Next year could see food supply disruptions and empty grocery shelves for people in the UK thanks to new EU border controls, UK food industry officials warn.
As the Telegraph reported on Wednesday, December 29, the British Frozen Food Federation (BFFF) said tighter controls on plant and animal products imported into the UK from the EU – which are expected to come into effect on Jan 1 – could create significant delays in UK. ports.
BFFF chief executive Richard Harrow told The Telegraph that some of the changes to shipping were not well understood by many EU companies.
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“The system requires transport companies to pre-register the arrival of a shipment in the UK before it leaves the EU port of embarkation,” Harrow said. “While many UK carriers are well prepared for this change, we believe that many European carriers are not.”
Starting in the new year, importers will need to make a full customs declaration when their goods enter the UK, instead of the 175-day window they enjoyed after Brexit.
“Although UK authorities have said they will not stop vehicles that do not fill out all paperwork correctly, this assumes that the EU port will allow a vehicle without the proper papers to leave the port,” said Harrow.
He added that there were also changes in the import process that members of his organization were “not aware of, or [had a] lack of clarity on what they need to do to comply with the regulations.
“With only a few days until the new rules, we remain concerned that January could be a busy month for our members,” said Harrow.
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Meanwhile, 2022 could be a tough year for the supply chain, as PYMNTS reported earlier this week. The International Road Transport Union says about 20% of all trucking jobs remain open, despite rising wages.
Simon Heaney, an analyst at marine research consultancy Drewry, told Bloomberg News that next year could be “another year of serious disruption, under-supply and extreme costs for cargo owners.”