Post-Brexit checks on fresh farm produce coming to the UK from the EU have been delayed again, the BBC understands.
New import controls on EU food products had been due to begin in October.
There is concern that the extra checks on imported goods will push up prices and fuel inflation.
The delay, which was first reported by the Financial Times, will give companies and port operators more time to prepare for these changes.
UK food producers have argued that it gives a free pass to continental rivals, while all fresh food exports from the UK to the European Union face checks.
Health certification on imports of “medium-risk” products were due to start in October with physical checks beginning in January 2024.
However, the Cold Chain Federation welcomed news of the delay.
“UK food retailers, hospitality businesses and consumers were in line for major disruption because many EU food-producing businesses supplying into the UK are not ready for the new requirements,” said Shane Brennan, the chief executive of the Cold Chain Federation.