Brexit credibility has stretched further, with another rescheduling of requirements for exporting goods from the EU to the UK.
Our primary aim in posting is to correct media suggestions that a need for temporary export procedures has also been postponed. Temporary exports to the EU require an ATA carnet, as they have since January 1st 2021.
The UK is now a third country in relation to the EU and follows temporary import procedures under international treaties. These are managed by global organisations, rather than directly subject to UK, or EU legislation.
We are thankful this is the case, at least one system has clarity, although our clients may need to deal with those which are less certain.
Pre notification of agrifood imports to the UK will not now be needed until January 1st 2022, at least this might help with Christmas.
The requirement on export health certificates for livestock and animal products will not come in until July 1st 2022. Physical checks on goods have been postponed to the same date, as have safety and security declarations.
We should restate that the changes apply to goods coming into the UK from Europe, not the other way around. Leaving an imbalanced system for longer than anticipated, with no real guarantee the new dates will be kept to.
Questions on fairness for UK business have also been raised. A Food and Drink Federation representative stated “The rug has been pulled on companies that followed advice and prepared for the new regime, while rewarding those who ignored it.”
Those who perhaps borrowed to support change, or imposed on staff already under pressure are understandably not too pleased.
We appreciate that the postponements are to try to prevent Brexit from increasing existing supply chain problems. The pandemic, staff shortages and stipulations in many countries have not helped.
The low key way the changes were announced and their description as “pragmatic” confirms the rationale. More or less unavoidable, even though a trade imbalance is reinforced. EU exporters face few controls, unlike our companies.
There may have been limited choice, especially if the UK’s border facilities are unready for the new rules. The question being raised is whether they will be organised by next July.
The stability we see with ATA carnets for the EU has been welcome, all the better if the same can apply to permanent exports from the UK.