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The Final Border Target Operating Model - August 2023 Update

Updated: Nov 6, 2023




On the 29th August, the UK Government publish the latest version of their Border Target Operating Model (BTOM) which is also in line with their 2025 UK Border Strategy. The new BTOM outlines their new approach to security controls at the border (applicable to all imports – including those coming from the EU), as well as sanitary and phytosanitary controls (applicable to all imports of live animals, animal products, plants and plant products).

The new approach sets out how controls will be delivered through simplification, digitisation, and the UK’s new Single Trade Window. This latest version responds to feedback received from a wide range of stakeholders on their earlier BTOM draft.

These are some of the key dates which traders must observe:

31st January 2024

  • Introduction of the health certification on imports of medium risk animal products, plants and plants products and high-risk food and feed of non-animal origin from the EU.

  • Removal of pre-notification requirements for low-risk plant and plant products from the EU.

30th April 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.

  • Existing inspections of high-risk plants/plants products from the EU will move from Destination to Border Control Posts.

  • Simplification of imports from non-EU imports including the removal of health certification and routine checks on low-risk animal products, plants and plant products, as well as reduction of on physical and identity checks levels on medium-risk animal products.

21st October 24:

  • The requirement for Safety and Security declarations for imports into GB from the EU or from other territories where the waiver applies will come into force as set out on the original BTOM.

  • Introduction of reduced dataset for imports and use of the UK Single Trade Window will remove duplication where possible across different pre-arrival datasets such as the pre-lodged customs declarations.

For Irish goods and Northern Ireland qualifying goods arriving from Ireland, please note this is set out under the recently agreed Windsor Framework or you can also refer to Section 2. Of the new BTOM.


As mentioned earlier, the BTOM is part of the wider 2025 UK Border Strategy where it creates a cross-government approach to authorising businesses for Trusted Trade Status (where a trader goes through an upfront assurance process in order to be granted authorisation to use facilitations not available to traders by default) and which sees these approaches expanded across different compliance regimes.


In the BTOM it says “Currently, the UK Government’s ‘Trusted Trader’ offer comprises over 80 schemes for customs and excise administered by HMRC, such as the Authorised Economic Operator (AEO) scheme, Authorised Consignee/Consignor (ACC) for transit users and Excise Warehousing. Benefits range from reduced checks at the border to the ability to defer customs and excise duty and import VAT payments. For excise authorisations, without the required authorisations and approvals, businesses cannot produce excise products such as beer, tobacco or road fuels”


So through the new BTOM, there will be a joined up approach to their Trusted Trader offering which will means a radical simplification of its existing schemes through their Modernising Authorisations project – which will streamline current range of customs authorisations and digitise current paper based applications/management processes for customs and excise authorisations.


For the full BTOM document, please click here


Need help with getting up to speed with upcoming changes?


  • Tap into our expert customs team and network of senior international trade practitioners to help you with getting your systems and processes complying with new regulations. Email us at exportbritain@gmnchamber.co.uk or call at 0161 393 4314.

  • Check the wide range of events and training courses we have coming up which can help you raise awareness about changes affecting your global operations and opportunities. Click here


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