Apr 5th, 2023
5 mins

The long awaited draft border Target Operating Model (TOM) has now been published and a copy is available to view online here. The BFFF would encourage members to view the draft TOM and provide any feedback via the online feedback tool which can be accessed here. If you are also able to share a copy of your feedback with us, that would be greatly appreciated and will ensure we represent our members effectively during our engagement with Government. Please send to

The model sets out the Government’s plan to realise the ambition of the 2025 Border Strategy to create the most effective border in the world.

The proposals in the Target Operating Model apply to imports of live animals, germinal products, animal products, plants and plant products from all countries into Great Britain and will see the implementation of new security and biosecurity controls on imports from the EU. These controls will ensure our environment is protected, deliver food that is safe to eat whilst maintaining security of supply for consumers.

The model will be implemented through three major milestones, the first of which importers and their supply-chains should begin to prepare for now:

  • 31 October 2023 – The introduction of health certification on imports of medium risk animal products, plants, plant products and high-risk food (and feed) of non-animal origin from the EU.
  • 31 January 2024 – The introduction of 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 the EU. At this point imports of Sanitary and Phytosanitary goods from the rest of the world will begin to benefit from the new risk-based model.
  • 31 October 2024 – Safety and Security declarations for EU imports will come into force from 31 October 2024. Alongside this, we will introduce a reduced dataset for imports and use of the UK Single Trade Window will remove duplication where possible across different pre-arrival datasets.

Defra are now entering a six-week period of engagement with industry and want to hear your views on the initial proposals. They plan to run a programme of engagement with stakeholder groups from all the nations of the UK and with international partners. These will bring stakeholders and policy teams from government together to discuss and test the proposals set out in the TOM. There will be sector specific workshops and international engagement events, as well as wider stakeholder groups and bespoke sessions.  You may view a list of TOM workshops via this Eventbrite page.


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