5 Apr 2023
The long awaited draft Border Target Operating Model guidance has been issued. The UK Government, in collaboration with the Scottish and Welsh Governments, has today (5 April 2023) published its plan to strengthen our borders against biosecurity threats and illegal imports. The draft Border Target Operating Model (TOM) sets out a plan to realise the ambition of the 2025 Border Strategy to create the most effective border in the world.
CEO of FPC, Nigel Jenney comments:
"We welcome the long-awaited publication of the Border Target Operating Model. After extensive lobbying FPC considers it essential that UK Government takes the opportunity to implement a world leading, least-cost border solution.
The border solution must facilitate responsible companies in the fresh produce, flower and plant sector to utilise their expertise to best effect to maximise efficiency, food safety and biosecurity.
Our joint ambition must be for the UK to be a world leading destination of choice to enhance our import and export potential. However, this will only be secured if the Government is progressive and adopts an approach which empowers business and minimises the cost to hard-pressed consumers.
Whilst some detail is given for the revised Animal and Plant Health inspection process, the draft fails to clarify the application process or timetable to allow responsible companies to complete their own officially recognised border inspections (Plant Health inspections). It’s imperative this key aspect (Authorised Operator Status / Trusted Trader) is seamlessly and urgently implemented.
Imposing inspections of highly perishable goods at Border Control Points from January 2024 whilst the AOS status and implementation timelines are unclear, raises serious concerns and fundamentally fails to deliver the promised world leading-cost border solution as FPC believe the two should simultaneously implemented."
The draft has been devised following extensive engagement with the Border Industry and businesses across the UK. A six week engagement period will now take place, with the final Target Operating Model to be published later this year.
The model is backed by over a £1 billion investment in border transformation across this spending review period, to improve how government systems and technology support goods and people to move across the border.
The proposals in the Target Operating Model apply to imports from all countries into Great Britain, and will see the implementation of new security and biosecurity controls on imports from the EU. These controls will ensure our environment is protected, deliver food that is safe to eat whilst maintaining security of supply for consumers, and disrupt criminal activity before it can harm our communities
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