The UK government has announced a further delay in introducing sanitary and phytosanitary border controls for imports from the EU.
These had originally been scheduled to commence on 1 October for health certificates on goods of plant and animal origin, with inspections at the ports due to commence on 1 January 2022.
The UK government has now decided that both certificate requirement and checks will begin together on 1 July 2022. Pre-notification by exporters will be required from 1 January.
This will be welcome news for Irish farmers and exporters as preparation of health certificates and border checks add administration costs and delay to deliveries of perishable products from Ireland to Britain.
This decision had been forecast and Tánaiste Leo Varadkar indicated last week that he expected it to happen following discussions he had with Michael Gove, his opposite number in the UK government.
The announcement was welcomed by Cormac Healy, senior director at Meat industry Ireland. He told the Irish Farmers Journal that “while much work has been going into preparation for certification of consignments to GB, it represents a very significant additional administration and cost burden, and any deferral is welcome”.
While this is good news, it has to be recognised that it is again a deferral of a problem that will confront Irish farmers and exporters at a future date.