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The UK Border Operating Model - June 2022 update

Learn about the way the UK manages their borders - updated for June 2022


Doing business with Europe has changed. The UK has left the Single Market and Customs Union, and different rules than when trading inside the EU apply.


On 13 July 2020, the first iteration of the Border Operating Model was published setting out the core model that all importers and exporters began to follow from January 2021 as well as the additional requirements for specific products such as live animals, plants, products of animal origin and high-risk food not of animal origin.

This was updated in December 2020 to take into account that an EU-UK Free Trade Agreement deal was reached on 24 December 2020. This was then updated in July 2021 and again in November 2021 to take account of the delay in some controls.

2022 Change

The implementation of post-Brexit legislation for importing and exporting to and from the EU implies that managing change has become the standard for merchants and their logistical partners.

Import Declarations

British importers must now guarantee that import declarations for EU products are completed at the point of entry into the UK. This is a shift from 2021, when importers could postpone filing statements for up to 175 days after goods arrived in the UK.

SPS guidelines

Firms importing goods subject to sanitary or phytosanitary (SPS) restrictions must use IPAFFS to notify the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) or DEFRA of their goods movements (the import of products, animals, food and feed system). Additional criteria for SPS items, such as the fulfilment of export health or phytosanitary certifications, are being phased in beginning in July.

GVMS (imports and exports)

Since January 1, 2022, the government's new cross-border IT system, the Products Vehicle Movement Service (GVMS), became live for goods travelling between the EU and the UK. GVMS is required for hauliers transporting imported goods to UK ports that use a 'pre-lodgement' strategy rather than a 'temporary storage' approach.

Exports to the European Union

Businesses shipping products from the UK to the EU have been subject to post-Brexit customs restrictions since January 1, 2021, the first day after the transition period ends.

Customs declarations are needed for all enterprises exporting to the EU, and further licence and certification procedures may apply if exporting certain regulated commodities, such as agrifoods, plants, military and dual-use equipment.

GVMS (exports)

GVMS may now be used to submit export declarations for products entering the EU in advance. However, there is some disagreement about whether items bound for the EU may be reported as 'arrived' or 'pre-lodged.'

November 2021 change

Written Ministerial Statement from the Cabinet Office states: "Today the Government has published an updated Border Operating Model. This new iteration of the model reflects the revised timetable for the introduction of UK border import controls, as announced on 14 September. It also provides additional material on the detailed implementation of Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) controls and the Goods Vehicle Movement Service (GVMS). This updated Border Operating Model will continue to help businesses that trade with the EU to understand the approaching new requirements and those which are already in effect".

What do traders and hauliers need to do?

Traders and hauliers must take the steps outlined in the Border Operating Model, which has been updated to reflect the revised timetable for the introduction of the next stage of UK import requirements, as well as including additional detail on policies and processes.

Case Studies

Case studies have been created to represent end-to-end scenarios in trade between GB and EU, importing and exporting goods since January 2021.

These show not just the journeys for standard goods, but also for journeys with additional requirements, such as those using the Common Transit Convention or transporting controlled goods.

These should still be used in conjunction with the Border Operating Model which will contain further details, particularly for controlled goods. We have also produced some new step by step explainers to support traders and hauliers with specific parts of UK custom requirements

Watch the update video from July 2021

Arne Mielken, Managing Director of Customs Manager Ltd provides an update on the changes to the UK Border Model.



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