Tesco has asked some suppliers to commence shipping products to Ireland themselves, in a bid to minimise Brexit-related red tape, according to reports.
At the weekend, reports in The Telegraph and The Grocer said that the retailer is seeking to make changes to how it makes deliveries to its Northern Ireland store estate, once new customs checks are introduced in October.
According to the reports, suppliers have been asked to deliver their own products from the UK to the Republic of Ireland, from where Tesco will then deliver them to Northern Ireland.
'Through the Brexit transition period, we have worked collaboratively with our suppliers and provided support where we can in order to minimise any potential disruption for customers,' The Telegraph quoted a Tesco spokesperson as saying.
'The upcoming requirements for transporting certain food in Northern Ireland are very complex and we are speaking to our suppliers about how we can make this process as efficient as possible over the next few months.'
From October, food products entering Northern Ireland from Great Britain will be subject to additional customs checks, in line with the conditions outlined in the Brexit process.
These checks had initially been set to be introduced earlier, but for the imposition of a 'grace period', including an exemption for supermarkets that are bringing products across the Irish Sea.
According to one supplier that The Grocer spoke to, Tesco's proposed requirements will lead to an increase in costs for individual suppliers as well as lengthen lead times.
“It sounds like they’re passing the s**t down the road,” they said.