Border Control Posts and Control Points
From July 2022 new controls for importing plant and plant products from the EU to GB will come into force. This includes the requirement for all regulated plants and plant products to have physical and identity checks upon entry into GB. These checks will either take place at Border Control Posts or Control Points.
A Border Control Post (BCP) is a border inspection facility where goods first arrive. As the Place of Destination (PoD) scheme draws to a close on 30 June 2022, BCPs are set to be ready for increased capacity for 2022.
Control Points (CPs) are inland inspection facilities where SPS checks of plants and plant products can take place under customs supervision. CPs have the same function as a BCP, providing the first line of control in maintaining UK biosecurity.
BCP and CP designation process:
- Applicant submits Expression of Interest (EoI) and supporting information.
- An assessment panel reviews the application and decides whether to accept or reject it.
- If accepted by the panel, the relevant competent authorities will allocate an Inspector to progress the application, who will provide advice about complying with BCP and CP minimum requirements.
- The applicant submits building plans for review. Where the facility already exists, the applicant may be required to make structural changes in order to comply with BCP and CP minimum requirements.
- Once building plans have been favourably assessed by APHA and Defra, construction can start.
- When the facility is built, or structural changes have been made, APHA audit the site.
- There’s then a final review of application and the designation decision is made.
- Applicant notified, IT systems are updated, and BCP/CP are listed online.
BCP and CP premises must also be customs authorised as a temporary storage facility. This approval is managed by Border Force National Frontier Approvals Unit (NFAU) and runs parallel and independently from the Defra designation process. Prospective applicants are advised to familiarise themselves with the process and conditions for customs authorisation and contact NFAU directly with any queries.
Multiple transport vehicles/containers covered by a single phytosanitary certificate
- A single phytosanitary certificate (PC) may cover the contents of more than one transport vehicle/container.
- In this circumstance, all vehicles/containers must arrive at the same inspection facility (Border Control Post or Control Point) at the same time, for the relevant official controls to be performed. The physical and identity checks cannot be carried out at different inspection facilities.
- Plant health inspectors must have access to the whole consignment covered by the same PC in order to conduct checks, including physical inspection(s) of a representative sample of the consignment.
- If one of the vehicles/container is delayed, the contents of the remaining vehicles/containers must remain at the designated inspection facility and the integrity of those loads must remain intact until the full consignment is presented for checks.
- If the contents of any one vehicle/container is found to be non-compliant, measures may be taken against the contents of all vehicles/containers covered by the same PC.
- As part of your import pre-notification, you will need to provide identifying details of all transport vehicles/containers to assist the inspector in performing identify checks on the consignment, to verify that the contents align with the scope of goods covered by the PC.