Food disruptions feared in UK as new Brexit rules kick in

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New post-Brexit customs rules for goods coming into the UK from the EU take effect from Saturday

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From 1 January, importers must make a full customs declaration on goods entering the UK from the EU or other countries. Businesses will no longer be allowed to delay completing full import customs declarations for up to 175 days – a measure that was introduced to deal with the disruption of Brexit.

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The British Frozen Food Federation said this week the EU’s new restrictions on animal and plant products could result in major delays at ports into the new year as some in the supply chain – notably logistics companies on the EU side – do not Might be ready for changes.

“We are concerned that enough planning has not been done to understand all the new requirements in the food supply chain,” said federation chief executive Richard Harrow.

“With only a few days to go before the new rules, we are concerned that January could be a difficult month for our members,” he said.

The new measures require businesses to complete the correct paperwork at least four hours before goods arrive at UK borders, or they risk being returned at the border. Animal and plant based products must also contain the details of the Certificate of Origin.

While drivers will have to declare their luggage and certificates of origin, checks are expected to be minimal until the rules begin in July 2022, when much stricter checks are expected to come into force.

Britain imports five times the amount of food exported to the European Union.

The UK left the EU Single Market and Customs Union on December 31, 2020. The new rules take effect six months after they were originally set due to the effects of the pandemic and businesses said they needed more time to prepare.

Northern Ireland and Ireland are exempt from the changes as political leaders continue to negotiate the Northern Ireland Protocol.

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Follow all stories on post-Brexit developments at https://apnews.com/hub/Brexit.

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