The government has announced a plan to introduce full border controls on imports of goods from the EU, aligning them with controls for goods from the rest of the world. This plan had been postponed multiple times due to concerns about disruptions in the supply chains of goods. However, the government has now published a draft plan detailing the timeline for the introduction of safety declarations and health certificates for all types of goods imported from the EU.
From October 31, 2024, safety declarations will be required for all imported goods, and health and phytosanitary certificates will be extended to include Medium-risk animal products, plants, plant products, and high-risk food and feed of non-animal origin. From January 31, 2024, document-based conformity and substantive checks will be extended to the same range of products, with substantive checks carried out in 1-30% of cases for Medium-risk products, compared to 100% for high-risk products.
The introduction of these new controls will increase bureaucracy for EU imports, potentially causing disruptions as businesses and systems adjust to the new rules. Groupage of fruit and vegetables may no longer be feasible due to the changes, leading to higher costs. Companies relying on EU suppliers should ensure they are aware of the changes and are prepared to provide the necessary documentation to avoid delays and additional costs.
While the timeline for implementation has been set, there is still a possibility of disruptions in the supply chain as businesses adapt to the new rules. Companies should start preparing now to minimize potential disruptions in the future. The consultation on the draft plan will end on May 19, 2023.