U-turn on UK Border Strategy - "About time," says Jenney

Following the Government announcement made this morning relating to the delayed plant health border controls, FPC are delighted to acknowledge the new approach incorporating a proportionate risk-based strategy using advanced technology.

The new approach will apply to both the EU and rest of world trade.


The revised strategy acknowledges that the planned July 2022 border solutions were highly inefficient, promoting considerable bureaucratic burden on industry and significant food inflation for consumers.


Rees-Mogg estimates the proposed annual cost saving to the industry as being approximately £1bn.


The revised target date for implementation is the end of 2023 following a review of the policy to simplify and digitise border control processes.


Nigel Jenney, CEO of Fresh Produce Consortium continues by saying “it is frustrating that over 5 years ago FPC proposed the same solution that was rejected at that time. We are actively involved in the Cabinet Offices Border Review Strategy. The proposed modern approach to border management needs to promote efficient international trade.


"This is a positive outcome for the majority of our industry but disappointing to note that the strategy for high-risk products (certain high-risk plants) will remain.


"For fresh produce, we anticipate, based on the risk assessments planned, levels of inspections could diminish and that any new processes reward responsible businesses with a light touch approach to avoid unnecessary costs and delays.


"The Government’s decision to adopt Border Control Posts remains a serious concern as they will add considerable cost and delay to supply chain if used in the future. FPC would instead prefer to see a trusted trader scheme where responsible, approved businesses are allowed to do checks for themselves.


"The Government needs to ensure that it listens to industry to ensure the proposed solution is the most effective for all involved and FPC are committed to ensuring that the industry’s views and solutions are represented.


"We are encouraging all members to contact us with any queries relating to this to ensure that we can raise them at the highest level to enable clarity going forward.”

For further information contact: Kelly Shields (Regulation & Communications Manager) on kshields@freshproduce.org.uk Nigel Jenney (CEO) on nigel@freshproduce.org.uk