UK postpones post-Brexit food controls on EU imports until end of 2023 – POLITICO

LONDON – The UK is postponing controls on imported food and fresh produce from the EU until the end of 2023 as it announced a review of the post-Brexit regime.

The controls were due to be introduced in July this year, but the government said on Thursday the review would look at how the remaining controls could be implemented “in an improved way” and its conclusions would be published in the autumn, with the new regulation up come into force at the end of next year.

It is the fourth time that the UK has delayed introducing sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) controls on EU imports. Ministers justified earlier delays with the need to give EU companies more time to adapt to the new requirements and ports to build the necessary infrastructure.

Brexit Opportunities Minister Jacob Rees-Mogg said businesses could now focus on recovering from the pandemic, tackling issues in the global supply chain and ensuring new costs are not passed on to consumers.

“It is vital that we have the right import control regime in place, so we will now work with industry to review these remaining controls so that they best serve the UK’s own interests,” he said in a statement.

And Rees-Mogg added: “We want the process for importing goods from the EU to be safe and efficient, and we want to use innovative new technologies to streamline processes and reduce friction. Precisely because of Brexit, we are able to build this UK-centric system.”

The controls introduced in January on imports of the highest-risk animals, animal products, plants and plant products will remain in place, the government said.

In view of the impending controls, parts of the logistics industry had demanded more time and less onerous conditions.

But a further delay will have financial implications for UK ports, most of which will have to cover operating costs for the border infrastructure they have already built to carry out controls, according to the British Ports Association. Ports usually do this by charging importers a fee – but that’s not an option in the event of a further delay. UK postpones post-Brexit food controls on EU imports until end of 2023 - POLITICO

Fry Electronics Team

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