For fruit and vegetables imported into the UK from the EU, changes will apply from October after the UK Government announced its ‘Target Operating Model’ this week.
The new plans provide for a more streamlined procedure than previously announced, following a series of delays related to stricter controls on products imported into the UK from the EU.
Phytosanitary certificates will be required for phytosanitary products imported from the EU such as vegetables, fruits, seeds and cereals.
From January, new physical checks will be carried out at the UK border, before further security checks will be introduced for all imports from the EU in October 2024.
According to Politico, physical controls on many products will be less stringent than previously planned.
The UK Cabinet Office said the introduction of the plans would be staggered to minimise disruption to business, but warned that businesses “must now work with their supply chains to prepare for this change”.
A “trusted traders scheme” will be set up to enable regular importers not to go through strict customs controls each time.
A” common trading desk ” is proposed that allows traders to submit their paperwork in a single digital system.
Richard Ballentyne, CEO of the British Ports Association: “while many in the freight sector will welcome the long-awaited publication of the target Operating Model (TOM), in many ways the document is a bitter pill to swallow, as many of the hundreds of millions of euros in public and private investment, not to mention the enormous collective effort put into developing the network of go.”
“The TOM confirms that far fewer border interventions will be needed, as a new regime for the control of environmental hygiene is implemented at our international gates.”
“While this is good for facilitating the transit of cargo through our borders, our ports have had to build infrastructure that is unlikely to be needed. As a result, our sector is left empty-handed and they are left with expensive large “white elephants” on their sites. We would like the government to bear a large part of these costs, otherwise the customers of the ports and the trade could face additional costs.”
“Since the TOM has been delayed for almost six months, there is now also little time to adjust the facilities and prepare for the new arrangements.”