The U.K. delayed new post-Brexit border checks on food from the European Union to mitigate a supply chain crisis in a move that was immediately criticized as handing the bloc’s producers a competitive advantage.
Physical inspections of EU food imports due to start in January 2022 will now happen in July 2022, Brexit minister David Frost said in a Tuesday statement. A requirement to pre-notify border staff of arriving food products has also been delayed, he said.
Introducing the new import checks was expected to add extra pressure to supply lines at a time when supermarkets are already struggling with shortages. But the delay threatens to create more uncertainty for retailers dealing with an ever-changing legal environment.
“The repeated failure to implement full U.K. border controls on EU imports since Jan. 1, 2021, undermines trust and confidence among businesses,” Ian Wright, head of the Food and Drink Federation, said in a statement, adding that the move could help Britain’s rivals. “The asymmetric nature of border controls facing exports and imports distorts the market and places many U.K. producers at a competitive disadvantage with EU producers.”
The EU is Britain’s largest trading partner and about 30% of all food consumed in Britain comes from the bloc, according to the British Retail Consortium.
“We want businesses to focus on their recovery from the pandemic rather than have to deal with new requirements at the border,” Frost said. “Businesses will now have more time to prepare for these controls.”
From October, food products from the EU were also due to require extra paperwork to enter the U.K. That requirement will now come into force in July 2022, Frost said. But goods being imported from the EU will still have to be accompanied by customs declarations, a new paperwork requirement coming into force on Jan. 1, 2022.
The U.K. logistics industry had warned of a shortfall of veterinary professionals in the EU to provide the necessary documentation for food, and also about a lack of readiness of infrastructure at Britain’s ports to handle the new customs checks.
Frost said the government is on track to create the necessary infrastructure to handle the new checks.
The U.S. is going ahead with an investigation into whether imports of permanent magnets pose a national-security threat, the first such Biden-era probe as the administration seeks to strengthen supply…View Article
India will make 8 million doses of Johnson & Johnson’s Covid-19 vaccine available by the end of October under the Quad partnership, Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla said.View Article
Dubai’s non-oil foreign trade jumped 31% in the first half as the Middle East’s business hub prepares to host one of the world’s biggest in-person events since the pandemic started.View Article
The U.S. met one of China’s key demands to improve relations with the release of a top Huawei Technologies Co. executive, paving the way for better ties at the cost…View Article
The red lines of Boris Johnson’s Brexit project are starting to crack as voters face growing shortages of food and fuel, as well as a marked rise in living costs.View Article
Nike Inc. lowered its sales forecast as production and shipping delays hobbled the company’s efforts to meet strong demand for shoes and athleticwear.View Article
Industry updates and weekly newsletter direct to your inbox!