Reaction to fourth delay to import checks
After months of uncertainty, we are at least relieved to have the clarity that border checks will not now be implemented on 1 July. However, this is a real double edged sword for British businesses. On the one hand it makes importing the one quarter of food that stocks UK supermarket shelves cheaper and easier to get into the country. But this comes with risks.
There are concerns that, in the absence of any sanitary and phytosanitary checks African Swine fever could be allowed into the country which could devastate our domestic pig production. There is also the risk of serious food fraud the longer it’s known that goods will simply be waved through at British ports.
Exporters will also be acutely aware that they still incur substantial additional costs to export to the EU and are subject to full border checks and maximal fricton. They know that their continental competitors will not have that burden when selling into this country or when supplying to the EU market.
In some cases, foods that we import from the EU like sausages, pork pies and other chilled meat preparations, are prohibited from being sent the other way by British exporters.
The confirmation of these delays in border controls will have a mixed reaction depending on a company’s business model.