Mar 5th, 2024
9 mins

From 30th April 2024, further import control changes will come into effect. Below is information on both what you need to do now and when the additional changes are implemented, to be compliant and avoid disruption to your business and supply chain.

Changes introduced on 31 January 2024 

New import controls were introduced on 31 January 2024 when the following changes were implemented:

  • The introduction of health certification on imports from the EU/EFTA of medium risk:
  • animal products
  • plants
  • plant products
  • The introduction of health certification on imports of high-risk food and feed of non-animal origin via the EU/EFTA.
  • The introduction of import notifications for EU/EFTA products (i.e. not Qualifying Northern Irish Goods) from the island of Ireland to Great Britain.
  • The introduction of the Common Health Entry Document (CHED) import notification in place of the IMP for import notifications of EU/EFTA imports of Products of Animal Origin (POAO) and for High-Risk Food and Feed of Non-Animal Origin (HRFNAO) imported into GB via the EU/EFTA.

How to comply with changes that are now in place:   

  1. Several common errors have been identified through the documentary checks undertaken since 31 January.  You can read the summary here.
    2. Read the Frequently Asked QuestionsDefra have received about IPAFFS and Health Certificates.
    3. Register for IPAFFS online on GOV UK if you haven’t already done so. The person or business completing the CHED Part 1 import notification must have a UK address to register for IPAFFS.
    4. Know your risk category – use the online guidance to find the risk category of your commodity.
    5. Ensure that your EU supply chain is providing you with health certificates and/or phytosanitary certificates.
    6. Consider using a digitally signed and verifiable GB export health certificate (EHC) in place of the paper version of the certificate for live animals and POAO imports from EU and EFTA countries where the PDF health certificate can be electronically verified. Defra will accept verifiable PDF certificates from TRACES and other EU/EFTA MS systems listed on GOV UK. You can still use a paper GB health certificate.
    7. Correctly submit your import notification in IPAFFS:
  1. Remind your freight forwarder or customs agent to double-check that the correct CHED import notification reference in the correct format, and the correct doc code, has been entered in the customs declaration for your consignments of EU goods, and that commodity codes and net weights are also included in the declaration. This will be important from 30th April when goods start to arrive through ports with a designated BCP.

What changes are coming on 30th April 2024? 

In addition to complying with the current controls that came into effect on January 31, from 30 April 2024 traders must: ​

  • Ensure goods from EU /EFTA enter GB through an appropriately designated Border Control Post (BCP) or Control Point (CP) for your commodity type where risk-based documentary, identity and physical checks will take place.
  • Present the consignment for inspection at a BCP or CP when called. Existing inspections of high-risk plants and plant products from the EU, Switzerland, and Lichtenstein will move from Places of Destination (PoDs) to BCP and CP’s.
  • Upload IUU documents to the CHED import notification created in IPAFFS for a consignment containing fish or fishery products for human consumption before submitting the import notification.

Additionally, imports from non-EU/EFTA risk assessed countries will begin to align with the BTOM regime. Changes to import controls for non-EU/EFTA risk assessed countries will include:

  • The simplification of imports including removal of health certification and routine checks on low-risk animal products (they will be subject to intelligence-led interventions).
  • A reduction of physical and identity checks on medium-risk animal products from non-EU/EFTA risk assessed countries.
  • Changes to checks rates and the removal of requirements for import controls on certain low risk plants and plant products from risk assessed non-EU/EFTA countries
  • Proportionate level of checks for high and medium risk plants and continued requirement for a Phytosanitary Certificate (PC) and CHED import notifications made on IPAFFS.

Find out more about non-EU/EFTA BTOM risk categories for Animal Products

Find out more about non-EU/EFTA BTOM risk categories for Plant Products

Resources to help and prepare you for the changes that are coming

Sign up to Defra’s series of webinars for traders. These sessions will tell you all you need to know about changes to import processes from 30 April 2024 under the Border Target Operating Model. They will provide a step-by-step guide to importing to GB from EU/EFTA and will provide information on entering through a port of entry with a border control post and outline what happens once you get there.

Read Defra guidance on how to comply with your legal responsibilities for:



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