The British government has postponed for the second time the introduction of new customs controls on European Union (EU) products entering the UK due to the risk of a worsening supply crisis for supermarkets and stores in the Christmas season.
Part of the post-Brexit system was supposed to come into effect in October, six months later than originally planned, but Boris Johnson’s government announced on Tuesday that it would come into effect in January 2022.
The CEO, in a statement, said the COVID-19 pandemic had affected supply chains in the UK and across Europe, and that the new calendar would “give companies more time to adapt to new operations”.
After leaving the European Union, the UK is preparing to introduce new documentation requirements for imports of animal origin and some food products and stricter physical and phytosanitary (SPS) controls at the border.
The pre-notification requirement for SPS products will now only be introduced on January 1, 2022, when customs data is required.
Phytosanitary certificates, physical inspection of SPS products at border control points and import protection and safety declarations, scheduled for January 1, 2022, will be required from July 1, 2022, at the same time as sanitary export certificates.
This measure relates only to the entry of EU products into the UK, as Brussels has placed full controls on British exporters since the first day of Brexit, 1 January 2021.
The government ensures that it has listened to the concerns expressed by companies, particularly in the agri-food sector, affected by problems in supply chains, in particular the shortage of drivers for heavy goods vehicles.
“We want companies to focus on their recovery from the pandemic rather than having to deal with new requirements at the border, which is why we have put in place a new workable timetable for the introduction of full border controls. To prepare for these controls that will be implemented throughout 2022,” the Minister of Foreign Affairs for EU Relations justified , David Frost.
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