UK tightens border controls for food and plant imports to boost biosecurity - CILT(UK)
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UK tightens border controls for food and plant imports to boost biosecurity

30 April 2024/Categories: Industry News, Aviation, Freight Forwarding, Logistics & Supply Chain, Ports, Maritime & Waterways, Rail

The Government has announced today (30 April 2024) that they are making ‘crucial’ changes to the way the UK imports food, animal and plant products in order to improve our biosecurity.

This comes after the Government consulted with thousands of stakeholders across the UK and EU in addition to trade organisations and representative organisations.

Until now, products except from high-risk plants and live animals have been able to enter the UK without checks.

Products that present a ‘medium’ risk to biosecurity will now have to undergo identity and physical checks.

These checks will test for pests and diseases that could impact food safety and the natural environment. They will involve inspections and temperature readings of goods.

Baroness Neville-Rolfe, Minister of State at the Cabinet Office, said: “It is essential that we introduce these global, risk-based checks to improve the UK’s biosecurity. We cannot continue with temporary measures which leave the UK open to threats from diseases and could do considerable damage to our livelihoods, our economy and our farming industry.

“We have listened to all parts of industry every step of the way and will continue to support them to implement these changes as smoothly as possible.”

The Government is additionally launching two new pilot programs aimed at streamlining border checks for businesses.

One pilot will test if businesses can perform certain checks away from the physical border. The other will explore whether new technologies combined with business data can provide enough assurances to reduce the need for physical checks, while still maintaining high biosecurity and food safety standards.

Changes that have been implemented are part of the Border Target Operating Model, a new set of global, risk-based border controls, the first set were implemented in January.

Marco Forgione, Director General of the Institute of Export & International Trade, said: “The aim of the BTOM is to deliver a world-leading, digital first border system for the UK.

“Today is the next stage of the UK’s border transformation, introducing risk-based compliance checking and opening up access to simplified procedures to a wider range of produce will help the UK build much more resilient, anti-fragile supply chains.”

The Government said they estimate it will save traders around £520 million annually compared to original post-Brexit plans, while keeping food price inflation under 0.2 percentage points over 3 years for consumers.

Trade Association, Logistics UK Have raised concerns suggesting that a lack of clarity and additional costs over border checks will drive prices up.

Logistics UK’s Head of Trade and Devolved Policy, Nichola Mallon, said: “Government states that it is listening to traders but 81% of businesses responding to the Government’s own consultation on its proposed charging structure at the border made it clear they will have a fairly or extremely negative impact on their businesses.

“Government has consistently asserted that the impact of the new checks at the border will only result in a 0.2% inflationary impact over the next three years, but despite repeated calls by Logistics UK, it has still not published the modelling behind the headlines in the interests of transparency and to give confidence to UK importers and consumers.”

CILT UK’s Chair of Customs and International Tarde Compliance Forum, Susan Morely, hosted a webinar to help the industry prepare for these changes an explained what is going to happen.

Susan discusses all changes occurring for SPS goods, the mandatory new sanitary model (GB), the Common User Charge (CUC) and an operational overview.

To watch this webinar and find out more information please click here.


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