The government has announced that it will delay several border red tape for EU imports from October and January next year to July 2022.
These include physical checks on food and other animal-related products which were due in January next year. comes after Granthshala Told that the necessary infrastructure will not be ready in time.
As of Thursday last week, the government was suggesting that businesses should still prepare for new paperwork from October and an already delayed deadline for physical checks in January.
In a meeting with officials last week, businesses expected the delay to be confirmed, but it didn’t. Industry lobby group The Food and Drink Federation (FDF) said that late yesterday, their members were being told to prepare for the October and January deadlines – now relocated.
The government on Tuesday said the new export health certificates, which were originally required from October, will no longer be applicable in July next year. As per previous government guidance, physical checks on products of animal origin, including food and plants, which require border control checks, will no longer be implemented even until July next year, as they were to be imposed in January. Other security-focused tests will also now be delayed until July 2022.
There has been a mixed reaction from the industry on this move of the government. While some have invested significant resources in the effort to prepare for the deadline, they also perceived them as likely to prove unenforceable, citing IT, infrastructure inadequacies and confused advice from the government. There is also an asymmetry between EU imports and UK exports to the EU.
The European Union imposed full checks from 1 January 2021. Meanwhile, the latest move by the government marks the third delay in hosting cheques. This means that EU exporters in the UK have an advantage over those exporting goods in the other direction.
Ian Wright, chief executive officer of the FDF, said many manufacturers investing money in the preparation will be “disappointed” by the new delay, two weeks before the first changes go into effect.
“Now, with only 17 days to go, the rug has been pulled. The move punishes those who followed government advice and rewards those who ignore it. As recently as yesterday, officials Assured us that the import check will be implemented as per the plan.”
He added: “The repeated failure to implement full UK border controls on EU imports from 1 January 2021 undermines trust and confidence among businesses. Worse, it actually helps UK competitors The asymmetric nature of border controls facing exports and imports distorts the market and puts many UK producers at a competitive disadvantage with EU producers.
The FDF and other industry groups have warned that mere delays in border checks will not fix a strained supply chain. They are calling repeatedly to reconsider a temporary visa scheme that could ease the severe shortage of heavy goods drivers. The FDF has also called for government financial support for businesses that are ready for import control deadlines after government assurances that only checks and paperwork could be further delayed.
Sean McGuire, director of Europe at business lobbying group The Confederation of British Industry, said the move would ease some of the pressure on supply chains before Christmas, but the overall impact of the delay could be “transient”.
Mr McGuire called on both sides to give “fresh views” on a “bespoke veterinary agreement” that could avoid most checks and reflect the unique nature of trade between the UK and the EU.
Credit: www.independent.co.uk /