HMRC and Defra services working together

As of 30 April, HMRC and Defra systems are cross-checking the CHED import notification and customs declaration for each consignment of goods subject to SPS controls imported from EU and non-EU countries. 

To avoid the consignment being directed to a BCP when it may not need to attend, the CHED import notification reference and commodity codes must be consistent between the notification and the customs declaration. Follow these steps: 

  • Submit the import notification using IPAFFS before your customs agent submits the customs declaration using Customs Declaration Service.  
  • Use the new Copy function to copy the CHED reference and customs Doc code in the correct format for the customs declaration.   
  • Send to your customs agent together with a PDF copy of the import notification. Ask them to double check the commodity codes are the same in the customs declaration. They should also check that there are no special characters in the description of goods field (Data Element 6/8).  
  • Work with your customs agent to fix any errors shown on CDS or IPAFFS before the consignment reaches the port of departure, to avoid it being directed to a BCP when it may not need to attend.   
  • If any errors are not fixed before the consignment arrives at the port of departure, the consignment will be subject to a customs hold at the port of arrival. Find out more by watching our video and reading the HMRC guidance.   



Contact points for urgent BTOM queries from 30 April 2024    

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).     


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