No, the implementation of some checks which would have taken place on October 1st 2021 has been delayed, and some checks have been delayed from January 2022 to July 2022, as announced to the Commons by Government Minister Penny Mordaunt on September 14th. However, the timetable for the removal of the current easements on checks is currently unchanged.
- The requirement for pre-notification of agri-food imports will be introduced on 1 January 2022 as opposed to 1 October 2021.
The new requirements for Export Health Certificates, which were due to be introduced on 1 October 2021, will now be introduced on 1 July 2022.
- Phytosanitary Certificates and physical checks on SPS goods at Border Control Posts, due to be introduced on 1 January 2022, will now be introduced on 1 July 2022.
- The requirement for Safety and Security declarations on imports will be introduced as of 1 July 2022 as opposed to 1 January 2022.
The timetable for the removal of the current easements in relation to full customs controls and the introduction of customs checks remains unchanged from the planned 1 January 2022.
The reason given for this delay was to reduce pressure on businesses while they recover from the pandemic, so the government acknowledges that the implementation of checks will cause disruption:
The pandemic has had longer-lasting impacts on businesses, both in the UK and in the European Union, than many observers expected in March. There are also pressures on global supply chains, caused by a wide range of factors including the pandemic and the increased costs of global freight transport. These pressures are being especially felt in the agrifood sector.
In these circumstances, the Government has decided to delay further some elements of the new controls, especially those relating to Sanitary and Phytosanitary goods.
Although, at least according to the government’s statement, HMRC is fully prepared to implement checks:
The Government’s own preparations, in terms of systems, infrastructure and resourcing, remain on track to meet that timetable.