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Upcoming Import Control Changes: Just Two Weeks Away

Important changes to import procedures are on the horizon, with new regulations set to take effect from 30th of April 2024. Starting on this date, traders must ensure that their goods arrive through a designated Border Control Post (BCP), or Control Point (CP) tailored to their commodity type.  

Traders must be prepared to present their consignments for documentary, physical, and identification inspections if requested at the BCP or CP.  

These requirements will apply to both EU and non-qualifying Northern Ireland Goods entering GB from the island of Ireland, with implementation no earlier than the 31st of October 2024. Stay tuned for further updates as the precise date is confirmed. 

Derogation requests and import notifications 

IPAFFS prenotifications are required to be submitted one working day ahead of a consignment’s arrival in GB, as an existing mandate for goods originating from the EU and non-qualifying Northern Ireland goods sourced from the island of Ireland. Traders are strongly advised to promptly submit their import notifications to allow for timely resolution of any issues before consignment arrival. 

Customs Declarations and CHED Import Notification 

Starting from the 30th of April, HMRC/Defra systems will cross-check the CHED import notification and customs declaration for each consignment of goods subject to SPS controls imported from EU countries. This process, already in place for non-EU countries, aims to ensure smooth operations. 

To avoid consignments being mistakenly directed to a BCP, traders must ensure consistency between the CHED import notification reference and commodity codes in both the notification and customs declaration. Here's what to do: 

• Submit the import notification via IPAFFS before your customs agent submits the customs declaration using the Customs Declaration Service. 

• Utilise the new Copy function to accurately replicate the CHED reference and customs Doc code for the customs declaration. 

• Forward both documents to your customs agent along with a PDF copy of the import notification. 

• Request your agent to double-check the consistency of commodity codes and verify the absence of special characters in the description of goods field (Data Element 6/8). 

• Collaborate with your customs agent to address any errors identified on CDS or IPAFFS before consignment departure, thereby avoiding unnecessary redirection to a BCP 

Review DEFRA's summary outlining the typical errors identified during documentary checks conducted since the implementation of import controls on 31 January. Avoiding these mistakes can minimise the requirement for in-person documentary checks at the border. 

New Guidance on Compound and Composite Product Importation 

DEFRA has recently published new information on compound products. Discover what constitutes compound products and learn how to import or transport them from the EU and Northern Ireland to Great Britain on the guidance available on the GOV.UK website – or you can also use the decision tree tool to determine whether your product qualifies as a composite product 

Effective 30th of April, all urgent enquires regarding BTOM/import matters for animal products must be directed to Mersey Port Health. For prompt assistance, please contact them through their website:  

Source Mersey Port Health Authority 

Resources to Assist with Compliance and Preparation 

Need a hand navigating the upcoming import controls and getting ready for the changes? We're here to help! 

For Further Support: Should you have any queries or require assistance with your international trade path, please do not hesitate to contact us: by email or by phone 0161 393 4314. 

Upcoming Course: IMPORT PROCEDURES - MAY 2024: We extend an invitation to our forthcoming course on import procedures scheduled for May 2024. To secure your place or obtain additional information, click here. For enquires regarding future dates, feel free to reach out using the above contact details. 

Require assistance with IPAFFS? Our dedicated customs team is on hand to provide support. Simply contact them at  

Transition Support: In facilitating your transition from PEACH to IPAFFS, DEFRA conducts weekly one-hour training sessions offering live demonstrations of the new process. Register for a session that suits your schedule via the provided links. Pre-recorded training sessions can also be accessed here

Additional Guidance: For further guidance on IPAFFS, visit GOV.UK and explore the Plant Health Information Portal Import IT Systems page. Here, you'll find useful resources including:  

·        IPAFFS for Plants Guidance 

·        IPAFFS FAQs 

·        How to locate Commodity Codes 

·        IPAFFS Synonym List for Plants 

·        IPAFFS Training Links 

·        HMRC Customs Declaration codes for IPAFFS 

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