Breakdown of the Border Target Operating Model (BTOM)
The UK government has recently unveiled the Border Target Operating Model (BTOM) with the primary objective of streamlining and improving the import process into Great Britain.
This comprehensive BTOM outlines the government’s strategy for safety and security (S&S) controls and sanitary and phytosanitary (S&P) controls. While S&S controls are applicable to all imports, S&P controls pertain specifically to the import of live animals, animal products, plants, and plant products.
Regarding S&S controls, the model strives to reduce the administrative burden on traders and fortify border security, all while maintaining alignment with international standards. These objectives are achieved through several means:
- Trim the mandatory data fields from 37 down to a range of 20 to 28, contingent on specific circumstances.
- Simplify data submission by introducing the proposed Single Trade Window.
- Optimise data utilisation by the government to eliminate redundancy.
- Eliminate prerequisites for certain types of movements.
In the context of S&P controls, the BTOM centers its focus on three core aspects:
- The introduction of a novel global risk-based approach.
- Streamlined and digitised health certificates.
- The creation of an ‘Ecosystem of Trust’ enabling authorised importers to benefit from a smoother importing processes.
Now, let’s take a closer look at the timeline for implementing these changes:
- By 31 January 2024, health certification will be introduced for imports of medium-risk animal products, plants, plant products, and high-risk food and feed of non-animal origin from the EU. Simultaneously, pre-notification requirements for low-risk plant and plant products from the EU will be eliminated.
- On 30 April 2024, documentary and risk-based identity and physical checks will be initiated for medium-risk animal products, plants, plant products, and high-risk food and feed of non-animal origin from the EU. Furthermore, inspections for high-risk plants and plant products from the EU will shift from their final destination to Border Control Posts. Import simplification for non-EU countries will also commence, involving the removal of health certification and routine checks on low-risk animal products, plants, and plant products. Additionally, there will be a reduction in physical and identity check requirements for medium-risk animal products from non-EU countries.
- On 31 October 2024, the mandate for S&S declarations for imports into Great Britain from the EU will take effect. Concurrently, a streamlined dataset for imports will be introduced. The utilisation of the UK Single Trade Window will mitigate duplication wherever feasible across various pre-arrival datasets.
Importers should already be gearing up for the first milestone and should commence preparations for the second and third milestones. Keep an eye out for further detailed guidance, which will be released in due course.