Logistics UK Welcomes Revised Import Timetable

Logistics UK have responded positively to the government’s extension of the deadline for the introduction of full customs declarations from the EU. In a response published on their website, they write that the delay in imposing the full range of formalities for imports to the UK from the EU will ease the administrative burden on organisations.

The new customs regulations involve sanitary and phytosanitary checks on products of animal origin and plants, and full customs declarations at the point of importation for all goods coming from the EU. These have now been postponed for six to nine months.

Sarah Laouadi, European policy manager, said, “Alleviating pressures on the supply chain caused by the current pandemic remains the priority for our sector. [The] announcement acknowledges the challenges and mounting compliance pressure created by multiple Covid-19 lockdowns and regulations across different European nations.”

Businesses will now have more time to adjust to the new requirements, for example by training staff, integrating IT systems, and working out new integrated operating systems with their supply chain partners. The UK currently functions with a highly interconnected supply chain, and the customs extension will minimise disruption.

The article also urges the government to work closely with industry, in order to make the best possible use of the extra time. It stresses the need for clear ‘end-to-end’ guidance for traders and hauliers on both sides of the border. This should help to ease any teething troubles that arise as the new process rolls out.

The original plan was to phase in the new customs checks for products of animal origin on 1 April 2021. Full customs declarations for all imports were to be compulsory from 1 July. The extra six to nine months will allow for businesses to readjust after the lockdown restrictions are eased.

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