Britain on Tuesday said that it has decided to delay implementing full customs declaration at its shared borders with European Union (EU) nation states till January 1, 2022. Britain’s decision to postpone implementation of some import controls is owing to pressures in the global supply chain and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on businesses.

This is the second time Britain has decided to delay implementing said controls. The strain in the global supply chain has hit Britain hard. Supermarket shelves in London are going empty and even McDonalds reported a milkshake shortage.

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Britain left the European Union’s single market at the end of last year. Just as Britain exited the European Union (EU), Brussels introduced border controls. This in turn staggered introduction of import checks on goods without giving businesses enough time to adapt, according to a Reuters report.

Britain on its part delayed the introduction of import checks by six months from April 1. Now, the government has further pushed back the need for full customs declaration to January 22. Safety and security declarations will be required from July 1, 2022, the British government has said.

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Brexit minister David Frost said, “We want businesses to focus on their recovery from the pandemic rather than have to deal with new requirements at the border, which is why we’ve set out a pragmatic new timetable for introducing full border controls.”

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According to Frost, the delay in implementation of post-Brexit controls will allow businesses time to prepare. Industry sources in logistics and customs sector told Reuters that the government’s infrastructure was not ready to impose the controls.

For days now, shoppers in the United Kingdom have been staring at empty shelves in supermarkets. Even basics like water and milk are said to be in short supply. Labour shortages too have made movement of goods across the country a challenge.