Post-Brexit import rules speculated to be delayed for fifth time
It has been reported that customs changes for animal and plant imports from the EU to the UK scheduled for 31st October 2023 are speculated to be delayed to at least 2024.
The potential delay on implementing the border controls on food imports arriving in the UK from the EU is said to be down to concerns that added bureaucracy will further fuel inflation. It will also provide the Government with more time to enforce the planned rules.
Cold Chain Federation Chief Executive Shane Brennan said: “Government has made the right decision to postpone. UK food retailers, hospitality businesses and consumers were in line for major disruption because many EU food producing businesses supplying into the UK are not ready for the new requirements. We recently asked Ministers to push back the export health certificate requirement to give Government time to ramp up communications to EU businesses. The decision to postpone also means that there should be a fully staffed border inspection team on the ground by the time the new requirements come into force, able to provide support and advice for these EU importers.
“Meeting the new sanitary requirement will still increase costs for the EU food producers supplying into the UK, and we should expect these costs to be passed onto UK retailers and consumers but this change in the implementation timetable could make an important difference towards reducing that impact.”
CCF survey results
- A Cold Chain Federation survey published in July 2023 showed the concerning lack of preparedness of food producing businesses in Europe that currently supply goods to the UK, with 39% of the food producing businesses surveyed not aware of the new rules and timeframes announced by UK Government.
- 41% of survey respondents said they did not have plans in place to ensure compliance with the requirement that was scheduled for 31st October for export health certificates signed by a qualified certifying officer for every consignment of ‘medium risk’ meat, dairy and fish products exported from the EU to the UK.
- The survey also showed that 78% of the EU-based food producing businesses surveyed believe costs will increase to their UK customers as a result of the new rules.
- When asked about their intentions regarding the sale of their products to UK customers after 31st October 2023, only 60% of respondents said they plan to seek to continue their service to the same customers at the same frequency. 10% plan to reduce the frequency and range of UK based customers they serve, 7% plan to stop altogether and 22% said they don’t know at this stage.