Across borders

Katie Doherty from the International Meat Trade Association (IMTA) shares insight into the evolving border trade regulations impacting the meat industry and stresses the need for continued consultations and industry engagement to achieve a smooth transition to an effective system.

I originally planned to write about the introduction of full veterinary controls on meat imports from the EU into Great Britain that was due to come into force on 1 July. However, the announcement that there would not only be a delay with this implementation, but also a review and rethink, changed my plan somewhat.

This announcement by Minister for Brexit Opportunities Jacob Rees-Mogg will have been welcomed by some who had feared that the controls would have compounded existing supply‑chain pressures and added to the costs currently faced by British consumers. However, not everyone will be in this boat, including those that had staff trained and ready to go, or had built new infrastructure – shiny new Border Control Posts.

I think the reasoning given for the delay, with the many pre-existing supply-chain pressures and rising consumer costs, was correct and we know from surveying our members just ahead of the announcement that the majority welcomed a postponement. What was perhaps not bargained for, was that the announcement also promised a review of UK Sanitary & Phytosanitary (SPS) controls for both EU and non-EU imports.