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Border Chaos Pushes Importers to 'Brink'

Industry leaders have warned that the recent failure of the Automatic Licence Verification System (ALVS) has pushed importers to the "brink," causing significant financial strain and delays.

Nigel Jenney, Chief Excutive of the Fresh Produce Consortium, stated, "The last few days have pushed industry to the brink, yet Government continued the line 'no delays at the border'... The ongoing failures have imposed huge financial burden on industry."

This weekend saw long delays and chaotic scenes at the new Sevington border facility in Kent, as the ALVS system, designed to automatically clear goods through customs, malfunctioned.

"This morning, we still have members chasing after days to secure release of consignments," Jenney added. "Remember this failure impacted all arrivals from all destinations not just the EU."

The system failure forced fresh food and flowers to be held for extended periods, as paperwork was processed manually. The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) has since reported that the ALVS system has been rectified.

The recent disruption comes in the wake of the introduction of physical checks on food and plant imports from the EU on April 30th, as part of the post-Brexit border regime.


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