New Brexit Checks Could Raise Food Prices in UK by 60%, Say Importers

New Brexit Checks Could Raise Food Prices in UK by 60%, Say Importers

Food importers in the UK are warning that the new post-Brexit checks could increase the cost by up to 60% and this may leading to higher prices for customers as well as for businesses.

The UK government recently implemented physical checks on animal and plant products being imported from the EU. It has also implemented a new common user charge (CUC) of up to £145 per consignment. Confusion over “consignment” has led to unexpected costs for importers.

Many businesses assumed the £145 cap applied per lorry. However, the reality is that charges could multiply significantly for vehicles carrying a mix of products from different locations. It is learned that haulage companies which are transporting meat and dairy products from Eastern Europe are facing hundreds of pounds in additional costs per lorry.

Even though inspections were scaled down to prevent disruptions at the border, most lorries transporting food and plants from the EU through Dover and the Channel Tunnel are still subject to the CUC.

Major importers are expressing concerns over unclear government guidelines and unexpectedly high costs. Some companies stated they are paying an extra £1,500 per truck. As an aftermath, a substantial 60% increase has been witnessed in transportation expenses to the UK.

Adriana Zalewska from Kin Global Distribution said that multiple types of fresh produce are often carried in a single shipment and this leads to fees moving up more than £1,300 per consignment. This cost burden is expected to result in higher food prices across the UK supply chain. And this will impact small businesses and potentially forcing them out of the market.