Unsworth prepares customers for new UK import rules for EU animal and plant shipments

Source: Unsworth

Freight forwarder Unsworth has been preparing customers for the next stage of the UK’s Border Target Operating Model (BTOM) that will introduce new requirements for the import of certain animal and plant products.

From April 30, UK importers and European Union exporters to the country will be affected by 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.

Unsworth organised a tour and a questions and answers session at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs’ (Defra) Inland Border Clearance facility at Sevington for almost 100 clients and other stakeholders to prepare them for the rule changes.

The new changes are related to the UK’s exit from the European Union (Brexit).

Unsworth Group commercial director Charles Hogg said: “Over the eight years since the Brexit referendum, the freight forwarding industry has experienced a number of policy changes and has learnt to use many new systems including Goods Vehicle Movement Service, Import of products, animals, food and feed system or Safety and Security Greta Britain.

“Add to that the complexity of (new customs declaration system) CDS, the system that arrived to replace CHIEF, and the picture one can see is that of continuous change together with increased challenges being placed on the sector.

“The publication of the BTOM in August 2023 added further impetus to the process but provided much-needed clarity to the rollout of new UK policies for trade between the UK and EU.

“Consequently, 2024 seems set to be the year when the process will be completed, or at least be near completion. With the landscape of border regulations undergoing significant shifts, some have voiced concerns that the potential for disruption at the border at the end of this month is significant.”

Earlier this year, supply chain association Logistics UK warned that there was a lack of clarity around the BTOM.

“Significant details are omitted from the model in its current form, including information on how the groupage model will work and what Common User Charge government will impose at its Border Control Posts; there is still much for the government to confirm, and the implementation dates are fast approaching,” said Ellis Shelton, policy advisor, Logistics UK.

The BTOM is being implemented in phases.

Phase one, launched in January, included 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, as well as full customs controls for non-qualifying Northern Ireland goods.

Phase two – outlined above – is set to go live at the end of the month.

And the final phase, the introduction of Safety and Security Controls on imports into Great Britain from the EU and the rest of the world, will take effect from October 31.

What impact will the Border Target Operating Model have on airfreight?

New UK trade rules come thick and fast

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Damian Brett

Damian Brett
I have been writing about the freight and logistics industry since 2007 when I joined International Freighting Weekly to cover the shipping sector.After a stint in PR, I have gone on to work for Containerisation International and Lloyds List - where I was editor of container shipping - before joining Air Cargo News in 2015.Contact me on [email protected]