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Fears raised over ‘sting in tail’ post-Brexit border charge for food – report

17 Jun 2023 3 minute read
Picture by the Welsh Government

Concerns have reportedly been raised that a post-Brexit border charge proposed by the Government for EU food imports will filter through to consumers.

The planned policy – outlined in a Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) consultation paper – would see businesses pay a flat-rate inspection fee of up to £43 per consignment.

Shane Brennan, director of the Cold Chain Federation, told The Observer that the proposal would be “the sting in the tail” of the post-Brexit food inspection regime and it would be “unavoidable” that the cost would hit UK consumers too.

“This Government tax for importing food goods from Europe comes on top of the costs of vets’ and customs agents’ fees, as well as increased supply chain costs, all arising from the post-Brexit realities of trying to service the UK,” he said.

“Forty-three pounds doesn’t sound like a lot but, given that we import thousands of consignments of food goods through Dover every day, it amounts to a border tax costing the industry millions. It is unavoidable that these costs will filter through to consumers.”

Operating costs

Industry sources expressed concerns to the paper for smaller British retailers such as delis which import lots of small orders of special items from the EU such as Parma ham, French cheeses or Belgian chocolates.

Defra has proposed what it terms a common user charge which would be used to recover operating costs for Government-run border control posts in England.

The rate is estimated to be in the region of £20 to £43, according to a consultation paper by the department.

It comes as households face ongoing cost-of-living pressures including soaring grocery prices and increases in the cost of some popular products.

The most recent official data showed that food inflation struck 19.3% in April, dipping only slightly from March’s eye-watering 19.6% and remaining close to the highest rate for more than 45 years.

A UK Government spokesman said: “Growing the economy and supporting small businesses are priorities for this government.

“The estimated charge of £20 to £43 is an indicative range while we continue to determine the full scale of operating costs and finalise the risk categories under the Target Operating Model.

“We are currently consulting with the sector and businesses to ensure we take the fairest approach that works for them, while also facilitating the movement of goods into the country and protecting our biosecurity.”


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Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
11 months ago

Government by idiots, crooks and super slick con-men turns out to be an expensive mistake…you can’t get thicker than a brexit bullsh*ter…

hdavies15
hdavies15
11 months ago
Reply to  Mab Meirion

Brexit was supposed to lead to a “free market” with real benefits for consumers. I suppose the “free” really meant yet another opportunity to get more loot out of the system for the wide boys.

Steve A Duggan
Steve A Duggan
11 months ago

Every extra cost for businesses is passed onto us through higher prices, which in turn pushes up inflation that then sees the Bank of England try to control it by raising interest rates. We the public are being kicked in the balls at every turn. We were warned there would be consequences for voting out – so if you did – you have absolutely no right to complain. Suck it up.

Owen Williams
Owen Williams
11 months ago
Reply to  Steve A Duggan

I think the biggest kick of all, in particular for our rural folk, will happen when this nonsense arrives:

A scam and a huge transfer of wealth- which certainly won’t be transferred in the direction of the average taxpayer:

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/bills-and-utilities/renewable-energy/rural-houses-heat-pump-rising-bills/

John Hammond
John Hammond
11 months ago

Beautiful Brexit keeps on giving.

Gareth
Gareth
11 months ago

As most Brexiteers will tell you, they ” knew what they were voting for”, and then deny they voted for this, what idiot did voted for this? Or are most Brexit voters just stupid or liars.

hdavies15
hdavies15
11 months ago

More plants – fruit,veg and other produce – could be grown in the UK. However our governments are so fixated with spreading concrete over farmland and turning it into a few unaffordable homes or energy parks that in a few years time our capacity to grow our own will deplete further. Time for a re think.

Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
11 months ago
Reply to  hdavies15

Tatws Bryn and other home-grown veg suppliers are good for Cymru’s future…nurture them Mr Drakeford…

hdavies15
hdavies15
11 months ago
Reply to  Mab Meirion

You not suggesting he takes time out to crap all over them are you ? He’s done enough crapping over other aspects of our lives. He should lay off and dump on other side of the Clawdd.

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