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Chaos at the Brexit Border Gets Worse as Early Departures of Goods Inspectors Endanger Fresh Food Supplies

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Plans to introduce early clock-offs for goods inspectors at UK borders have caused turmoil and endangered fresh food supply in particular, a move that has drawn significant condemnation. The program, which went into effect on Tuesday, requires the majority of checkpoints in the southern ports of England to close for the night and reroute truck traffic to a single location in Kent.

The move has been strongly criticized by importers, who have called it “absolutely crazy.” The long-awaited post-Brexit measures aim to protect the UK against continental diseases like African swine fever by focusing on big amounts of “medium risk” goods, particularly perishable items like fresh food.

Nonetheless, importers raise several worries, pointing out that there could be significant delays that could compromise the timely delivery of perishable goods. At Sevington, Kent, the government has set up a round-the-clock facility with the ability to handle more than 1,200 vehicles. Commercial providers will however encounter a major challenge because many official inspectors will be unavailable for inspections during the crucial period between 7 p.m. and 7 a.m.

Import cars will be subject to the new system’s documentation checks at UK ports before being sent to inland processing centers for in-person examinations. This arrangement may cause truckers to become trapped overnight and unable to make grocery delivery deadlines, escalating concerns about supply chain disruptions and shortages.

The events highlight the growing difficulties and complications that Brexit still presents for logistics and trade, and stakeholders are calling for quick action to alleviate the worsening border unrest.

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