New physical checks will be implemented at the UK border from January before further security and safety checks for all EU imports are introduced in October 2024.
However, the level of physical checks required on many goods will be less stringent than previously planned according to Politico. Britain’s Cabinet Office said the introduction of the plans would be staggered to minimise business disruption but warned that firms should “work with their supply chains to prepare for this change now.”
A “trusted trader scheme” will be created to allow regular importers to avoid going through rigorous custom checks every time. A “single trade window” is proposed, which would allow traders to submit their paperwork in a single digital system.
Richard Ballentyne, CEO of the British Ports Association, said, “While many in the freight industry will welcome the long-awaited publication of the Target Operating Model (TOM), in many ways, the document is a bitter pill to swallow as much of the hundreds of millions of pounds of both public and private investment, not to mention the huge collective effort there has been to develop the network of new Border Control Posts (BCPs), is likely to be wasted. The TOM confirms that far fewer border interventions will be required as a new environmental health control regime is implemented at our international gateways.”
“While this is good in terms of the facilitation of cargo through our frontiers, our ports have had to build infrastructure that is likely not to be needed. This leaves our sector out of pocket and with costly large ‘white elephant’ structures on their estates. We are keen that the government picks up much of these costs. Otherwise, port customers and trade could face additional charges. Also, as the TOM has been delayed for the best part of six months, there is now only a limited amount of time to modify and prepare facilities for the new arrangements.”