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The UK Government has pushed back the introduction of full post-Brexit declarations and controls until 2022, when they will be implemented on a phased basis.

The move comes after a severe shortage of workers in the logistics industry and supply chain difficulties as a result of Brexit, which have led to disruption within supermarkets and restaurants across the UK. The industry had warned that the introduction of import checks would have compounded the problem further, especially in the lead up to Christmas.

These new controls were expected to be in place from the 1st of April this year, and then postponed to October 1st, and now will be introduced according to the following timeline:

  • Pre-notification requirements for EU agri-food exports to the UK will now not be required until 01 January 2022. From the 01 January 2022, a 24hr pre-notification requirement is to come into effect. However, businesses can apply to their relevant UK Port Health Authority for a derogation from this, reducing the notification time to 4 hrs.
  • Export Health Certificates will also not be required until 01 July 2022.
  • Safety and Security Declarations for imports into the UK will not be required until 01 July 2022.
  • Physical SPS checks on goods at UK Border Control Posts, due to be introduced on 1 January 2022, will now be introduced on 01 July 2022.
  • The timetable for the introduction of UK customs checks remains unchanged however and will be introduced as planned on 01 January 2022.

This delay provides further time for Irish and EU businesses to prepare their logistics for the new trading regime. To aid this process, the European Parliament has provided its approval for the use of a €5 billion Brexit Adjustment Reserve, to aid businesses and communities most impacted by Brexit.

Ireland is the largest beneficiary of the fund and will receive €1 billion, which can be used to cover costs incurred by Brexit preparedness measures between 01 January 2020 and 31 December 2023. The Council must now also formally approve the reserve fund, and countries will receive their first tranche of funding, of €1.6 billion in total, by the end of the year. Alison Graham – European Affairs Executive