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UK SPS Import Controls: 30 April 24 Changes

Are you prepared for the changes coming to the import of sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) goods from the EU? Starting from April 30, 2024, new regulations will be implemented, requiring meticulous attention to detail in customs declarations and documentation.

This blog post is your resource to ensure compliance and a smooth transition into this new era of SPS imports.

Executive Summary

The import landscape for sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) goods is about to undergo significant changes, particularly for imports from the EU. Beginning April 30, 2024, businesses will need to adhere to stricter protocols, including creating Part 1 of a Common Health Entry Document (CHED) import notification, making customs declarations, and pre-lodging declarations using the appropriate services. Failure to comply could result in delays and even rejection of goods at customs. This blog post provides a comprehensive guide to help businesses navigate these new requirements effectively.

Table of Contents

1. Introduction

2. Understanding the Changes

3. Making Your Declarations

4. Handling Mistakes

5. Conclusion and Recommendations

6. For More Information


To successfully import SPS goods from the EU after April 30, 2024, businesses must follow specific procedures outlined by the Import of Products, Animals, Food, and Feed System (IPAFFS) and the Customs Declaration Service (CDS). This blog post breaks down these procedures and offers practical advice for ensuring compliance.


Great Britain is implementing new regulations for the import of specific sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) goods, effective April 30, 2024. These regulations require businesses to adhere to strict documentation and declaration requirements to ensure the safety and integrity of imported goods. Failure to comply with these regulations could result in delays, rejections, or penalties.

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Proactive Measures for Compliance

Proactive steps must be taken to guarantee that your goods meet the necessary SPS requirements. Firstly, a Common Health Entry Document (CHED) import notification using the Import of Products, Animals, Food, and Feed System (IPAFFS) must be created at least one working day before departure.


A customs declaration must also be made using the Customs Declaration Service (CDS), ensuring pre-lodgement through the Goods Vehicle Movement Service (GVMS) if applicable.

Ensuring Accuracy in Customs Declarations

When completing the customs declaration in the Customs Declaration Service, including the CHED import notification reference and the CDS document code is crucial. Failure to provide accurate references may result in customs control issues, potentially leading to unnecessary redirection to a Border Control Post (BCP).

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Consistency in Commodity Codes

Furthermore, it is imperative to ensure consistency between the commodity codes entered on the CHED and the customs declaration. Regular monitoring of IPAFFS and CDS platforms is advised until the consignment successfully clears the border into Great Britain.

Correcting Errors and Compliance

In the event of errors in declarations, prompt correction is necessary to prevent delays in customs clearance. Any discrepancies between the CHED and customs declaration information will trigger a no-match status in the CDS and IPAFFS dashboards. Amendments should be made swiftly before the consignment reaches the port of departure.

Actions to take from 30 April 

  1. Submit the import notification first, and then the customs declaration.  

  2. If an inconsistency is found between the two – the import notification reference is wrong or in the wrong format or the commodity code/s or net weight/s don’t match - this will trigger a ‘No Match’ error within a few minutes of submitting the customs declaration.  

  3. You will see the error messages on the customs software/CDS and on the IPAFFS dashboard (unless the import reference doesn’t exist). You will also receive an alert via email from IPAFFS and CDS on the No Match error.  

  4. Correct the error in the customs declaration or import notification before the consignment reaches the port of departure to avoid the consignment being directed to a BCP when it may not need to attend.   

Call a designated Border Control Post (BCP) or Control Point (CP)

- Ensure goods arrive through an appropriately designated Border Control Post (BCP) or Control Point (CP) for your commodity type. If called upon, present the consignment for documentary, physical, and identification inspections at the BCP or CP.

Controls in Northern Ireland

These requirements will apply to both EU and non-qualifying Northern Ireland goods entering Great Britain (GB) from the island of Ireland, with the effective date anticipated to be no earlier than 31 October 2024, subject to confirmation.

Controls for Non-EU-EFTA

Additionally, imports from non-EU/EFTA risk assessed countries will begin to align with the BTOM regime. Changes to import controls for non-EU/EFTA risk assessed countries will include:  

  • The simplification of imports including removal of health certification and routine checks on low-risk animal products (they will be subject to intelligence-led interventions).  

  • A reduction of physical and identity checks on medium-risk animal products from non-EU/EFTA risk assessed countries.  

  • Changes to checks rates and the removal of requirements for import controls on certain low risk plants and plant products from risk assessed non-EU/EFTA countries  

  • Proportionate level of checks for high and medium risk plants and continued requirement for a Phytosanitary Certificate (PC) and CHED import notifications made on IPAFFS.  

Conclusion and Recommendation

In conclusion, importing sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) goods from the EU will undergo significant changes starting April 30, 2024. Businesses must proactively understand and implementation in understanding and implement these changes to ensure smooth import operations. We recommend seeking assistance from professionals who can help implement SPS controls, including filing IPAFFS and providing training on compliance procedures. With the proper support, businesses can navigate these changes successfully and maintain uninterrupted

Additional Resources

For more detailed guidance on IPAFFS and CDS, resources are available online at -> Resources Center. We also offer regular SPS training, and you can book a free call at -> Book Expert Call.

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