Dec 21st, 2021
7 mins

As members will be aware, the UK decided to delay and then phase in controls on imports from the EU in a series of stages starting from 1st January 2022 when there will be a requirement for pre-notification of products of animal origin (POAO), animal by-products (ABP) and high-risk food not of animal origin (HRFNAO), along with pre-notification for lower risk plants and plant products.

The very latest information on pre-notification of consignments can be found here.

Note: The Government has decided to temporarily extend staged customs controls for goods that move from the island of Ireland into GB while discussions between the UK and the EU on the Northern Ireland Protocol are ongoing. This is to avoid any disruption and ensure that businesses moving goods from the island of Ireland to GB can continue to follow the same processes they do now. For more information – see Section 1.1.6. of the Border Operating Model. A precise timeline has not been indicated but the talks between the EU and the UK on the Protocol are expected to continue throughout Q1 2022.

The phases are set out in the latest version of the UK Border Operating Model (updated December 2021).

A summary of the phases along with other useful information can also be found on the EU Exit Food Hub. This site aims to provide a central source of information for agri-food businesses on the UK’s new relationship with the EU under the terms of the Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TAC) which entered into effect as of 1 January 2021. It is run by several food industry partner organisations on a voluntary and collaborative basis and the BFFF, as part of its editorial committee, works hard to ensure it is kept up to date with the very latest Frequently Asked Questions and links to official UK and EU guidance. Ahead of January 1st, 2022, we would recommend you familiarise yourself with this site, and check back with it regularly to ensure you keep abreast of the developing situation.

Below is a summary of key ‘lookouts’ for January 1st, kindly summarised for us by colleagues at Unsworth:

  • Delayed import declaration will stop on 31st From 1st January 2022 every imported shipment will have to be customs cleared at the UK Border.
  • Import Declaration will have to be done in advance of the truck boarding the train/ferry at the export EU Border. The Movement Reference Number (MRN) of this import declaration has to be entered by the haulier or your customs broker into the Good Vehicle Movement System (GVMS), to get a Goods Movement Reference (GMR).
  • This GMR will be scanned when boarding the ferry / train at EU export border. Without GMR the truck cannot board the ferry.
  • Origin of goods: EU is no longer accepted as country of origin. You need to know the EU Country of origin for your products or their ingredients.
  • Pre-notification of your import POAO products, NRFNAO products, ABP products and plant products into IPAFFS.
  • The IPAFFS pre-notification reference number has to be entered in the advanced import customs declaration.
  • NO EU Export health Certificate (EHC) will be required until 1st
  • Port Health will check documents submitted in IPAFFS; this is their objective for the next 6 months. No physical checks will take place on goods, with some exceptions.
  • Port Health may want to inspect the goods and will transmit a notification via GVMS; the driver should have access to the platform and check which Border Inspection Post (BIP) he has to go to for inspection.


Other useful sources of information:

  • Unsworth webinar slides and recording: On 15th December Unsworth, in collaboration with the Short Straits User Forum, ran a webinar highlighting the changes in regulations for imports from the EU from next year, and what needs to be put in place to cope with GVMS registrations, stricter preference rules and mandatory pre-notification requirements for POAO and HRFNAO. The slides from that webinar can now be accessed here along with the recording here.






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