The government's decision to push back the introduction of health certification of imported products of animal origin, including many food and drink items, is creating uncertainty and instability for operators, Logistics UK said this week.

The warning follows the government's decision to move the deadline for the introduction of the new import border controls from 1 October 2021 to July 2022. Logistics UK said its members want to see the government come up with a sustainable solution to post-Brexit import rules to provide certainty for business, pointing out that they have already worked towards two deadlines for these import controls.

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Sarah Laouadi, Logistics UK head of international policy, said more delays "heap additional work on to an industry already working at full stretch." She added that this second change of plan for import controls "will add to the uncertainty and creates extra re-adjustment costs for the logistics industry.

"While there is relief in some quarters at the provision of additional time to prepare for new border processes, another deferment will cause instability for businesses already stretched by the impact of Covid-19.

"It also penalises those companies that invested time and money to progress their readiness journey as much as possible; these businesses now need the government to confirm the last details about border facilities and systems to be able to complete the crucial 'last mile' of their journey."

Laouadi called for the government to guarantee it will adhere to the new timetable and that the border control posts, which are now postponed until July 2022, will be in place, "with sufficient resources and political commitment to make it credible".

She added: "The UK’s supply chain with the EU is highly interconnected but it will be impossible to convince our European supply chain partners to do their part if the target they are aiming for is constantly changing.”