Expert Comment: What does the new Brexit legislation mean for supply chains?

Categories: Research, Salford Business School

Dr Jonathan Owens, Senior Lecturer at Salford Business School, discusses what the new Brexit legislation coming into force on 31 January 2024 could mean for the food and drink industry.

Dr Jonathan Owens

Although many see the UK having already left the EU, but despite all the political drama and getting Brexit done, for the for European food companies importing food to the UK very little has changed.  Brexit is still to be done and therefore the implications of import controls are still to happen, but D-day; aka Brexit 2.0; is happening on the 31st January 2024.

The delay period has been three years, and the justification for this was that the industry needed this time to prepare. The question was especially how to the control the supply chains for the Fast-Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG), with key focus on the perishable and limited shelf-life products.  However, kicking the can down the road will perhaps never always give the best preventive measures and planning time, as the reality is that perhaps no implementation timeframe would be long enough to moderate the shortcomings involved in having to impose complex, subjective, and potentially costly barriers to trade.

The risk categorisation approach to the Border Operating Model (BOM) in operation can provide advantages for importers of low-risk foods. However, the potential bumpy ride ahead could be with importing medium and high-risk foods which will require certification and inspection at the border. Meat, dairy and fish could see disruption in their supply chains, and these are products with limited shelf life.

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