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Import Controls coming from 30th April 2024


In addition to complying with the current controls that came into effect on January 31, from 30 April 2024 traders must:  


1.      Designated Border Control Points for Entry: Ensuring Proper Channels

Commencing April 30th, 2024, the new regulations mandate that importer of goods from the EU/EFTA route their products into Great Britain via designated Border Control Points (BCPs) or Control Points (CPs). This requirement is aimed at specifying the entry points for commodities and facilitating risk-based documentary, identity, and physical checks at these designated locations. Non-compliance may lead to delays and penalties.


2.      Revised Inspection Protocols for High-Risk Plants and Plant Products

Shifting Procedures The regulations bring about a notable adjustment in inspection procedures for high-risk plants and plant products originating from the EU, Switzerland, and Liechtenstein. Rather than inspections at Places of Destination (PoDs), these goods will now undergo scrutiny at Border Control Posts (BCPs) or Control Points (CPs). Importers must present consignments for inspection upon request, necessitating meticulous planning and coordination to ensure adherence.


3.      Strengthened Compliance Measures for Fishery Products Documentation

Enhancing oversight Importers of fish and fishery products for human consumption are subject to enhanced documentation requirements under the new regulations. Specifically, they must upload Illegal, Unreported, and Unregulated (IUU) documents to the CHED import notification within the Import of Products, Animals, Food, and Feed System (IPAFFS) before submission. This measure aims to reinforce controls and combat illegal fishing practices, underscoring the significance of adhering to regulatory protocols.


4.      Streamlined Procedures for Imports from Non-EU-EFTA Risk-Assessed Countries

The regulations introduce streamlined import procedures for goods originating from non-EU-EFTA risk-assessed countries, in line with the Border Target Operating Model (BTOM). Notably, health certification requirements for low-risk animal products will be abolished, streamlining import processes. Additionally, reduced physical and identity checks will be applied to medium-risk animal products, promoting efficiency while upholding regulatory standards.


Changes to import controls for non-EU/EFTA risk assessed countries will include:

5.      Start preparing for the changes to border controls for plants and plant products

 

From 30 April 2024, high-risk plants and plant products must come through a Border Control Post (BCP) or Control Point (CP) where identity and physical checks will be carried out. Checks will no longer take place at Places of Destination (PoDs).


Alongside this, documentary checks and physical and identity checks at the border will be introduced for medium-risk goods imported from the EU. In line with the reduced frequency of checks, checks will have a baseline of 3% for EU imports and 5% for non-EU imports, but may be different in specific cases, where additional risk factors apply. Please note, this doesn’t include medium-risk fruit and vegetables, if you are importing these goods from the EU, Switzerland or Liechtenstein to GB you will continue to be exempt from plant health controls on these goods. Further updates will be communicated shortly.


As we approach the 30 April 2024 deadline, it is important that you look to plan your journeys to BCPs or CPs as early as possible. This will help to reduce any potential delays to your onward journey and ensure compliance with the new UK phytosanitary regime. Please find the following map containing a list of BCPs and CPs which you’ll find on the Plant Health Portal.


In the meantime, you should adhere to the existing PoD requirements for high-risk plants and plant products until 23:59:59 on the 29 April.


3 weeks until PEACH Closure - have you started using IPAFFS for your Import Notifications for plants and plant products? 


If you are an importer of plants and plant products, from 00:00:01 on Monday 8 April 2024, current users of the PEACH system will no longer be able to log onto PEACH and it will not be possible to submit import pre-notifications using this system. You must register for the IPAFFS system and start using IPAFFS now.   


All importers must be registered with a UK address within IPAFFS to ensure they can submit import pre-notifications. Please visit this link if you need to register for IPAFFS. To ensure full registration information is provided, please ensure that links to an agent (if required) and the address book are up to date and ready to use for your import notification.


6.      Submission of Import Notifications and Customs Declarations: Crucial Compliance Procedures


Importers must follow specific procedures when submitting import notifications and customs declarations to ensure compliance with the new regulations. Import notifications should be submitted via Defra’s Import of Products, Animals, Food, and Feed System (IPAFFS), while customs declarations are to be lodged through HMRC’s Customs Declaration Service (CDS). It is essential to ensure synchronization between these systems to prevent errors and potential disruptions to import operations.


To adhere to the new regulations, follow these guidelines for submitting import notifications and customs declarations:


  1. Use Defra’s Import of Products, Animals, Food, and Feed System (IPAFFS) to submit import notifications. Ensure import notifications are submitted before customs declarations.

  2. Submit customs declarations via HMRC’s Customs Declaration Service (CDS).

  3. Maintain synchronization between these systems to prevent potential 'No Match' errors, which could result in consignments being redirected to Border Control Posts. Background processes verify crucial details such as import notification references, commodity codes, and net weights, guaranteeing accuracy and compliance. Address any inconsistencies promptly to avoid 'No Match' errors.

  4. If discrepancies arise and error messages are displayed on CDS and the IPAFFS dashboard, promptly rectify errors in both systems before the consignment departs, thereby preventing redirection to a Border Control Post.

These procedures facilitate SPS inspection decisions for import notifications to CDS. Commencing April 30th, 2024, rigorous cross-validation of import notifications and customs declarations for EU/EFTA consignments will be mandated.

Please ensure to familiarize yourself with the above changes, and if you need help or are unsure, do not hesitate to contact us.


Need further support on the above? 


·  If you have any questions about the above or would like support in your international trade journey?  please email exportbritain@gmchamber.co.uk or call 0161 393 4314. 

 

·        Please make sure to check our upcoming course in IMPORT PROCEDURES - MAY 2024. The course will cover a combination of documents and procedures and explain the content and the benefits of being aware of this information.   For more details or to book your place, click here. If you would like further information on future dates, please contact us as per the above details.

 

· Need help with IPAFFS?   Our customs team is at hand to help, just contact them at chambercustoms@gmchamber.co.uk

 

· To support your transition from PEACH to IPAFFS, DEFRA are running weekly one hour training sessions that provide a live walkthrough of the new process. Please register for a time that suits you via the links below.


You can also watch their pre-recorded training session here.  


Guidance on IPAFFS is available on GOV.UK. and further details visit the Plant Health Information Portal Import IT Systems page. You will be able to find the following information: 


·        IPAFFS for Plants Guidance 

·        IPAFFS FAQs 

·        IPAFFS Training Links 


 Sources:   Customs Manager, HMRC, ChamberCustoms

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