Brexit Update: Delay in introduction of border controls confirmed

September 12, 2023

The UK Government have now published its final Border Target Operating Model (BTOM) (download below) which sets out, at a high level, the UK’s approach to controlling imports of goods to Great Britain, including goods from the EU.

The final BTOM document includes provisions related to customs and Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) requirements for imports of goods from the EU, including Ireland. A key change in the final BTOM, from the draft document published in April, is the postponement of the introduction of new SPS requirements for agri-food goods from Ireland and the EU. The application date for these new requirements will now commence from 31 January 2024 and not 31 October 2023 as previously stated. The new deadlines for the implementation of UK SPS import controls in the final BTOM are summarised below:

31 January 2024

  • Export health certificates and phytosanitary certificates will be required for medium risk animal products, plants and plant products imported to Great Britain from the EU, including from Ireland.
  • Prenotification of imports of SPS goods from Ireland on the UK’s SPS import system (IPAFFS) will be required (this requirement already applies to imports of such goods from the rest of the EU since 1 January 2022).

30 April 2024

  • Documentary checks and physical and identity checks at the border will be introduced for medium risk animal products, plant and plant products imported to Great Britain from the EU, excluding those goods being imported from Ireland.
  • Existing inspections of high-risk plants/plant products from the EU will move from point of destination in GB to UK Border Control Posts.

31 October 2024

  • Safety and Security declarations for EU imports will come into force.
  • Documentary and risk-based identity and physical checks on medium risk animal products, plants, plant products and high-risk food and feed of non-animal origin from Ireland will be introduced at ports on the west coast of Great Britain (the date for the commencement of physical checks for non-qualifying goods moving from the island of Ireland will be confirmed in autumn 2023).

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Final Border Target Operating Model pdf | 12206.9 kb