UK slows introduction of European seafood, meat import controls
A new timetable for introducing full import controls for animal-based goods, including seafood products, being imported from the European Union to the United Kingdom has been laid out by the U.K. government.
The revised timings will give businesses more time to adjust to new border control processes, the U.K. government said in a press release. The “pragmatic new timetable” will see full customs declarations and controls introduced on 1 January, 2022, as previously announced, although safety and security declarations will now not be required until 1 July, 2022.
U.K. Minister of State at the Cabinet Office Lord Frost acknowledged U.K. businesses have faced a range of challenges as they and European supply chains recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. This is being felt particularly by the agri-food sector, where new requirements on importing products of animal origin were due to be introduced from next month, he said.
Rather than introduce full controls at this time, Frost said that the government had listened to calls for a new approach to give businesses more time to adjust.
“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,” Frost said. “Businesses will now have more time to prepare for these controls which will be phased in throughout 2022. The government remains on track to deliver the new systems, infrastructure and resourcing required.”
Under the revised timetable:
- Requirements for pre-notification of sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) goods, which were due to be introduced on 1 October, 2021, will now be introduced on 1 January, 2022.
- New requirements for export health certificates (EHCs), which were due to be introduced on 1 October, 2021, will now be introduced on 1 July, 2022.
- Phytosanitary Certificates and physical checks on SPS goods at Border Control Posts, due to be introduced on 1 January, 2022, will now be introduced on 1 July, 2022.
- Safety and security declarations on imports will be required as of 1 July, 2022, as opposed to 1 January, 2022. Full customs declarations and controls will be introduced on 1 January, 2022.
Following Brexit, since 1 January, 2021, the E.U. has imposed physical checks and additional paperwork on seafood, meats, and other animal products imported from the United Kingdom.
Photo courtesy of U.K. Minister of State