In August 2023, the UK government published the new Border Target Operating Model (BTOM). This model is designed to streamline import processes while maintaining efficiency in control mechanisms.

Overview of the New Model

The BTOM outlines a fresh approach towards managing Safety and Security controls, as well as Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) controls. This new strategy is pivotal in balancing the ease of import processes with robust regulatory oversight.

Sanitary and Phytosanitary Controls

Effective from 31 January 2024, health certifications will become mandatory for imports of medium-risk animal products, plants, plant products, and high-risk food and feed of non-animal origin from the EU.

Key Milestones

  • 30 April 2024: Introduction of documentary and risk-based identity and physical checks on the aforementioned products. Notably, inspections of high-risk plants and plant products from the EU will transition from their destination to Border Control Posts.

Authorized Operator Status and Accredited Trusted Trader Scheme

UK registered businesses that meet criteria outlined in the BTOM may be eligible for simplifications under the Authorised Operator Status (AOS) scheme for plant and plant product imports, and the Accredited Trusted Trader Scheme for animal products.

Safety and Security Enhancements

From 31 October 2024, Safety and Security declarations for imports from the EU and other applicable territories will be mandatory.

Declaration Process:

  • The legal obligation to submit an Entry Summary declaration remains with the operator of the transport means.
  • Importers or intermediaries can lodge declarations on the carrier’s behalf, based on agreements with the carrier.
  • The Entry Summary Notification (ENS) declaration will be streamlined, comprising 20 mandatory and 8 conditional fields. Additionally, 9 optional fields can be voluntarily submitted.

Exceptions and Simplifications

Export Safety and Security declarations will be exempt for certain outbound freeport goods from Great Britain, outbound transit from Great Britain, and fish caught in UK waters and landed in non-UK ports.

The UK Single Trade Window

This platform will facilitate the submission of declarations and aim to reduce redundancy across various pre-arrival data sets, including pre-lodged customs declarations.

The new Border Target Operating Model represents a significant step in optimizing the UK's border control processes, balancing the need for security with the efficiency of trade operations. As these changes roll out, businesses and stakeholders are encouraged to familiarize themselves with the new requirements and take advantage of the available simplifications.