Changes to border control timings announced by Michael Gove have been welcomed by transport industry bodies. 

Specifically, the changes delay to post-Brexit sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) import checks until October.  

Initially, the UK Government intended to phase in checks for some products on 1 April.

As a result of this clarification, hauliers and traders have a bit of welcome breathing space. 

The RHA says it gives ‘valuable extra time’ to prepare for ‘new complex border arrangements’.

“Mr Gove’s announcement will lessen the headache for many international hauliers,” said RHA chief executive Richard Burnett. 

He added that many are still dealing with new working methods caused by leaving the EU.

“However, it is not a universal fix. We cannot be confident that operators will be ready on 1 October,” he added. 

“The number of skilled customs agents and veterinarians in place across the EU still falls far short of what’s needed”

But Burnett agreed that the new measures would help the flow of food products into the UK.

“However, I am concerned it weakens the UK Government’s negotiating leverage,” he admitted.

“Despite these reservations, I’m pleased Mr Gove has acknowledged the challenges faced by British hauliers.”

Meanwhile, Sarah Laouadi, European policy manager at Logistics UK, was also glad to hear from Gove. 

She agreed that the delay would ease the administrative burden on logistics organisations currently working to supply the UK.

“Alleviating pressures on the supply chain caused by the current pandemic remains the priority for our sector,” she said.

Laouadi added that the announcement acknowledged the impact of Covid-19 lockdowns and regulations.