Navigating Changes in Exporting: Updates on UK Import Controls for Goods from Ireland
In a significant development, the UK government has announced new import controls that will impact the movement of goods from Ireland to Great Britain starting on January 31, 2024. These changes, outlined in the UK Border Target Operating Model (TOM), represent a phased approach to implementing controls on goods entering Great Britain from the European Union, including Ireland. As an exporter, it’s crucial to understand these changes and take proactive steps to ensure compliance.
Key Changes and Dates:
January 31, 2024:
- Imports of Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) goods from Ireland to Great Britain (GB) must be pre-notified on the UK’s SPS import system, IPAFFS.
- Export health certificates and phytosanitary certificates will be required for medium and high risk animal products and plant and plant products imported to GB from the EU.
- Full customs formalities will apply to goods moving directly from Ireland into GB ports.
Note: UK import declarations must be pre-lodged using the Goods Vehicle Management System (GVMS). Hauliers moving goods through UK ports using GVMS need to register for the service.
April 30, 2024:
- Documentary and risk-based identity and physical checks will apply to medium-risk animal products, medium-risk plants, medium-risk plant products, and high-risk food and feed of non-animal origin from the EU (excluding Ireland).
- Existing inspections of high-risk plants and plant products from the EU will shift from destination premises to Border Control Posts (BCPs).
October 31, 2024:
- Safety and Security declarations for EU imports will come into force.
- Documentary and risk-based identity and physical checks will apply to medium-risk animal products, medium-risk plants, medium-risk plant products, and high-risk food and feed of non-animal origin from Ireland at ports on the west coast of GB.
Note: The date for the commencement of physical checks for goods moving from the island of Ireland is yet to be confirmed by the UK Government.
What You Need to Do:
- Speak to all stakeholders in your supply chain, including transport and logistics providers and customers in Great Britain, to assess necessary adjustments for compliance.
- Irish exporters of agri-food goods should contact their supervisory competent authority to ensure they meet the new UK requirements.
Understanding the Controls: The detailed controls are outlined in the UK Border Target Operating Model. It covers customs, SPS requirements, and other essential information for exporters. You can find more information on the official Gov.uk page.
SPS Controls and Risk Categories: The need for pre-notification on the UK’s IPAFFS for SPS goods depends on the risk category. The UK Government’s website provides detailed information on the risk categories for exports to the UK.
Health Certificates and SPS Controls: New/revised UK Export Health Certificates (EHCs) for EU, including Irish products, were published by the UK’s Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) on April 28, 2023. These certificates must be used from January 31, 2024. Webinars by the Department of Agriculture Food and Marine explain the new SPS import control requirements in detail. More information is available here.
Key Links and Resources: For further guidance and information, refer to the following key links:
- Gov.uk official page on the draft UK Border Target Operating Model
- Goods Vehicle Movement Service registration page
- Import risk categories for animals and animal products
- UK Plant Health Information Portal
- Health Certificate Guidelines
- UK Model Health Certificates for Export of Live Animals & Animal Products to Great Britain
- Import of products, animals, food and feed system (IPAFFS)
- Webinars on border requirements between Great Britain and the EU
- UK Information Leaflets for Businesses
- DEFRA Webinars on Border Target Operating Model (TOM)
- Target Operating Model (TOM) Webinar Q&A’s
Irish Government Resources:
It’s crucial to stay informed and take proactive measures to ensure a smooth transition through these changes. For specific inquiries or detailed guidance, reach out to the relevant authorities or consult legal experts in international trade.
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