British Meat Processors Association
British Meat Processors Association

Checks on imported food to be postponed a fifth time

With fewer than 10 weeks to go before the latest deadline for introducing customs checks on food coming into the UK, it looks as though the 31 October deadline is to be pushed back for a fifth time, primarily because the extra bureaucracy would add to food price inflation and most likely discourage many of our EU suppliers from continuing to send goods to the UK.

This is a true double-edged sword. On the one hand, food supplies to UK consumers aren’t disrupted, and extra costs, either from the additional trade barriers or from a supply squeeze, can be avoided. On the other hand, it perpetuates an un-level playing field for UK food producers who have been subject to extra post-Brexit expenses and barriers since January 2021. It’s also causing a high degree of exasperation at UK ports and border control posts which have been gearing-up for this change with new staff and infrastructure, but cannot now start to recoup those costs, and instead must put their new operations on ice.

It should be noted that, at the time of writing, there’s been speculation in the press about this latest delay, but no official communiqué from Government to confirm it, only anonymous briefings to the Financial Times. We’ll keep you posted.

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About BMPA

The British Meat Processors Association (BMPA) is the leading trade association for the meat and meat products industry in the UK.

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