The final version of the Border Target Operating Model (BTOM) has been published by the Government. The model sets out the Government’s plan to realise its ambition of the 2025 Border Strategy. The processes in BTOM will apply to live animals, germinal products, animal products, plants and plant products from all countries into Great Britain. There will be three Risk Categories; High, Medium and Low Risk with different level of documentation required and controls levied based on a Global Risk-based approach.

The main points for Importers’ are:

The first phases of the BTOM model are planned to be implemented as follows:

31st January 2024

Introduction of Health Certification on imports of Medium Risk animal products, plants, plant products and high-risk food and feed of non-animal origin from the EU.

Removal of the pre-notification requirement for Low Risk Plant and Plant products from the EU was implemented ahead of schedule on the  17th November 2023.

8th April 2024

All pre-notificaions for High, Medium and Low risk to DEFRA must be done using the IPAFFS system.

30th April 2024

Introduction of documentary and risk-based identity and physical checks on medium risk animal products, plants, plant products and high-risk food and feed of non-animal origin from the EU.

Existing inspections of high-risk plants and plant products from the EU will move from Destination Points to Border Control Posts (BCPs).

31st October 2024

Introduction of Safety and Security declarations for imports from the EU and reported via the GBS&S system.

The Safety and Security data requirements will be reduced from the current 37-field data set to 24 mandatory fields. The remaining 13 fields will be optional.  


Irish goods and Northern Ireland qualifying Goods arriving from Ireland

For goods moving from Great Britain into Northern Ireland, arrangements are set out under the recently agreed Windsor Framework. The Windsor Framework delivers a new system of green and red lanes at Northern Ireland ports for movements from Great Britain, in order to protect the UK’s internal market, whilst also providing reassurances on goods destined for the EU.

At the same time, Northern Ireland businesses and citizens will continue to be able to purchase goods from the EU with no new barriers. None of the additional checks or controls set out in the Border Target Operating Model will apply to imports into Northern Ireland from the EU, providing Northern Ireland traders with full access to the EU market.


The main points for Exporters’ are:

Full Export declarations must be done from 1st January 2021.

Safety & Security declarations must be done from 1st January 2021

Full Import declarations in the EU or Transits Documents issued from 1st January 2021

30th March 2024

Export declarations must be made in CDS.


EU Brokerage Department NEW opening hours:

Monday to Friday:  02.00hrs to 22.00hrs 
Saturday and Sunday: Pre-booked cover 

Please contact RJJ for more information.

Telephone: +44 (0)203 137 4264
Email: [email protected]

We can help you 

Telephone advice & consultancy available - we can help you understand how to continue Trading with Europe using the new Customs formalities.


Keep up to date

Have You Got a GB EORI Number

  • Make sure you have your Economic Operator Registration and Identification (EORI) number.  If you don’t have an GB EORI number (Economic Operator Registration and Identification) number you should apply for one now!  You need the GB EORI number to Customs clear your goods when you import or export after 1st January 2021.

          It will only take a few days and is free. Apply at:

Do You Know Your HS Commodity Code

  • You need to establish the HS Commodity Codes for your goods. You will need these codes to Customs clear your goods and to apply the correct amount of DUTY.

    Check your Commodity code at:

Do You Know Your INCOTERMS 

  • You need to establish your Incoterms (International Commercial Terms), which define the responsibilities of sellers and buyers for the delivery of goods under sales contracts. The terms are published by the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC). 

        Check your ICC Store at:

Do You Have The Right Documentation

  • You need to be ready to provide the following commercial documentation and information for each shipment.

    Goods Description
    Packing List
    Cargo Weight
    Commercial Invoice incl. Sales Value and Currency for the Goods - Incoterms
    County of Origin of the Cargo – this may be different to the country the goods are consigned from.
    Commodity Code and Tariff Number
    Licence requirements
    Health or Phyto Certs
    EORI number
    Importer details
    Exporter details

Postponed VAT Accounting  (PVA)

Please note importers can adopt Postponed VAT Accounting from 1st January 2021.

If you opt to use this scheme, there will no longer be the need to pay Import VAT at the time of import and then claim it back from HMRC. Instead, you can declare your Import VAT on your next VAT return with a ‘reverse charge’ offset. You don’t need to apply to HMRC for PVA, you only need to inform your import customs clearance broker.


If in doubt or have any questions please talk to RJJ, we will assist you and clarify what you need to do. 

RJJ is AEO (Authorised Economic Operator) accredited by HMRC and therefore experienced and approved as a “Trusted Trader” by HMRC.

For more information please contact a member of the RJJ team:

Phone: +44 (0)1394 673466      Email: [email protected]