Ministers to delay post-Brexit border controls on food

Post-Brexit border checks on food products coming from the EU are set to be delayed again over concerns that added controls on imported items will worsen inflation levels.

The Border Target Operating Model was due to roll out on October 31, will a full import regime in place by October 2024.

Under the new post-Brexit import rules, consignments bringing in products such as meat, dairy and fish that are considered medium or high risk will require vet-signed export health certificates and will be eligible for physical border checks.

However, the delay looks to give business and port operators additional time to adapt to the new rules, which are due to be “published shortly” and ensure these checks will be fully implemented, the Financial Times reported.

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A government spokesperson told the newspaper that the system would “be introduced progressively”, and while a new timeframe has not yet been signed off, it is expected to be set back into next year.

In June 2022, the food industry expressed concerns that charging a flat-rate inspection fee of up to £43 on each food consignment from the EU would lead to higher prices for consumers.

The government estimated additional costs of controls at £420m per year.

Earlier this month a survey by Cold Chain Federation found that 39% of EU food companies supplying goods to the UK are unaware of the change to rules while 41% have no current plans in place to comply.

It has also found that one in ten will limit the frequency and number of UK-based customers they supply to, with a further 7% planning to cease trading with the UK.

As a result, companies have warned that there could be delays or shortages of Christmas food staples, such as pigs in blankets, as well as eggs.



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