Last reviewed 14 January 2022

The Government has been warning for some times of amendments in the rules for trade with the EU that came into force at the beginning of this year (see Full customs controls introduced from 1 January 2022).

However, the British Ports Association (BPA) has suggested that these changes will be fairly straightforward and that most UK ports with European trade are therefore more focused on the introduction of checks on animal and plant-based products at Border Control Posts, in July.

“This is where there will be significant changes to borders processes with the likelihood of interventions, delays and even extras costs for British importers,” BPA Chief Executive Richard Ballantyne said.

The BPA represents ports which facilitate 86% of port traffic and who include all the main Roll-on Roll-off (Ro-Ro) gateways.

Referring to the January changes, Mr Ballantyne said: “This is another milestone for those involved in trade between Britain and Europe and we are hopeful importers will be ready to follow the new rules. There has been a huge amount of hard work from industry and government preparing new systems and processes, which have been developed at some pace.”

He said that he was optimistic that these new arrangements will work, although does expect there to be a small number of teething difficulties.