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All change again: UK Gov updates plan for goods checks


The UK government has published its updated plan for checks on goods crossing the UK Border. 

This new Target Operating Model will now introduce import checks at the UK Border on ALL goods, as well as begin the introduction of a Single Trade Window together with the planned end of CHIEF in November 2023.

The new Border Operating Model will be digitally driven through the proposed ‘Single Trade Window’- a one-stop electronic portal, which aims to ease and speed up the customs process, and will give greater granularity for the monitoring and detection and enforcement of non-compliant activities.

So what is going to happen?

  1. All imports will be checked at the Border by Border Force/HMRC for compliance
  2. New ‘Sanitary & Phytosanitary (SPS)’ controls will be enforced especially on food products
  3. Additional Safety & Security controls on imports
  4. Controls are expected to start in October 2023
  5. New risk-based border processes will come into effect
  6. Changeover from CHIEF to CDS for exports will take place

What does this mean for you?

There is little detail is available on what the new processes are going to be, but it will cause some supply chain disruption- especially in agrifoods and food products

Based on experience you can expect delays in receiving or sending goods due to:

  • Border congestion
  • Pre-notification requirements of certain goods
  • Full physical inspections
  • Incorrect documentation 
  • HMRC computer system outages
  • Lock in any prices now before the cost effects of the import controls impact bite

What should you do?

  • Make sure you have enough stock to ride out a month of disruption
  • Plan any shipments for either before October or after October
  • Ensure shipping documents are complete with the right commodity code, certificates, and licences 
  • Keep your import and export records up to date

Expected timeline

31 October 2023 

– Export health certificates and phytosanitary certificates are to be introduced for medium risk animal products, plant, and plant products imported to GB from the EU.

End of 2023

Permanent waivers introduced from the requirement to submit Safety and Security declarations on certain categories of low-risk movements – fish which have been caught in UK territorial seas and landed outside of the UK, outbound transit and certain outbound freeport goods.

31 January 2024

-Documentary checks and physical and identity checks at the border are introduced for medium-risk animal products, plant and plant products imported to GB from the EU. 

The global model of controls is introduced for rest of the world imports, Health certificates will no longer be required for low-risk goods and pre-notification will no longer be required for low risk plant and plant products.

31 October 2024 

– Safety and Security declarations are required for EU imports. Alongside this, use of the UK Single Trade Window will remove duplication across pre-arrival datasets where possible.

Confused? Then reach out for help

Go Exporting provides customs and compliance advice to clients in the UK and around the world. We answer your urgent questions or provide a complete analysis culminating in a step-by-step procedure for you to follow which ensures your products move from country to country with the minimum of fuss and duties.

Learn more about how we can support your business here.

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