Government confirms six-month delay on EU import checks

15 Mar 2021


The UK Government has confirmed that the physical checks on EU goods that were due to apply in July will not be brought in until January 2022.

The requirement for health certificates on meat and dairy products has also been pushed back 6 months from April to October.

This will provide businesses with further time to prepare for changes at the border and minimise disruption as the economy gradually reopens, as the government recognises the scale and significance of the challenges businesses have been facing in adjusting to the new requirements, at the same time as dealing with the impacts of COVID.

Commenting on the announcement of the postponement, Adam Marshall, Director General of the British Chambers of Commerce, said: “This is a positive step as it recognises what everyone in business has known for weeks now: UK-EU trade has faced, and continues to face, significant disruption and difficulty.

“Ministers are right to delay the implementation of import checks that would slow trade even further – but this can only be a temporary solution.

“What businesses want to see is an end to the damaging political rhetoric from both sides, and a focus on improving border flow for the long term. The UK and the EU must get back around the table and thrash out the remaining structural problems in the Trade and Co-operation Agreement.

“For some UK firms, the continued problems with EU trade are threatening their very existence.  It should not be the case that companies simply have to give up on importing from, or exporting to, the market next door.”

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