In a continuation of the changes brought on by the 2016 Brexit referendum, as of today (January 31st) fresh food and flowers imports from the European Union are now subject to new Brexit custom controls.
These will add more than 300 million a year to the price of trading with Europe and will now mean that these goods will go even higher in price for British customers as we’re continuing to grapple with the Cost Of Living Crisis.
Under this new red tape, imports of chilled and frozen meat and fish, and dairy products as well as five varieties of cut flowers will require an export health certificate, signed off by a European vet or plant inspector before entering the UK.
Additionally, from April 30th, the same goods will face physical inspections at the border — raising risks of delays and shortages.
According to the Grocery Gazette, a government spokesperson has said of these changes, “We are committed to delivering the most advanced border in the world. The Border Target Operating Model is key to delivering this, protecting the UK’s biosecurity from potentially harmful pests and diseases and maintaining trust in our exports.”
The goods that could go up in price in 2024
From now, all medium and high risk foods sent from EU businesses to the UK will require health certificates. High risk foods include live animals and eggs for hatching.
Medium risk foods are cheese, dairy, fish, and meat.
From April 30th, these goods will face physical sanitary checks and while not every single product will be checked, all produce will be subject to an entry charge.
finally, from October 31st, the government is hoping that this new import system will extend to all food items, not just medium and high risk ones.
According to ITV News, a government source said traders will get a minimum of 3 months’ notice to prepare for any changes.