Food supply disruptions and empty grocery store shelves will be rampant across the country in 2022 due to new EU border controls, stated recent reports, citing warnings by British food industry officials.
The British Frozen Food Federation (BFFF) has said that stricter controls on plant and animal products imported into the UK from the EU- set to go into effect Jan 1- might create significant delays at Britain’s ports.
New rules from January 1 state that importers must make a full customs declaration on goods entering the UK from the EU or other countries.
“Whilst the new UK rules will be introduced in stages, we are concerned that not enough planning has been done to ensure the new requirements are understood by everyone in the food supply chain,” said BFFF chief executive Richard Harrow.
Traders will no longer be able to delay completing full import customs declarations for up to 175 days, a measure that was introduced to cope with the disruption of Brexit.
Harrow told The Telegraph that some of the shipping changes were not well-understood by many businesses in the EU.
“The system requires haulage companies to pre-lodge the arrival of a load to the U.K. before it departs from the EU port of embarkation,” said Harrow.
“We are still finding new elements of the process that our members are unaware of, or lack of clarity on what they need to do to comply with the regulations.
“With only days to go before the new rules, we remain concerned that January could be a fraught month for our members,” Harrow said.
The UK imports five times the amount of food it exports to the EU, so the potential for massive delays and food supply issues in January is high.