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4th September 2023

Import controls: delays and updates

The full implementation of border controls for imported goods from the European Union (EU) has been delayed for a further three months.

The announcement coincided with the publication of the UK government’s Border Target Operating Model. The new approach to security, sanitary and phytosanitary controls for imported goods will be implemented from January 2024 and has been developed with collaboration from the Scottish and Welsh Governments and officials from the devolved administration in Northern Ireland.

The delay affects the health certificates for medium-risk imported animal products, plants, feed and food of non-animal origin from the EU which were due to become a requirement from 31 October. These measures will now be implemented from 31 January 2024 along with the removal of pre-notification requirements for low risk plant products.

Other import controls will be introduced in phases throughout 2024 to enable businesses and their supply chains to have enough time to prepare and adapt.

From 30 April 2024, medium-risk animal and plant products and high-risk food and feed of non-animal origin goods from the EU will face documentation, identity and physical inspections at the border. Imported sanitary and phytosanitary goods from non-EU countries will be subjected to checks based on their risk.

Finally, from 31 October 2024, it will be mandatory for all EU imports to be accompanied by safety and security declarations. As the digitisation of customs procedures continues, a new ‘single trade window’ will also be introduced at this time to simplify trade processes for importers and exporters and reduce any duplication of trade information.

At Chambers Wales South East, South West and Mid, our trade team keep up to date with the latest developments, policies and announcements affecting importers and exporters to help businesses keep goods moving and ensure compliance at every stage.

As a dedicated customs intermediary, the Chamber can manage declarations and offer a wide range of international documentary services, helping to curate end-to-end solutions and connectivity across global markets.

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