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New Import Controls From the 31st January 2024

HM Revenue & Customs announced that from the 31st January there will be substantial changes impacting UK importers. 

1 Withdrawal of 999L CDS Waiver Code  

On the old CHIEF system customs brokers could use the universal waiver LIC99. When HMRC first moved to CDS they introduced a similar substitute code, 999L.  The waiver code 999L on CDS was a temporary solution to declare goods not subject to any licence-specific tariff controls. 

Wednesday 31st January was the final day to use this waiver, and HMRC will now require brokers to use the individual control measures and apply the correct licence code. This means that multiple document codes may be required depending on the product being imported. 

All the declarations showing 999L after the deadline, will be stuck at the border, risking delays. Same applies to entries raised before the 31st of January but only crossing the border in February, as those will get rejected until the waiver is substituted by relevant document codes. All the replacement codes can be found here

While this only applies to imports, the waiver 999L will be available for exports only until the 31st of January 2025. 

2 Import of goods subject to sanitary or phytosanitary controls 

In order to govern the import of animals, products of animal origin, plants and plant products, HMRC released a new Border Target Operating Model which divides these goods in three new risk categories: low, medium and high. The level of risk will depend on the country of origin of the goods. 

All the products of medium risk or high risk will now require an export health certificate, along with an import of products, animals, food and feed system notification (IPAFFS). 

3 Import from the Republic of Ireland 

The new Border Target Operating Model included some changes to the imports of goods coming directly from The Republic of Ireland. In fact, some goods will undergo full customs controls and will require an import entry upon arrival.  

The same will apply to Northern Irish goods coming to the UK from Irish ports, when those goods are: 

  • Non-qualifying Northern Ireland goods 

  • Excise goods 

  • Goods not moved to an Irish port once they leave Northern Ireland 

If you wish to be customs compliant and make sure your goods do not get rejected at customs, if you are planning to import goods from Ireland or Northern Ireland but are unsure on the new requirements, our international team is here to help.  


  • We are pleased to announce that the Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce is now providing IPAFFS services! If you are interested in importing animals products, plants, or plants products, please reach out and we will be able to assist you with this pre-boarding notification. Get in touch with us at and we can assist you with your customs declarations. 

  • Need a Health Certificate when exporting from the UK to global markets?  Contact our team! 

  • Download and watch on demand our latest Chambers Trade Academy Session which focused on UK & EU Customs and regulatory changes coming up in 2024,  watch on demand on latest Chambers Trade Academy Session!  You can download slides in our Trade Hub or watch the full session on youtube

  • Need help ensuring you have a robust customs framework at your business to adapt to the new changes and remain compliant?   From half/full day customs audits to training bespoke courses and more,  our international trade advisers and expert associates can help.   For more info, click here 



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