Any additional delays to the introduction of post-Brexit border checks on imports will simply postpone the inevitable, and send mixed signals to businesses that have been urged for months to get ready for the additional formalities involved with moving goods across the UK’s borders, according to business group Logistics UK.
Responding to news that Boris Johnson is considering a further delay to the introduction of import checks on goods arriving from the EU, currently scheduled to be introduced in July 2022, Sarah Laouadi, Logistics UK Head of International Policy, is concerned that businesses will be unsettled by the ongoing uncertainty.
“Despite the ongoing pressures on supply chains caused by the war in Ukraine, Russian sanctions and the Covid-19 pandemic, logistics businesses need the certainty for planning which a deadline provides,” she says.
“After three other false starts for the introduction of import controls from the EU, it is time for Government to make a clear commitment to a deadline and ensure the necessary facilities, staff and processes are in place and ready to cope with the volume and patterns of trade by that deadline. The longer the uncertainty continues, the more difficult it will be for government and UK traders to generate a sense of urgency to focus the minds of supply chain partners and officials in getting ready for new trading arrangements.
“If Government has sufficient evidence to conclude that sticking to the planned timetable would jeopardise the supply of key imports into the country, we urge Ministers to share the relevant data about bottlenecks and gaps in readiness and produce key actions to lift these obstacles. Logistics UK stands ready to commit its expertise and communication channels to help design a revised action plan and timetable that will not have to be shifted again.
“Another delay to the border checks will simply kick the issue down the road, with no clear idea on when the situation will be resolved. Businesses need stability, clarity and certainty which constant delays do not deliver.”