UK considers fresh delay to full checks on agricultural products entering from EU

Extension could be ‘good news for Irish food exporters’ as post-Brexit leeway continues

Irish food exporters may get more leeway before full checks come into force on goods entering the British market. The UK government is reportedly considering delaying the implementation of full checks on agriculture products entering from EU countries, which had been due to be phased on from July 1st onwards.

UK ministers are actively considering whether to push back for the fourth time the introduction of full checks on imports from the EU, the Financial Times reported. This follows warnings about pressures on supply chains and on inflation if the new checks went ahead.

The paper reported that senior figures in Downing Street were “ sympathetic” to the idea of a further extension, particularly in the light of pressure on inflation.

British exports to the EU have been subjected to full EU border checks since the first day of Brexit in January 2020 — while imports from European competitors have enjoyed a far smoother entry into the UK. Checks on imports into the UK were first delayed in June 2020, followed by further deadline extensions in March 2021 and again in September 2021.


The potential extension was "good news for Irish food exporters", according to Carol Lynch, partner at BDO in Dublin.


If confirmed it will mean that full physical checks on animals, food products and plants and the need for extra documentation and pre-notification of shipments, due to be phased in from July 1st onwards, will be delayed.

“UK exporters of food products have faced this since January 1st, 2021, and have found it very costly to export their products to the EU,” she said.

In general, Irish goods exporters to the UK were exempted for the moment from the imposition of new UK import and customs controls which apply to imports from other EU countries from the start of this year.

These mean that Irish exporters to the UK do not yet have to complete customs declarations and controls before boarding ferries to the UK. It is not clear for how long this additional leeway will apply.

Cliff Taylor

Cliff Taylor

Cliff Taylor is an Irish Times writer and Managing Editor