BPA welcomes significant Brexit “grace period” extension

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Westminster announces extension to post-Brexit grace period, moving deadline for new border controls from July to January 2022.

The British Ports Association (BPA) has welcomed the UK government’s announcement that the enforcement of post-Brexit border controls on in-bound European freight will be delayed from July to January 2022. The BPA says the move is a “big positive step to keep trade flowing”.

Commenting, Richard Ballantyne, Chief Executive of the British Ports Association, said:

“This is excellent news and we welcome the government’s pragmatic decision. Much of the infrastructure being built to facilitate these border controls is unlikely to be ready by July so this move enables ports to prepare better for what will be a major change in our trading relationship with Europe.

We had asked the government to consider this extension and so are delighted that Ministers have acted. This will enable our trade to continue to flow fluidly until the new facilities are complete.”

Michael Gove, Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office made the announcement on Thursday and called Britain’s exit from the European Union the “biggest change in the UK’s trading relationships for decades”.

The first phase of the UK’s adjustment to the new conditions came on 1st January and many in the freight and shipping industries have struggled to adapt to the new regulations. In response Mr Gove said the government was making the following revisions to the introduction of post-Brexit controls:

  • Pre-notification requirements for Products of Animal Origin (POAO), certain animal by-products (ABP), and High Risk Food Not Of Animal Origin (HRFNAO) will not be required until 1 October 2021. Export Health Certificate requirements for POAO and certain ABP will come into force on the same date.
  • Customs import declarations will still be required, but the option to use the deferred declaration scheme, including submitting supplementary declarations up to six months after the goods have been imported, has been extended to 1 January 2022.
  • Safety and Security Declarations for imports will not be required until 1 January 2022.
  • Physical SPS checks for POAO, certain ABP, and HRFNAO will not be required until 1 January 2022. At that point they will take place at Border Control Posts.
  • Physical SPS checks on high risk plants will take place at Border Control Posts, rather than at the place of destination as now, from 1 January 2022.
  • Pre-notification requirements and documentary checks, including phytosanitary certificates will be required for low risk plants and plant products, and will be introduced from 1 January 2022.
  • From March 2022, checks at Border Control Posts will take place on live animals and low risk plants and plant products.

Mr Gove concluded his announcement by saying that, “We will continue to engage extensively with businesses to support them to adjust to the new requirements already in place and to prepare for the new requirements set out above so that they can continue to trade successfully under the new arrangements”.

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