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The Cabinet Office have published the draft GB Border Target Operating Model with details of the processes and checks to be phased in from later this year on medium and high-risk imported food products of animal origin and imported plants/plant products arriving in GB. The clear position from the Cabinet Office is that businesses should work with their supply chains to prepare for these changes now. 

The key elements of the model are the three delivery milestones –  

  • 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 Target Operating Model. Existing inspections of high-risk plants/plant products from the EU will move from the destination to Border Control Posts (BCPs) in GB.
  • 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 – such as Safety and Security, Sanitary and Phytosanitary, and pre-lodged customs declarations.

For Sanitary and Phytosanitary controls, the UK Government’s approach under the new model will have the following three key elements - 

  • A new global risk-based approach: live animals, germinal products, products of animal origin, animal by-products, plants and plant products will be categorised as high, medium or low risk, with controls appropriately weighted against the risks posed both by the commodity and the country of origin. 
  • Simplified and digitised health certificates: will digitise phytosanitary certificates from late 2023 with take-up depending on UK trade partners’ readiness. Implement simplified export health certificates in Spring 2023 for animal products, and deliver digitised export health certificates in 2024 leading to more automated use of data.
  • Use trust: will pilot schemes with industry where authorised importers of plants, plant products and some animal products may be eligible for streamlined controls. To qualify they will need to provide the enhanced assurances and evidence that they are meeting the regulatory requirements and standards.

The development of the UK Single Trade Window (STW) will underpin this new approach to controls, providing a single digital gateway for both importers and exporters to provide the data needed to trade and apply for licences and authorisations for trusted trader schemes. 

consultation is live until 19 May 2023 on the implementation of the draft proposals and a final version will be published later this year. 

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Suffolk Chamber

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