Government delays SPS controls for EU-to-GB trade until 2022: IOE and IT response and new timetable

Tue 14 Sept 2021
Posted by: Noelle McElhatton, Will Barns-Graham
IOE News

The Institute of Export & International Trade has welcomed the government’s announcement today (Tuesday 14 September) that it will delay until 2022 controls on food and animal-product imports from the EU into Great Britain, which were due to start from October this year.

The government last year decided that controls would be introduced in three phases for EU goods entering the country, with declarations required for all standard goods from 1 July this year.

The so-called second phase was due to start on 1 October 2021, requiring importers of products of animal origin, plants and plant products to pre-notify officials of incoming goods and to ensure health certification is provided.

Delay expected...

Today’s delay announcement was expected, though observers are questioning the practicality of introducing three new systems – Full Frontier Declarations, GVMS (Goods Vehicle Movement Service) and SPS controls – at the same time on 1 January 2022, putting pressure on the EU-GB frontier.

written ministerial statement from Paymaster General, Penny Mordaunt MP, confirmed the much-trailed government delay to checks on imported food and plant products.


bom timeline

Download a high resolution pdf of this timeline here.

...but don't put off preparations

IOE&IT director general Marco Forgione said the easements were “welcome” as they “acknowledged the supply chain challenges faced by businesses arising from the Covid-19 pandemic, rising shipping costs and driver shortages”.

However, Forgione cautioned traders on delaying their preparations for these changes, as their introduction in 2022 was inevitable.

“The easements announced today will allow welcome extra time for businesses moving SPS goods from EU to GB to prepare for the new requirements,” Forgione said. “However, those preparations still have to be made and traders need to familiarise themselves with what they need to do.”

Forgione cautioned about other border changes scheduled at the same time as the delayed SPS easements.

“Traders and hauliers also need to know that the Goods Vehicle Movement Service (GVMS) will be introduced at certain GB ports at the same time as the new SPS requirements,” he said.

New EU-to-GB import measures

Below is a table and a timeline outlining the Border Operating Model easements announced on 14 September 2021.

Please note these easements do not apply to imports into NI.


Table of easements and what you need to do to prepare

BOM table

Download a high resolution pdf of this table here.

Research by Aimee Maltman, Vicky Payne and Will Barns-Graham