Get ready for the new import controls on 30 April

From 00:01 30 April 2024 traders must:   

·        Ensure goods arrive through an appropriately designated Border Control Post (BCP) or Control Point (CP) for your commodity type   

·        If called, present the consignment for documentary, physical and identification inspections at the BCP or CP   


Contact points for urgent BTOM queries   

From 30 April any urgent BTOM/import queries for plants and plant products across England & Wales should be directed to the Animal & Plant Health Agency (APHA), by email, in the first instance:    

Alternatively, you can contact them by telephone: +44 (0) 3000 200 301   

From 30 April any urgent BTOM/import queries for animal products should be directed to the Port Health Authority (PHA) at your nominated Border Control Post (BCP).   

Find your PHA contact details at your nominated BCP on this map.   



A summary of common errors 

Read our summary of common errors that have been identified through the documentary checks undertaken since the import controls were implemented on 31 January.   Ensuring you do not repeat these common errors can help reduce the need to undergo in-person documentary checks at the border. 




Gov.UK guidance pages listing available border control posts for imports of animal products and food and feed not of animal origin, and plants and plant products, have now been updated.


Checks being implemented on 30 April 2024 

Our two priorities remain unchanged. Protecting UK biosecurity and safeguarding the vital flow of trade into Great Britain.   

From 30 April, goods posing the highest biosecurity risk (across all BTOM risk categories) will be prioritised as we build up to full BTOM check rates and high levels of compliance. This approach ensures we are striking the appropriate balance between protecting the UK from biosecurity risks and facilitating trade. We will continually review our enforcement approach tracking compliance and disruption levels, adjusting our enforcement approach accordingly. This graduation of controls will support traders as they transition and adjust to the new regime. 



Liability for non-compliance 

With regards to matters of non-compliance with UK SPS controls when importing plants and/or plant products, liability will vary depending upon the type of non-compliance, but this may include action against breaches in of the regulatory requirements by the importer/their agent/the BCP/the port operator and others in the supply chain. 

If you are importing or transiting animal products into Great Britain, the operator responsible for the consignment - named in Box I.8 of the Common Health Import Document (CHED) import notification - will be liable for all associated non-compliance enforcement action. If an agent is named as the responsible operator on the CHED they will assume this liability. Contractual arrangements between the importer and their agent are a matter for those parties. 



Returning goods rejected at a GB BCP 

The European Union has procedures to accept returned feed and food products which have been rejected in another country, including Great Britain. In some cases, a return will not be permitted by the GB inspectors and the consignment will be destroyed. Where a return has been permitted, it is important you consult the competent authority at the final point of destination in the EU for approval for return and for any specific local conditions. 

Returned feed and food must re-enter the EU via a designated Border Control Post for the commodity being returned. The consignment will be subject to documentary and other checks as deemed appropriate by officials at the EU BCP. 

Goods should return to the original establishment of origin. In exceptional circumstances the competent authority in the EU may permit return to an alternate destination or, where the goods pose a serious risk to public health, an approved disposal facility. 

The original documentation used to import the goods into GB should travel with the consignment and the importer will need to provide the local officials at the entry point in the EU with written confirmation why the products were refused entry to GB, a guarantee that transport and storage conditions have been met and confirmation that the goods have not been handled e.g. for unloading purposes in GB. 

Find general information on EU import conditions here: EU entry conditions - European Commission ( 



Resources to help you comply with the new controls 


Visit our YouTube channel and watch recordings of our previous webinars for traders.  

Read our guidance on how to comply with your legal responsibilities for:  

·        importing live animals and animal products to Great Britain   

·        importing plants and plant products from the EU to Great Britain   

·        importing plants and plant products from non-EU countries to Great Britain  


Kind regards,

Trader Engagement & Readiness Team
Biosecurity, Borders and Trade Programme
Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs

*Defra Personal Information Charter: here 


nat maritime

nat maritime

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