Brexit Border Charges- Its Implications

Brexit Border Charges
  • 18/06/2024
  • Kausik Mukherjee

Do you run a restaurant in the UK? Are you an SME operating in the UK’s food retail landscape? If yes, you must know that things are going to change forever.  The British government has recently declared the amount companies need to pay for importing goods from the European Union (EU). Earlier, there was unrestricted movement of goods from EU countries, but now that will be no longer the case. There will be Brexit border charges on imported food items ranging anywhere from £10 to £29, depending on imported food items. In a nutshell, charges are imposed on imported food items transported through the Port of Dover or the Eurotunnel from 30 April 2024. Remember, the Port of Dover and the Eurotunnel are the two most critical transportation links between the UK and Continental Europe.

Why Brexit Border Charges are introduced?

Countless border control posts (BCP) were introduced after Brexit, and operating these posts is costly. So, these Brexit Border Charges are introduced with the sole purpose of covering these costs. It is vital to note that earlier, only export health certificates and phytosanitary certificates were needed and that too only for medium-risk (fruits and vegetables) or high-risk food imports such as fish, bees, meat, etc. However, now they need a physical check at BCPs to get permission to enter the United Kingdom. As if these were not enough measures, Safety and Security declarations will be mandatory for all goods moving from the EU to Great Britain from 31 October 2024.

Implications of Brexit Border Charges

It is widely speculated that although there will be no immediate impact of these charges, there will be some implications of Brexit Border Charges gradually. These are as follows:

Rise in Food Commodities

According to the food importers, these charges will be eventually passed on to the small UK retailers. As a result, their business cost will witness significant increase, and they will try to pass it on to their customers by increasing the price of these imported food items. Thus these food commodities will become unaffordable for the end UK customers leaving them with fewer choices.  

Supply Chain Disruptions

Increased checks at border control posts (BCPs) will cause unnecessary delays in goods transit. This unwanted delay is likely to affect the deliveries on time. It may cause spoilage of perishable food items leading to an adverse impact on the availability of such items to the end customers. In the long run, this can cause disruption in the production schedules.

Alternative Sourcing

Due to the fear of the above two implications, some businesses will now try to find an alternative sourcing within the UK or from nations that are not members of the European Union. Such a drastic shift will be not only time-consuming but also costly.

So, if you think that you need help to manage the effect of the new border charges on your business, please do feel free to contact our experts. Our experts have years of experience in serving a large clientele in the UK.