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    New UK Import Controls: A Window of Opportunity for Polish Businesses?

    The upcoming changes to the UK’s import regulations could represent a significant opportunity for Polish companies. From April 30th, the UK will introduce stringent border controls on agricultural imports from the European Union, affecting goods worth £21 billion. This measure, part of the post-Brexit adjustments, aims to scrutinize products like cereals, meats, and dairy more closely, potentially increasing import costs by around £2 billion and nudging up inflation by 0.15 percentage points.

    These new regulations, initially delayed five times, will now require physical checks, health certifications, and pre-entry identification for EU agricultural imports. This adjustment is expected to escalate the tariff equivalent by approximately 10% on EU food items. However, in a balancing act, the UK plans to mitigate this impact by suspending tariffs on nearly half of its total imports for the next two years. This strategic move could reduce overall import costs by £7 billion and decrease inflation by 0.6 percentage points.

    For Polish companies, the UK remains a vital market, especially for food exports, which totaled €4.2 billion in 2023. The main exported items included poultry and poultry products. As British importers face increased costs and stricter regulations, Polish producers may find a lucrative gap in the market. The quality and competitive pricing of Polish goods could see them gaining a larger market share in the UK.

    Experts like Piotr Kubalka from J.Dauman Group believe that these changes could benefit Polish exporters significantly. “The new challenges force British consumers to make more thoughtful purchasing decisions, particularly regarding food items. This is a tremendous opportunity for Polish producers to capitalize on,” Kubalka noted.

    However, the shift is not without its challenges. Companies may need to redesign their supply chains and consider the tariff changes, including the levy on transporters using infrastructure. Adjusting production processes to align with these new requirements could enhance the competitive edge of Polish businesses in the UK market.

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