Release Et Games' shipping container of fair trade goods

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Et Games is a small fair trade wooden games company. A shipping container with £20,000 worth of our goods has been confiscated because we allegedly did not fill out a one page form early enough. This is having a catastrophic effect on our business, damaging employment prospects both here in the UK and amongst the Indian artisans who depend on us.

The crazy thing about our situation is that there is nothing wrong with our goods - since our container was seized we've had another container with the same type of goods authorised for import with no problem. The alleged problem is just with the timing in filling out the UK Import permit form. We could not have completed this form any earlier than we did, because of a delay by the Indian authorities in issuing an export permit. 

It's a tragedy that our business might go under due to senseless bureaucracy. We've already lost thousands of pounds and are having to think about making redundancies.

Since a change in the rules in 2017 many fair trade business have been caught out: three out of three importers that I spoke to have lost shipments in similar circumstances.

The Solution

Having exhausted the complaints procedure with the permit authority (the APHA), we're pinning our hopes on a complaint to the Parliamentary Health Service Ombudsman to overturn the the decision of the APHA; and at the same time appealing to Border Force to take a fair minded approach. Our MP (Damian Hinds) is assisting us, and we're hoping a letter from him to the junior minister responsible for the APHA (Therese Coffey) might help change the policies or culture of the APHA to prevent this sort of thing happening again. 

Further reading

You can read more about our case on our website: