Target Operating Model - Guidance

The UK Government has today, 29 August, published a new Border Target Operating Model (BTOM), setting out new controls to create a world-class border system based on smarter use of data and technology. The model has been developed in collaboration with the Scottish and Welsh Governments to implement a coherent approach.

The BTOM has been developed following extensive engagement with the border industry and businesses across the UK. It incorporates feedback from the draft BTOM which was published in April 2023.

The new model will use data and technology to implement an intelligent, risk-based approach to border controls that works best for the UK. This approach will remove duplication and reduce the volume of data and paperwork that businesses need to provide when importing goods. It will see biosecurity and safety and security controls introduced on imports from the EU for the first time, while simplifying existing import controls on goods from the rest of the world.

The BTOM continues the phased approach of biosecurity controls to the import regime of plants and plant products. If you import certain plants and plant products from the EU to GB, you need to start preparing for the new plant health import requirements coming into force from January 2024 and April 2024.

The TOM risk categories have been published for imports from the EU and will be categorised for Rest of World (ROW) goods shortly.

What do you need to do?

If you are a GB importer:

  • Work with your EU exporters to be ready for the incoming certification requirements from 31 January 2024 for medium-risk goods
  • Find an appropriate BCP and start planning your route for the SPS check changes for high-risk goods coming into force from 30 April 2024. Alternatively, consider becoming CP designated and have your checks done on-site.

If you are an EU exporter:

  • Contact the competent authority in your country to find a local plant health inspector to be prepared for the certification requirements coming into force from 31 January 2024 for medium-risk goods
  • Work with your GB importers to decide the best route of entry for the exported high-risk goods

Next steps:

Check out the Plant Health Portal to find out further information about the plant health BTOM proposals

Related advice in Post Brexit Border Strategy

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