UK – The UK Government has rolled out a comprehensive Border Target Operating Model (BOTM) in a move to fortify its borders and streamline the importation process.

The BOTM introduces a tiered risk categorization system, aiming to enhance efficiency and minimize delays while adhering to stringent sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) rules.

Commencing on January 31, 2024, the initial phase primarily targets firms within the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland, and Liechtenstein.

These entities importing live animals or animal products into Great Britain must categorize their goods according to the BOTM risk criteria, laying the groundwork for the subsequent enforcement of SPS rules.

Come April 30, the second phase unfolds, extending its reach to non-EU countries. A carefully curated list of countries, including heavyweights like the United States, China, and Brazil, must adhere to the BOTM risk category requirements.

Notably, these requirements exclusively apply to nations that have undergone a thorough risk assessment.

Risk categories decoded

BOTM introduces three distinct risk categories—low, medium, and high—each carrying its own set of requirements for live animals, germinal products, products of animal origin (POAO), and animal byproducts (ABPs) both EU and non-EU countries.

In EU countries, the low-risk category entails pre-arrival notification via the Import of Products, Animals, Food, and Feed System (IPAFFS) without the need for a health certificate, while routine checks are waived.

Medium-risk involves IPAFFS notification, a mandated health certificate, and entry through designated Border Control Posts (BCP).

The high-risk category necessitates IPAFFS notification, a health certificate from a competent authority, and ongoing physical import checks.

For non-EU countries, the distinctions in risk categories mirror those for EU countries, with specific requirements tailored to each tier, offering a comprehensive guide for navigating import protocols and ensuring effective risk management.

In the low-risk category, entities are required to submit pre-arrival notifications via IPAFFS, with the exclusion of a health certificate from April 30.

Entry is facilitated through designated BCP, routine checks are waived, but intelligence-led checks remain a possibility. A commercial document from the supplier is deemed necessary for this category.

The medium-risk tier mandates IPAFFS pre-arrival notification, a health certificate, and entry through designated BCP with checks initiated from April 30, subject to variable check rates.

In the high-risk category, entities must submit IPAFFS pre-arrival notifications, adhere to an ongoing health certificate requirement, and undergo continued physical import checks, emphasizing stringent measures for risk mitigation.

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