, including honey, oysters, live mussels and snails.
The Government reminder, published on January 4, does not list vegetable products as being on the prohibited list.
But Spanish legislation, specifically law 2019/2072, dictates that vegetables and vegetable-based products are prohibited from entering the peninsula from a ‘third country.’
The Gibraltar Government told the Olive Press: “The Government’s understanding is that EU law specifically exempts plant products intended for personal consumption from official controls at Border Control Posts on introduction to the EU.
“Therefore, the Government will be seeking to clarify this matter with the relevant Spanish Authorities.
“Until the final agreement with respect to Gibraltar’s future relationship with the EU is settled, and unless the Government advises on specific bridging measures or derogations having been agreed whilst that agreement is negotiated, Gibraltar will be treated as a third country for the purposes of EU customs controls.”