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Blogs | 1 September 2023

The Border Target Operating Model is here

This week the UK Government released the final copy of the Border Target Operating Model (BTOM) after receiving feedback from stakeholders since its draft release in May. During a live briefing, the Minister of the State at the Cabinet Office, Baroness Neville-Rolfe, detailed the changes that traders need to be aware of.

The goal of the Border Target Operating Model remains to ‘create the most effective border in the world’ in the UK, with an improved regime of sanitary, phytosanitary, and security controls on imports to reduce the complexity of the UK’s security, bio-security and public health border controls, as part of the 2025 UK Border Strategy.

Acting on the feedback from stakeholders, improvements were made on:

  • The Trusted Trader Scheme
  • New movement of goods to the EU
  • Information on moving goods into the UK
  • More information on safety and security data sets
  • More details on the role of the carrier and haulier when submitting safety and security documentation.

The implementation deadline has also been revised to give more time to prepare for the model, bring in implementation controls, and ease the potential burden to businesses:

  • Introduction of health certification on imports of medium risk animal products, plans, plant products, and high risk food and feed of non-animal origin from the EU. Deadline has now moved from October 2023 to 31st January 2024.
  • Introduction of documentary and 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. At this point, imports of Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) goods from the rest of the world will begin to benefit from the new risk based model. Existing inspections of high-risk plants/plant products from the EU will move from destination to BCPs. Deadline has now moved from January 2024 to 30th April 2024.
  • The deadline of 31st October 2024 remains unchanged for: The requirement for Safety and Security (S&S) declarations for EU imports comes into effect in October 2024. A reduced dataset for all imports and use of the UK Single Trade Window will be introduced to remove duplication where possible across the different sets of data that must be submitted before the goods arrive in the UK – such as Safety and Security, Sanitary and Phytosanitary, and pre-lodged customs data.

The UK Government will be working closely with businesses to help adapt to the new model, with events and ongoing dialogue with stakeholders.

Why have the deadlines changed?

As mentioned above, the UK Government are promising to work closely with businesses to make the transition as smooth as possible, allowing time to implement the changes necessary to their business and trade flows. This brings the launch of the BTOM closer to the upcoming UK Single Trade Window.

The new model will be introduced in a phased approach due to the need for effective management of biosecurity, public health, food safety and security risks, allowing enough time for implementation, and time for stakeholders to build and test the necessary systems to ensure supply chains aren’t disrupted.

Supplementary annexes will be published in due course with further guidance before the deadlines.

Read the full Border Target Operating model publication here.

Our blog 'Your guide to TOMorrow's UK Border Strategy' contains more essential information about the changes announced earlier this year.

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