New UK Import Controls from 30 April

From 00:01 30 April 2024 traders must ensure goods arrive through an appropriately designated Border Control Post (BCP) or Control Point (CP) for your commodity type. If called, present the consignment for documentary, physical and identification inspections at the BCP or CP.

1) Contact points for urgent BTOM queries

From 30 April any urgent BTOM/import queries for plants and plant products across England & Wales should be directed to the Animal & Plant Health Agency (APHA), by email, in the first instance: Alternatively, you can contact them by telephone: +44 (0) 3000 200 301   

From 30 April any urgent BTOM/import queries for animal products should be directed to the Port Health Authority (PHA) at your nominated Border Control Post (BCP). Find your PHA contact details at your nominated BCP on this map.   
2) Getting ready for the new controls

Follow these steps and use the resources to help you comply with the new controls and prepare for the changes that are coming.

❑ Read HMRC’s guidance on how to comply with your legal responsibilities for:
– importing live animals and animal products to Great Britain  
– importing plants and plant products from the EU to Great Britain  
– importing plants and plant products from non-EU countries to Great Britain 

❑ Visit HMRC’s YouTube channel and watch recordings of HMRC’s previous webinars for traders.

❑ Make sure you are following the correct process for the type of product you are importing – watch a recording of HMRC’s latest information sessions on Import controls for animal products and plants and plant products: Border Target Operating Model (BTOM): Are you ready for 30 April? (plants focused) (

❑ Find out the commodity code of your product Trade Tariff: Look up commodity codes, duty and VAT rates – GOV.UK (

❑ Check the risk category of your product on Import risk categories for animals, animal products, plants and plant products – GOV.UK (

❑ Check that your chosen port of entry has a Border Control Point (BCP) designated for the product you are importing. From 30 April, all SPS goods, excluding live animals, must enter GB via a port of entry with a suitably designated BCP (except for movements from the Island of Ireland). Where a consignment is identified being brought into GB via point of entry without a suitably designated BCP it may be subject to formal enforcement action, including the consignment being detained and refused entry.

❑ Read HMRC’s information on Border Control Posts (BCP’s) and charges for importing live animals, animal products, plants and plant products

❑ Make sure all required documentation is provided, including uploading health certificates and IUU documents to the import notification created and submitted in IPAFFS (and PHILIS where used by PHA/port). Read HMRC’s information about health certificates and import notifications.

❑ Make sure all relevant contact details (for the person responsible for the load and the transporter in particular) are included in the import notification in case the consignment is called in for checks at the border control posts. Find out more by watching HMRC’s video.

❑ Ask your customs agent or freight forwarder/haulier if the routing uses the Goods Vehicle Messaging Service. From 30 April, operators and drivers of loads travelling via GVMS-enabled carriers will be able to use GVMS to check if the load needs to go for SPS inspection at a BCP/CP at the same time as checking for customs inspections. You must tick yes to this question in the CHED import notification on IPAFFS to activate this service.  Find out more by watching HMRC’s video.

❑ If your transporter is not travelling via a route using GVMS, or your consignment is transiting GB, IPAFFS will provide an initial risk assessment telling you if your consignment needs an inspection when you submit your import notification. If your consignment does need an inspection, you’ll also receive a text and email message 2 hours before your transporter’s estimated time of arrival in Great Britain. The message will confirm what you need to do. If IPAFFS tells you your consignment has not been selected for an inspection, you should still check for messages until your consignment has cleared the port, because the authorities may still call you for an inspection based on their final risk assessment. Find out more by watching HMRC’s video.

❑ Avoid your consignment being directed to a BCP when it may not need to attend. From 30 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 is already in place for non-EU countries. The CHED import notification reference and commodity codes must be consistent between the notification and the customs declaration.  Find out more by watching HMRC’s video and reading the HMRC guidance.

❑ Read our summary of common errors that have been identified through the documentary checks undertaken since the import controls were implemented on 31 January. our
3) Getting ready for plant inspections

Places of Destination

The PoD scheme will come to an end on 30 April. On this date, inspections of high-risk plants and plant products will move to designated Border Control Posts (BCPs) or Control Points (CPs). Alongside this medium-risk plants and plant products imported from the EU, Switzerland & Liechtenstein to GB will be subject to documentary and risk-based identity and physical checks at BCPs and CPs from 30 April.

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. HMRC have created a map on HMRC’s Plant Health Portal containing a list of BCPs and CPs.      

Follow these steps and use the resources to help you comply with the new controls and prepare for the changes that are coming for plants and plant products.

Read HMRC’s guidance on how to comply with your legal responsibilities for:
importing plants and plant products from the EU to Northern Ireland 
importing plants and plant products from non-EU countries to Great Britain
bringing plants and plant products to Great Britain for personal use 

If you’re importing fruit and vegetables from the EU to Great Britain, you also need to follow quality and labelling rules

❑ Importers must be registered with a UK address within IPAFFS to ensure you can submit import pre-notifications. Please visit this link if you need to register for IPAFFS. 

❑ To support your transition from PEACH to IPAFFS HMRC will continue to hold weekly 1-hour training sessions that provide a live walkthrough of the new process. Please register for a time that suits you via the links below.  Invitation to register and submit notifications via IPAFFS – Training Links

❑ You can also watch HMRC’s pre-recorded training session here.

❑ Physical and identity checks on all regulated plants and plant products will be carried out at Border Control Posts and Control Points (CP).

❑ Border Control Posts are a border inspection facility where goods first arrive. Control Posts are inland inspection facilities where Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) checks can take place under customs supervision. For more information BCP and CP Overview – UK Plant Health Information Portal (

❑ To find out the latest updates on plants and plant health subscribe to HMRC’s weekly Plant Health newsletter.

❑ You can also visit HMRC’s Plant Health Portal for more information. 
4) Checks and inspection rates  

Types of checks and an example inspection

You can find out more about checks and inspections by watching HMRC’s recent trader webinar which provided information about different types of checks that can be carried out on consignments at a BCP, talked through an example inspection process and covered what happens after checks have been carried out.

Risk categorisation and inspection rates

From 30 April 2024, imports are subject to identity checks and physical checks. The percentage of times identity and physical checks will happen (the inspection rate) depends on the risk category of the commodity being imported:
– high risk commodities are inspected every time the commodity is imported (inspection rate 100%)
– medium risk commodities are inspected 1-30% of the time the commodity is imported. The specific inspection rate (M1, M2 or M3) depends on the commodity and country
– low risk commodities are not subject to routine inspection, but may be subject to non-routine or intelligence-led checks

You can now find the inspection rate information for animals and animal products imported from EU and non-EU countries under the BTOM. The risk category summary tables have been updated and now include a column showing the inspection rate that will be applied to that commodity. To find the specific inspection rate for the commodity you are importing please see the ‘inspection rate’ column in the summary tables.

HMRC have also now published the risk categorisation spreadsheet for non-EU countries. This spreadsheet can be used to find the risk category for a specific commodity that is being imported from a non-EU country. Search the spreadsheet using a known commodity code, or by browsing the list of commodities.  

More information about the frequency of plant health import inspections across GB can be found on the plant health portal.

From 30 April, changes to border checks will come into force for high-risk and medium-risk plants and plant products. You can read HMRC’s guidance to learn more. You can also view HMRC’s indicative fees for plant inspections.