06 February 2024

The Border Target Operation Model (BTOM) comes into effect from 31/01/2024. BTOM focuses in the UK on incoming animal products, plants, and plant products

Detailed background information on these rules can be found in the 'Border Target Operating Model'.

Specifically, for certain plant and animal products, this means:
• From January 31, 2024, for goods classified in the "medium-risk" category, a phytosanitary or health certificate must be provided to import into the United Kingdom. Products in the "high-risk" category already required the correct certificate for export.
• From April 30, 2024, these goods will also be subject to physical checks at the border. These checks will take place at Border Control Posts (BCP) or Control Points (CP). Consider the additional costs and timeframe for these checks.

The UK employs a model where goods are classified according to risk categories:
• High-risk products; 
• Medium-risk products; 
• Low-risk products.

In summary, for low-risk products, the following rules apply:
• No phytosanitary or health certificate required;
• Pre-notification in IPAFFS is necessary for animal products: through this online system, the person responsible for UK import must register the products in advance;
• Minimal physical import controls, but goods must be imported through a Border Control Post (BCP) designated for this type of goods.

In summary, for high and medium-risk products, the following rules apply:
• Phytosanitary or health certificate required for medium-risk products from January 31, 2024: You will need to request a phytosanitary certificate from FAVV before exporting your goods. For high-risk products, this rule has been in effect since January 1, 2021;
• Pre-notification in IPAFFS is necessary: through this online system, the person responsible for UK import must register the products in advance;
• From April 30, 2024, these goods may be subject to physical import controls.

Note: If you are exporting goods related to the new regulations, be aware of longer transit times. 

Our Mainfreight customs team can respond quickly to all your customs needs. Through close collaboration with our experts in transport and project logistics, we provide you with a single point of contact for all your customs needs. We can act quickly and effectively, ensuring you are fully supported throughout the entire logistics process.

You can find more information on the new rules through the following links:
• Not sure if your products fall into the low, medium, or high-risk category? The British government has published an overview of the different product categories: Plant origin and plants, and animal origin products.
• Are you exporting composite products? This overview allows you to check if your product will be subject to the new rules.
• FAVV: If you need an export certificate, this is issued in Belgium by FAVV. Information per product and category can be found on the website. You must then click on "Country-specific certificates" and search for "United Kingdom" to obtain more information. Certificates must be requested in a timely manner from the local control unit (LCU) of FAVV in your province.
• In some cases, it is necessary that your products are imported from the British side from April 30, 2024, through a Border Control Post (BCP) or Control Point (CP). The list of these locations can be found here for plants and here for animal origin products.
• Are you responsible for importing products into the UK? You can find more information about IPAFFS here.

Want to know more?

Please get in touch with our Customs Team to discuss the process and possibilities.

Contact us

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