New SPS Import Controls – 3 Weeks To Go!

To prepare you for the new import controls coming into force from April 30th, HMRC has distributed some useful information and a list of operators that have applied for designation of a new border control post (BCP), inspection centre or expansion of facilities in Great Britain.

Make sure you’re ready to import sanitary and phytosanitary goods from the EU

From 30 April 2024, physical checks of imports from the EU of certain sanitary and phytosanitary goods will be introduced.

To ensure your goods meet the sanitary and phytosanitary requirements, from 30 April 2024 you will need to:

  • create Part 1 of a Common Health Entry Document (CHED) import notification using the Import of Products, Animals, Food and Feed System (IPAFFS) in advance of the consignment arriving in GB – you should do this at least one working day prior to departure
  • make a customs declaration using the Customs Declaration Service (CDS)
  • pre-lodge your customs declaration using the Goods Vehicle Movement Service (GVMS), if you’re moving your goods through a port that uses GVMS.
Making your declarations

When making your customs declaration in the Customs Declaration Service, you must provide the CHED import notification reference in the customs declaration format (stated as ‘customs declaration reference’ on the CHED submission confirmation screen) and the CDS document code. Please note the customs declaration reference will be formatted differently to the CHED reference. You will be able to copy the reference in the correct format from IPAFFS, so please ensure you use this and do not make a mistake.

The reference you should include on the customs declaration will be in the format: GBCHDYYYY.XXXXXXX. If the CHED reference is incorrectly formatted, your consignment won’t be able to pass customs controls and will be directed to a Border Control Post (BCP) unnecessarily.

You should also make sure the commodity codes you enter on the CHED and the customs declaration match.

You should check IPAFFS and CDS regularly until the consignment has cleared the border for onward travel into Great Britain.

If you make a mistake when making your declarations

Your goods won’t pass customs controls or be released to the UK market until you’ve corrected any errors.

If the information on the CHED and the customs declaration don’t match, CDS and IPAFFS dashboards will show a no-match status. In some cases, an email will also be sent but please check the dashboards on both systems as this is not guaranteed.

If you receive a no-match status, you will need to amend the CHED via IPAFFS, or the customs declaration via CDS, to correct the mismatching information. You should do this before the consignment reaches the port of departure.

You shouldn’t move your goods until you’ve followed all of the steps correctly and checked that the information on the CHED and customs declaration match. If you do not follow SPS import requirements, your consignment will be directed to a BCP when it may not need to attend.

For more information

You can find more guidance online about: