Last reviewed 28 April 2022

The Brexit Opportunities Minister, Jacob Rees-Mogg, has told Parliament that the long-delayed remaining import controls on EU goods, expected to be introduced on 1 July, will not now be introduced this year.

Pointing out that the move would save British firms up to £1 billion in annual costs, the Minister argued that it would be wrong to impose new administrative burdens, and risk disruption at ports, when consumers and businesses are being hit by rising costs caused by Russia’s war in Ukraine and soaring energy prices.

“Instead Mr Rees-Mogg went on, “the Government is accelerating our transformative programme to digitise Britain’s borders, harnessing new technologies and data to reduce friction and costs for businesses and consumers. This is a new approach for a new era, as Britain maximises the benefits of leaving the EU and puts in place the right policies for our trade with the whole world.”

The new Target Operating Model will, the Government has explained, be based on a better assessment of risk and will harness the power of data and technology. It will be published in the autumn and the new controls regime will come into force at the end of 2023.

The controls introduced in January 2021 on the highest risk imports of animals, animal products, plants and plant products will continue to apply alongside the customs controls which have already been introduced.

John Keefe, Director of Public Affairs for Eurotunnel said: “Eurotunnel supports this decision which will keep goods flowing seamlessly into the UK. It is good for traders as it reduces import declaration paperwork on food and perishables. It is good for transporters as it increases fluidity at the border and it is good for consumers as it keeps the cost of living down.”

Controls not being introduced

“Businesses can stop their preparations for July now,” Mr Rees-Mogg said, referring to the following controls which have been deferred until late next year:

  • a requirement for Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) checks currently at destination to be moved to a Border Control Post (BCP)

  • a requirement for safety and security declarations on EU imports

  • a requirement for health certification for further SPS imports

  • a requirement for SPS goods to be presented at a BCP

  • prohibitions and restrictions on the import of chilled meats from the EU.