Meachers Global Logistics has warned operators to prepare for changes to importing animal products from the European Union to avoid more delays at the border.

All UK importers and their EU suppliers must be compliant with new rules for bringing in products such as meat and dairy goods from January 2022 after the deadline was extended from July.

Failure to comply could result in shipments being refused UK entry or goods being destroyed.

The requirements include pre-notifying authorities on consignments entering the country and uploading a certified Export Health Certificate using the Import of Products, Animals, Food and Feed System.

From 1st January 2022, UK importers of Products of Animal Origin, animal by-products, and high-risk food and feed not of animal origin, must pre-notify UK import authorities of incoming consignments.

Rob Lewis, Meachers’ operations director, said UK firms must plan ahead to comply with the changes.

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“This past year has seen challenges impacting the transport logistics industry, mainly due to the coronavirus pandemic and Brexit,” he said.

“These have affected food deliveries to Britain’s supermarkets and food outlets.

“Meachers is flagging up the forthcoming changes to support our customers.

“It’s important that all businesses have the correct documentation for importing goods to ensure they comply with the requirements in the new year.”

In July, HMRC said it would be contacting customers with further details on what they need to do to prepare for the introduction of full customs declarations.

“We know how challenging it is to get used to so many changes, and we appreciate how much that UK businesses have done already,” said Sophie Dean, HMRC director general, borders and trade.

“HMRC is here to help people adapt to the adjustments, and over the next few months we will carry on reaching out to businesses to help them get the right support and guidance to continue trading with the EU.”