Reaction to news of adjusted timetable for conducting import controls at Border Control Posts

by Rachel McQuilliam

Reacting to the news on 11 March from Cabinet Office and Defra on the adjusted timetable for conducting import controls at Border Control Posts, James Clark, Director of Policy & Communications, at the Horticultural Trades Association (HTA) said:

“While we welcome this long-expected move by the Government, the fact that the British ornamental horticulture industry is now the only business sector facing both import pre-notifications and inspections until 1 January 2022, is hugely disappointing. The sector takes its responsibilities towards plant health and biosecurity of this nation incredibly seriously, yet this £24bn industry is being treated with additional costs and business burdens. This is no way to encourage a ‘green economic’ revival. We believe that given these double-whammy burdens, the Government should extend the inspection fees suspension from June until 1 January. We’d like to see the Government use this extra time to evolve the plant inspection system, which recognises the expertise and seriousness the industry puts towards imports. This would see the Government introduce a ‘Trusted Trader’ business premises self-inspection regime, alongside well-equipped border control posts, in time for post 1 Jan changes”.