The UK originally planned to reintroduce border checks at the end of 2020. However, the government announced this week that checks on goods will be delayed until next year.
According to the government, the delays for checks on goods coming from the EU are down to supply chain issues. A statement was recently released saying that a “revised timetable will give businesses more time to adjust to new processes”.
One of the reasons for this delay has been the pandemic, which has affected supply chains in both the European Union and the UK. In particular, the agri-food sector has been hit hard.
Although businesses had planned for disruption, the pandemic has made the problems much worse as there has been a shortage of workers, and disruption to supply chains and travel.
However, another reason could be a lack of planning by the government. Critics argue that the administration hasn’t prepared properly for the changes to border policies that will need to be introduced as part of the Brexit deal with the EU.
As part of the negotiations, full customs declarations and controls should have been in place after the transition period ended, but they will now be introduced on 1st January 2022.
In addition to this, paperwork and checks for EU farm products won’t be introduced until next year, after originally scheduled for October. And, health certificates, which were also due to be needed from October, will not be brought in until 1st July at the earliest.
Another delay is expected on safety and security declarations. This will be introduced six months later than expected and will be needed from next July.
In the government statement, it was noted, “We want businesses to focus on their recovery from the pandemic rather than have to deal with new requirements at the border, which is why we’ve set out a pragmatic new timetable for introducing full border controls. The government remains on track to deliver the new systems, infrastructure, and resourcing required.”
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