UK Postpones Brexit Border Checks

May 4, 2022
The British government has postponed an inspection program for food products entering the country.

The British government has postponed an inspection program for food products entering the country – a development that pleased some industry players while exasperating others.

The UK was due to start requiring all food shipped in from European Union nations to submit to health and regulatory checks as part of Brexit, the UK’s withdrawal from the EU. The requirement, which was due to be enforced starting in July, has been postponed at least until the end of the year.

The postponement occurred because the British government is wary of adding another layer of bureaucracy during a time of supply chain disruptions. But the decision led to frustration among shippers, grocers and others who have built infrastructure and hired staff to conduct border checks, only to be told they are not now needed.

“The situation is just ludicrous,” Richard Harrow, CEO of the British Frozen Food Federation, told The Grocer, a trade publication. “Once again the industry has been led up the hill only for the government to say we’re not going ahead.”

The delay was praised by the head of the Federation of Wholesale Distributors as “the right decision, albeit taken for the wrong reasons.”

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