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National Audit Office report says more has to be done

‘UK not ready for rolling post-Brexit controls on EU imports’

In a report published today, the National Audit Office said the UK has more work to do before it can introduce post-Brexit controls on EU imports next year. The report said that work to prepare British traders for import controls was incomplete, and departments might have had to deploy contingency plans had the government not delayed the introduction of full checks on EU goods three times.

The delays have effectively created a transitional period for traders. They are now expected to be fully in place by July, 2022, with some requirements starting in January.

Gareth Davies, head of the NAO: “We recognize the significant achievement of government, departments and third parties in delivering the initial operating capability needed at the border for the end of the transition period. However, this was done in part by using interim measures and by delaying the introduction of full import controls. Much more work is needed to put in place a model for the border that reduces the risk of non-compliance with international trading rules, does not require any temporary fixes and is less complicated and burdensome for border users.”

The NAO now also warned that UK ports do not yet have the infrastructure needed to carry out checks next year, because of uncertainty regarding the nature of arrangements that need to be put in place, difficulties finding the right locations for these facilities and funding uncertainty in the case of sites in Scotland and Wales.


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