The landscape of international trade is ever-evolving, and as we step into 2024, the implications of the Border Target Operating Model (BTOM) are at the forefront.
The final Border Target Operating Model sets new measures for all imports to the UK and introduces new sanitary and phytosanitary controls for live animals, animal products, plants, and plant products at the border.
Notably, the BTOM seeks to streamline and digitise processes, alongside implementation of the UK’s Single Trade Window.
In a departure from the original timetable for controls on EU imports in April 2022, the government collaborated with businesses to forge a new approach. This final BTOM will govern imports into Great Britain (GB) from all nations, including the EU, aligned with the 2025 UK Border Strategy.
The goal of the BTOM is clear: balancing efficient border controls with simplified import processes. The final document, though, is anything but. So read on, as we provide an executive summary designed to give UK importers all the information they need at a glance.
In April 2023, the UK Government introduced a draft Border Target Operating Model. This blueprint, applicable to imports from all countries including the EU, aimed to:
An extensive engagement period ensued, 10,000+ registrations for workshops and seminars, coupled with written feedback from over 200 stakeholders.
The response was varied. Stakeholders, particularly from the veterinary and agricultural sectors, applauded the most innovative elements of the model, recognising a need for robust security and biosecurity controls.
Some concerns were raised by businesses and the border industry though, emphasising the additional burden and detailed information required.
And so, adjustments were made.
Certain implementation milestones for the Border Target Operating Model were deferred, to afford more time for preparation. The revised plan, active from the end of January 2024, began with the introduction of health certification on relevant EU goods.
August 2023 saw publication of the updated Border Target Operating Model. This document encapsulates the final iteration of the BTOM, incorporating feedback, and fostering collaboration across the UK, Scottish and Welsh Governments, and officials from the devolved administration in Northern Ireland.
The Border Target Operating Model aims to change the way safety, security, and sanitary and phytosanitary controls are approached for UK imports. It is intended to be innovative and forward-facing, in alignment with the vision for modern trading.
In a bid to strike a delicate balance between robust security measures and trader convenience, the Border Target Operating Model details a new approach to Safety and Security controls.
As it applies to Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) controls, the Border Target Operating Model is aimed at innovation, risk mitigation, and digital transformation.
See below the government’s planned implementation and rollout schedule for the BTOM, comprising three key milestones:
31 January 2024
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.
The removal of Pre-notification requirements for low risk
plant and plant products from the EU removed.
30 April 2024
Introduction of documentary, 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.
Existing inspections of high-risk plants / plant products from the EU move from destination to Border Control Posts.
Simplification of imports from non-EU countries begins, including removal of health certification and routine checks on low-risk
animal products, plants, plant products from non-EU countries, and reductions in physical / identity check levels on medium-risk animal products from non-EU countries.
31 October 2024
Requirement for Safety and Security declarations for imports into Great Britain from the EU / other territories (where waiver
applies) becomes effective.
Introduction of reduced datasets for imports, and use of the UK Single Trade Window will remove duplication (where possible) across different pre-arrival datasets.
The Border Target Operating Model introduces an updated framework for managing movement of Irish goods. Qualifying goods from Northern Ireland are dealt with under the Windsor Framework.
These measures aim to strike a delicate balance, ensuring the integrity of regulatory controls while safeguarding the streamlined movement of goods critical to the interconnected markets of Ireland, Northern Ireland, and Great Britain.
From January 2024, controls on non-qualifying goods, including EU goods moving directly from Irish ports to Great Britain and excise goods, will be phased in.
As the Border Target Operating Model unfolds and ushers in a new era of border controls and regulatory frameworks, ensuring ongoing customs compliance is paramount for businesses navigating the complex landscape of international trade.
Non-compliance can lead to penalties and fines, adversely impacting your bottom line.
It ensures the smooth movement of goods across borders, preventing delays and disruptions that can tarnish your reputation and disrupt your supply chain.
At clearBorder, we offer dedicated customs compliance consultancy services, ensuring that your business stays ahead of the curve. Choose us for:
Don’t let the complexities of new BTOM customs regulations act as stumbling blocks for your business. Contact us today and fortify your business for the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead.