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Import controls risk food shortages and price inflation: CCF

By Gwen Ridler

- Last updated on GMT

New export controls risk creating further food shortages, warned the CCF
New export controls risk creating further food shortages, warned the CCF

Related tags Supply chain

The Government’s plans for new food controls on all goods imported into the UK from the EU will cause shortages and drive-up price inflation, according to the Cold Chain Federation (CCF).

Proposals set out in the new ‘Border Target Operating Model’ are part of the latest plan to  impose the food import controls required of the UK under both the free trade agreement with the EU and World Trade Organisation rules.

Requirements include all business importing fresh or frozen meat, dairy and other goods to provide an export health certificate alongside goods entering the UK, export certificates  to be signed in person by a vet at point of departure and for all goods in medium and high risk categories to be subject to documentary checks.

‘Massive disappointment’

CCF chief executive Shane Brennan said the proposals were a massive disappointment that solved none of the ‘real risks’ facing the post-Brexit food supply chain and will exacerbate shortages on the shelf and food inflation.

“When plans to bring in controls starting from July 2022 were cancelled, we were promised a fundamentally new approach to how the UK would manage its border, that is not what this proposal is,”​ said Brennan. “None of the fundamental problems have been solved and business have nowhere near enough time to prepare.

‘Expensive, slower and more complicated’

“Groupage, which is the only cost-effective way to move smaller volumes of food goods into food retail, restaurants and more, will no longer be workable under the new regulations so we can expect a collapse in the volume of speciality products coming into the UK. Overall, exporting products such as meat and dairy from the EU into the UK will be more expensive, slower and more complicated.”

Brennan warned that many EU-based food exporters will look at these proposals and decide to cease supplying UK customers.

“As the recent tomato shortages have shown, food suppliers have plenty of options to sell elsewhere. Bringing in this scheme, in this form, at this pace, at a time of spiralling food price inflation and ongoing supply shortages is a really bad idea,” ​he concluded.

The documentary controls are set to come into force from October 2023.

Related topics Supply Chain Brexit

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