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Coverage about upcoming border checks

Posted by: , Posted on: - Categories: Food

Supermarket shelves with a range of vegetables on them

There has been reporting this morning (19 April) claiming that health and safety checks for EU imports won’t be “turned on” as planned from 30 April 2024. This is not the case, as has been previously outlined, we will be commencing checks from 30 April.

The UK government has full confidence that the facilities, infrastructure and systems at the border, will be ready for the 30 April implementation date of new border checks.

The priority for physical checks from day one will be on the highest risk goods, and Port Health Authorities will be conducting documentary checks on consignments of all risk levels and will contact traders where they have concerns. Checks will be scaled up to full check levels in a sensible and controlled way.

A UK Government spokesperson said:

Checks are commencing from 30 April and, as we have always said, the medium and high-risk goods posing the greatest biosecurity risk are being prioritised as we build up to full check rates and high levels of compliance. Taking a pragmatic approach to introducing our new border checks minimises disruption, protects our biosecurity and benefits everyone – especially traders.

There has been extensive engagement with businesses over the past year – with our approach welcomed by several trade associations and port authorities. We will continue to work with and support businesses throughout this process to maintain the smooth flow of imported goods.

We are confident we have sufficient capacity and capability across all points of entry to handle the volume and type of expected checks. It is important to remember the cost of our border checks is negligible compared to the impact of a major disease outbreak on our economy and farmers.

Our approach ensures we are striking the appropriate balance between protecting the UK from biosecurity risks and facilitating trade. We will continually review our enforcement approach tracking compliance levels to protect biosecurity and food safety whilst minimising disruption to trade flows.  Our enforcement approach will be graduated to help traders to comply.

This follows extensive engagement with businesses – including regularly contacting 30,000 importers with up-to-date information, delivering over 50 webinars to thousands of businesses and working with major supermarkets and their suppliers to provide training.


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  1. Comment by alan wightman posted on

    If accurate on 30 April it will be a first after years of `stop & go´ indecisions.
    Distance of 22 miles presents opportunities for illicit goods, possibly illegal migrants, to be off-loaded with time for refreshments at a Service Station on the M20. Cost of 100 million pounds "high-risk" only for the taxpayers as per custom.
    Perhaps there will be a redemption for rice seeds at Border Control as our flooded farms have abundance of water and with hot, daily sunshine via climatic change over 30 days we have harvest. Farmers are a priority in an ever-more challenging environment.
    Farmers can abandon beet-sugar growing with dangerous use of banned pesticides authorised by the Government to the demise of essential bees.
    April 30 should be Buzzing?

  2. Comment by alan wightman posted on

    Dover Health Authority: " facility 22 miles inland & not designed for this scale of imports". However, "the Government is confident" and whilst it "burns" last weekend 748 illegal migrants arrived = total 6, 265 for year.
    Border Force? Border Control? Confidence??

  3. Comment by Liam posted on

    How can you still have full confidence in the system when ALVS (The system that links import entries and IPAFF CHED-PP's together) Doesn't work.

    Currently if you have multiple of the same commodity code on IPAFFS and multiple of the same on an Import entry the system cannot match them together. There is no way you can expect us to use this broken system in 2 weeks time.

  4. Comment by John w. Baxter posted on

    Well I recall that tens of thousands of tonnes of pork and pork products have been getting past our impenetrable border checks for a long time… my rough calculations that is about 400 truck loads a week, or at least 60 truckloads a day!!……that being the case, and with ASF at large in EUROPE I would not boast about anything other than the inadequacy of pork producer protection in the U.K. , the failure of APHA,and border security…….a dog capable of sniffing out pork would probably be the most cost effective member of staff in future, but 60 truck loads of pork a day I find astounding…….no wonder so many of our pig farmers are going out of business ……we have let the crooks beat us yet again!.