BTOM (Border Target Operating Model)

Check what you need to do to be compliant and avoid disruption to your business and supply chain 

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

Contact points for urgent BTOM (Border Target Operating Model) 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.

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 ChamberCustoms 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 ChamberCustoms YouTube channel and watch recordings of our previous webinars for traders.
  • Make sure you are following the correct process for the type of product you are importing – watch a recording of ChamberCustoms 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 the 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 the 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.
  • 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 our 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 our 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 our 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.


Getting ready for plant inspections

Places of Destination – an update 

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. ChamberCustoms have created a map on their 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 ChamberCustoms guidance on how to comply with your legal responsibilities for:

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 ChamberCustoms 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 the 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 (
  • You can also visit ChamberCustoms Plant Health Portal for more information.

Checks and inspection rates  

Types of checks and an example inspection

You can find out more about checks and inspections by watching our 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.

ChamberCustoms 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 the ChamberCustoms guidance to learn more. You can also view our indicative fees for plant inspections.

BTOM SPS charges explained 

There are two standard charges associated with imports of Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) goods and the BTOM: a Border Control Post (BCP) charge by point of entry and a documentary & inspection charge.

  1. The BCP charge is the cost levied by commercial ports and airports for use of the BCP at the nominated Point of Entry (PoE). For the planned government-run BCP at Sevington, the associated BCP charge is the Common User Charge (CUC). For more details on the commercial charges set by your nominated point of entry please look on the relevant website or contact them direct. To note, some ports and airports will not charge a BCP charge unless the consignment is called for an inspection.
  2. The SPS documentary and inspection charge is the cost associated for any checks that your goods may undergo – these consist of documentary, identity and physical inspections. These charges are levied by the Port Health Authority (PHA) in England and Wales and the Local Authority in Scotland, at your nominated point of entry for animal products. For plants and plant products, these charges are payable to the Animal & Plant Health Agency (APHA) in England and Wales and to the Scottish Government (SASA) in Scotland.
  • Documentary and inspection charges for plants and plant products imported to England and Wales can be found here
  • Documentary and inspection charges for plants and plant products imported to Scotland can be found here
  • Documentary and inspection charges for animal products imported to GB can be found by contacting the PHA/LA at your point of entry. The details can be found here


End to end testing at planned Border Control Post at Sevington, Kent 

Two successful end-to-end tests took place at the planned government-run Border Control Post (BCP) in Sevington, Kent last week.  It is expected that Sevington will be designated as a BCP and operational for 30 April, the start of the new Border Target Operating Model (BTOM) regime.  Once designated it will carry out documentary, identity & physical checks on eligible sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) products entering GB via Eurotunnel and the Port of Dover.

End to end testing is carried out to reaffirm our assurances that the planned BCP is ready for 30 April.  The first test involved a large consignment of frozen chicken from Belgium and the second involved a transit shipment of Kenyan beans, which entered the UK via Europe.

Effective driver messaging enabled both consignments to arrive as expected at the planned BCP. They were then checked, in accordance with BTOM guidelines, and dispatched to complete their onward journey.

The end-to-end testing and honing of system-readiness will continue at the planned BCP in Sevington, to robustly stress-test all aspects of the facility in preparation for 30 April.


Implementation of BTOM rules for intermediate products and animal by-products (ABPs) for pharmaceutical or laboratory reagent use 

Defra has agreed that intermediate products (scope outlined in Import Information Note (IIN) ABP/20), and laboratory reagents and derived products for pharmaceutical use (scope outlined in IIN ABP/46), including the manufacture of pharmaceuticals and laboratory reagents, from the EU will be treated as low-risk until 31st July 2024.

This gives the animal by-products industry six months, from 31st January 2024, to determine which products meet the definition of “highly processed” – laid out in IINs ABP/20 and ABP/46 – to categorise the products accordingly.

From 31st July 2024, the rules for medium-risk products will be applied to those products which are not “highly processed”.

Defra recognises the complexities that industry are currently facing and appreciates that business and industry need time to adapt. We hope this period of easement better supports you all with preparing for the new controls from 31st July 2024.