UK to see new import controls phased in from January 2024

By Jane Byrne

- Last updated on GMT

© GettyImages/AlexLMX
© GettyImages/AlexLMX

Related tags animal protein blood products import controls Defra

The UK government has published its new Border Target Operating Model (BTOM), setting out new controls set to be put in place at its border system.

The model, which was announced on August 29, has been developed in collaboration with the Scottish and Welsh governments.

The BTOM​ has been developed following initial proposals published in April 2023.

It will see biosecurity and safety and security controls introduced on imports from the EU for the first time, while potentially changing import controls on goods from the rest of the world.

The UK was planning to finally roll out its new import controls in phases over 12 months from October 31 this year.

"Having listened to the views of industry, the government has agreed to a delay of three months for the introduction of remaining sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) controls, as well as full customs controls for non-qualifying Northern Ireland goods," commented the officials.

It said further controls for EU imports will also have a revamped timetable "to give stakeholders additional time to prepare for the new checks."

This includes physical checks and safety declarations, which will be brought in via a staggered approach next year.

New import controls

The BTOM sets out the intended approach for the controls on imports of products of animal origin (POAO) and animal by-products (ABP) such as animal protein and blood and blood products.

Companies including feed sector players importing qualifying goods will need to start preparing for the new requirements coming into force, stressed the UK feed trade body, the AIC, in an industry note.

Controls for the highest risk goods are already in place and the new sanitary and phytosanitary model will be phased in over time, starting first with critical controls to protect the UK's biosecurity, animal, and public health. 

From October 31, 2023, the UK government will accept submission of simplified export health certificates for Rest of World trade. “The new simplified export health certificates for products of animal origin have been published and certificates for animal by-products will be available shortly. This simplification will maintain the control needed and reduce opportunities for administrative error by reformatting the certificates. It will also move guidance about attestations from the certificate itself into an annex.”

Other changes to controls come into force between January and October 2024.

The officials have outlined the TOM risk categories​ for the importation of POAO and ABPs from the EU.

They have also drawn up the import risk categories under TOM for animals or animal products being imported from a non-EU country​ to England, Scotland, or Wales, along with the import rules for each category.

The UK Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) is running sector-specific technical engagement sessions​ on the new controls throughout September.

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