Brexit: New customs rules come into force – with warning they could disrupt food supply | Politics News

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New post-Brexit customs rules for goods arriving in Britain from the European Union have come into force, changes which a leading food industry body says could disrupt and potentially lead to food shortages .

Importers are now required to make full customs declarations on goods entering the UK from the EU and other countries.

Traders can no longer delay the completion of complete import customs declarations for up to 175 days.

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Companies will have to fill out the correct documents at least four hours before the goods can arrive, or they risk being turned away.

Products of animal and plant origin must also be accompanied by certificates of origin.

Controls are expected to be minimal initially, before being stepped up in July.

Concern “not enough planning has been done”

The UK imports five times the amount of food it exports to the EU, meaning any disruption could have far-reaching ripple effects.

This has led the British Frozen Food Federation to warn that January could be a “busy” month for its members, with the potential for delays at ports.

“We are concerned that there has not been enough planning to ensure that the new requirements are understood by everyone in the food supply chain,” said Managing Director Richard Harrow.

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January 2021: the first post-Brexit freight arrives in the EU from the UK

“With only a few days until the new rules, we remain concerned that January could be a busy month for our members,” he said.

Another change that has come into effect concerns roaming charges on mobile phones.

EE and Vodafone, two of the UK’s largest networks, have reintroduced them for customers traveling in Europe, while Three is expected to bring them back in May.

PM promises to ‘maximize the benefits’ of Brexit

The developments come a year to the day since the UK’s post-Brexit free trade agreement with the EU went into effect.

In comments to mark the anniversary, Prime Minister Boris Johnson pledged to “maximize the benefits” of Britain leaving the bloc, which also meant leaving its single market and customs union.

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December 2020: “A new start” as the Prime Minister signs a trade agreement with the EU

The Prime Minister promised that his government “would go further and faster” by taking advantage of “the enormous potential that our new freedoms bring.”

Mr Johnson has said he wants to “cut red tape in the EU” and restore “common sense to our rules”.

EU law under the microscope

Authorities are reviewing thousands of EU regulations that were automatically kept after Brexit, to make sure they continue to benefit the UK.

Anything that doesn’t face the prospect of being changed or scrapped.

The Daily Telegraph reports that a law that could be removed is the ban on pint-sized champagne bottles.

This would reverse a restriction on imperial sparkling wine measures that has been in place since Britain joined the common market, the precursor to the EU, in 1973.

In addition to this review of selected EU legislation, officials say work is underway in government departments to identify areas where the UK can take the lead, such as artificial intelligence, self-driving cars , data rights reform and medical device regulatory reform.

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