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Several government IT platforms have crashed over the past day, industry claimed

Trucks have been waiting for up to 24 hours at the UK’s borders due to a government IT system failure that caused “huge delays” to deliveries, according to industry.

A combination of issues with several government IT platforms forced hauliers carrying goods meant for inspection to wait for hours “simply to be told to leave with no physical checks”, said Fresh Produce Consortium chief Nigel Jenney.

Officials had to enact manual border clearances after the systems crashed, causing further disruption to the rollout of the government’s Brexit import controls.

”This means goods aren’t delivered when planned, causing shortages and very disappointed customers, hauliers spending twice as long delivering the goods at considerable additional cost, and driver and vehicle not returning in time to deliver the next consignment,” said Jenney. “The situation for traders has been extremely difficult.”

There were “no signs of inspectors being made available” at alternative commercial controls points after 7pm, he added. “[It’s] crazy when most goods arrive in late evening or night for our highly perishable sector. Simply a mess.”

The challenges have been ongoing since Sunday evening, other customs figures confirmed.

This included issues with IPAFFS (Import of Products, Animals, Food and Feed System) – where traders notify British authorities before their goods arrive from both EU and non-EU countries, and also process export health certificates for products like meatdairy and some plants – and customs platforms.

“It’s a nightmare,” said Nikki Sayer, MD of Casper Customs, which works with several fmcg businesses bringing goods in from the EU.

The company has had trucks ”stuck at Sevington for over 24 hours with perishable goods on worth circa £30k per truck”, Sayer said, with clients ”getting extremely frustrated with us, when we are doing all we can to get the trucks cleared but you get no answer or communication from Defra”.

Despite the fact goods haven’t been pulled for inspection at the border, traders have still been charged the common user charge – a flat fee rolled out by the government last month as part of its post-Brexit border strategy to help fund new inspection points.

Other customs agents and traders alike have been taking to social media to bemoan the impacts the IT failures were having on their businesses.

“This is really not good. Best border in the world?! Common [sic] DEFRA get in the game,” wrote Rob Hardy, founder of customs and border agency EORI Group. “We pay fees and the system crashes. It’s just not good enough.”

Seamus McKeegan, MD of logistics provider McKeegan International. “

Detailed inspections and paperwork requirements for plant products entering the UK from the EU have caused significant disruptions since their introduction at the start of May, the FPC said.

Jenney warned the latest tech meltdown at the border had compounded the challenges and “thrown the flower industry into chaos just as we approach a major selling season”.

“It’s crucial the government steps in to smooth out the process and ensure our industry can continue to thrive despite these challenges.”