Date: 26.04.2023

Delayed post-Brexit import checks to launch

Despite being part of its post-Brexit trade agreement the UK government has delayed checks on EU goods four times. It has announced that risk-based checks for EU and non-EU imports will finally be introduced in three parts from October.

The draft Border Target Operating Model (TOM) sets out proposals for a new border surveillance and control system to provide protection from security and biosecurity threats, with risk-based checks across EU and non-EU trade.

The government has delayed putting in place import checks, which are legally required under the Brexit trade deal, four times due to concerns over port disruption, leading to considerable friction with Brussels.

The draft TOM was developed with input from the border industry and affected UK businesses and the government will engage with industry for a further six weeks, before publishing the final version of the model.

New changes for imports from the EU into UK include:
• Trusted traders scheme to avoid trade checks
• Reduced safety and security data requirements
• Introduction of the UK Single Trade Window
• Live animal products and by-products, plants and plant product controls will be determined by risk and country of origin
• Simplified and digitised health certificates
• Checks to take place at Border Control Posts to prevent port traffic

None of the proposed checks or controls in the model will apply to imports into Northern Ireland from the EU, following the Windsor Framework, but there will be further checks for goods arriving directly on the UK mainland from Ireland.

Subject to feedback and review, the TOM will be implemented in three parts:

31st October 2023 

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.

31st January 2024 

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.

Imports of animal and plant goods from the rest of the world will start to benefit from the model.

Existing inspections of high-risk plants/plant products from the EU will move from their destination to a border control post within a port or airport

31st October 2024 

Safety and security declarations for EU imports will come into force, as will a reduced need for import data and the use of the UK Single Trade Window, which will remove the need for duplicated pre-arrival data.

Businesses in Northern Ireland will be able to import goods from the EU with none of the additional checks or controls set out in the new Border Target Operating Model.

Metro are at the forefront of UK/EU/RoW customs brokerage solutions, with our automated CuDoS declaration platform and a dedicated team of customs experts, reacting swiftly to any changes in the UK’s trading regimes.

To learn how we can simplify and automate customs declarations for your businesses, please EMAIL Andy Fitchett, Brokerage Manager, to review the options.