It came as a little surprise to anyone in the UK’s logistics industry or at its ports when the government announced its decision to delay – for the second time in a little over six months – the introduction of post-Brexit import controls on goods arriving in Great Britain from the EU.
New checks on food and animal products imported from the continent will now not be brought in until 1 July 2022, a full year after they were originally intended to begin. The introduction of other requirements, including the paperwork that accompanies imports of food and animal products, has also been delayed from 1 October to next year.
Logistics firms, already suffering from a shortage of workers –including HGV drivers – and supply chain disruption, breathed a sigh of relief at the offer of more time. Particularly because the original implementation of extra controls on New Year’s Day would probably have piled further pressure on what is already shaping up to be a difficult Christmas season for traders, fraught with stock shortages and logistical challenges.
Yet there is a certain irony…