New import controls were implemented on 30th April 2024. 

Making sure you understand exactly where your goods need to enter Great Britain (GB) and what you need to do if your goods are transiting via GB will help you get it right at the border. Find out how to reduce unnecessary delays to your goods and ensure your consignment isn’t called in for an inspection at a border control post (BCP) when you don’t need one. 

Contact points for consignments held at a BCP 

If you receive a notification about a consignment or load that has been called for checks or has been held at the Border Control Post at the port of entry and you have questions about this, contact the Port Health Authority (PHA) at your nominated BCP and provide them with the Common Health Entry Document (CHED) import reference number. Defra is working closely with all PHAs to ensure that they are able to respond to your queries. 

Find your PHA contact details at your nominated BCP on this map.  

Contact points for urgent border target operating model (BTOM) queries 

Any urgent BTOM/import queries for plants and plant products across England and Wales should be directed to the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA), by email, in the first instance:       

Alternatively, you can contact them by telephone: +44 (0) 3000 200 301      

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.      

If you need technical help with IPAFFS you should call the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) helpline on 0330 041 6999 or email

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 and inspection charge.  

  1. The BCP chargeis 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 and 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 befound 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


Import notifications and derogation requests 

Traders must submit IPAFFS prenotifications for goods from the EU and non-qualifying Northern Ireland goods from the island of Ireland, one working day ahead of a consignment’s arrival in GB. Traders are strongly encouraged to submit their import notifications as early as possible to enable any issues to be resolved prior to their arrival. 

Importers should contact the nominated Port Health Authority (PHA) to request a derogation from 24 hours to reduce the pre-notification window to a minimum of 4 hours if, by exception, they are unable to meet this requirement. 

Some PHAs may be able to accommodate a reduction from 24 hours to a minimum of a 4-hour prenotification window but this will be considered on a case-by-case basis for each consignment. 

For plants and plant products for goods arriving by air and RoRo IPAFFS pre-notifications should be submitted 4 hours ahead of the goods arrival in GB. All other modes of transport must provide an IPAFFS pre-notification with one working day. 

Failure to pre-notify within the specified timeframes could result in you being fined. 

Importing hatching eggs 

Hatching eggs are in the border target operating model (BTOM) high risk category and therefore must be checked at a border control post (BCP). Importers can choose to import hatching eggs through either a live animal or animal product BCP. You must pre-notify on import of products, animals, food and feed system (IPAFFS) one working day in advance of arrival in Great Britain: with a common health entry document – CHED-P if entering via a BCP designated for animal products and a CHED-A if entering via a BCP designated for live animals. 

EU hatching eggs can enter through any animal product BCP and should be pre-notified by a CHED-P.  BCPs must be notified on IPAFFS at least one working day in advance of their arrival 

Where the incorrect CHED is used for the designation of the BCP entered, we will use the pragmatic compliance and enforcement approach for a short period to ensure minimal impact to the consignment while the CHED is replaced by the trader. 

Read Defra’s guidance about importing live animal and germinal products. 

Risk categorisation of plants and plant products 

Plant and plant products imported from all countries to Great Britain are categorised into high, medium risk and low categories. The medium-risk category is split into two subcategories, A and B reflecting a difference in plant health controls. 

  • High-risk 
  • Medium-risk A 
  • Medium-risk B 
  • Low-risk 

Plant health controls apply to imports of high and medium risk A and B plants and plant products. Low risk plants and plant products from all countries are exempt from plant health controls.   

Check whether plants or plant products you are importing into GB from all countries are categorised as high, medium or low risk Import Requirements – UK Plant Health Information Portal (

Don’t be delayed – learn how to avoid a ‘no match’ 

Watch this step-by-step video on how to avoid a ‘no match’ in IPAFFS which could cause delays to your consignment. Defra and HMRC cross-check information provided by importers in their Part I CHED and customs declaration to ensure the CHED reference and commodity code are consistent. Any mismatches between this data will result in consignments being directed to a BCP for further checks.  

Get your CHED right 

Completing your Common Health Entry Document (CHED) incorrectly or completing the wrong CHED can result in unnecessary delays to your goods.  Read our tips to getting your CHED right.

Resources to help you comply  

Our detailed guidance has been updated with information on how to comply with your new legal responsibilities for:

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