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The following guidance outlines what you need to know about the introduction of border controls posts (BCPs) at Welsh ports.

First published:
25 March 2022
Last updated:

The guidance also provides an overview of the post EU-exit requirements for border checks on goods moving between the European Union (EU) and United Kingdom (UK).

Border controls posts

Leaving the EU ended the UK’s membership of the Single Market and Customs Union. Through a shared set of rules and regulations, the customs union had allowed people and goods to move freely throughout member states.

Our exit has had an impact on sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) goods being imported and exported between the EU and UK. SPS goods include live animals and plants. They will be subject to extra checks at points-of-entry. These checks are to safeguard biosecurity and food safety.

These checks will take place at border control posts (BCPs). They are currently being developed throughout the UK at ports which import SPS goods from the EU.

BCPs already exist at UK airports and ports which have been importing from countries outside the EU. This is sometimes referred to as Rest of World trade. The infrastructure to provide these checks must now be developed at ports and airports which are entry points for goods from just the EU.

The checks performed at BCPs on these goods include documentary, identity and physical checks. They are primarily aimed at safeguarding the UK’s biosecurity. They will also ensure public health and animal welfare by controlling diseases and invasive species.

Goods to be checked include:

  • plants
  • products of animal origin
  • live animals and
  • high risk food and feed not of animal origin

These inspections will be carried out by the designated authority for the commodity type. Local Authorities or Port Health Authorities and the Animal and Plant Health Agency are responsible for conducting most of the checks. Welsh Government is leading the programme.

Welsh Government has always had an expectation that the UK Government would fund these facilities. This is because the introduction of border checks and the required infrastructure is a new pressure, caused by Brexit. But, Welsh Government has recently confirmed to Local Authorities that it is prepared to provide further financial support in 2022-23. This is for necessary start-up costs to put the required duties in place.

Wales will develop the infrastructure to carry out these checks at the ports of:

  • Holyhead on Anglesey in the north
  • Pembroke Dock and Fishguard in the south west

These ports handle movement of goods between the UK and EU.  

Without BCPs, these ports would be unable to import these types of goods. This would damage the viability of the ports, the value they bring to the region and affect the supply chain. Establishing BCPs is of national and local significance to the region, Wales and the UK.

Holyhead

Holyhead port is the key entry and exit point for goods transported between the UK and the Republic of Ireland. It is the second busiest roll-on roll-off ferry port in the UK. It provides a vital link in the supply chain for businesses across Wales, the UK and Ireland.

Welsh Ministers announced the decision to locate the border controls post serving Holyhead port on 12 March 2021 at Plot 9, Parc Cybi, Holyhead. Welsh Government owns the site. 

Planning permission is being sought via a Statutory Development Order (SDO) under section 59(3) of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990. Periods of public and technical stakeholder consultation have now closed. You can view the consultation responses, along with updates on the Holyhead project on Inland Border Facilities (on inlandborderfacilities.uk)

In tandem to delivering the permanent facilities at Holyhead, we are working on interim arrangements. These will allow the flow of commodities, whilst ensuring necessary checks to limit the risk to biosecurity and food safety.

Further information:

South west Wales

In south Wales, Pembroke Dock and Fishguard ports will need BCP facilities to continue to import certain goods.

We are focusing on introducing interim facilities which will allow commodities to continue to flow through the ports. This will ensure necessary checks are carried out to limit risk to biosecurity and food safety.

We will continue to publish any updates on the south west Wales BCP online.

Guidance: preparing for the new UK Government border controls in 2022

UK Government announced on the 28 April the postponement of further import controls. They are planned to come into force July 2022.

The current introduced controls remain in place. Current arrangements in place for trade from the island of Ireland will continue.

UK Parliament: Statement made on 28 April
Welsh Government: Written Statement Update on Border Controls 28 April
Cabinet Oral Statement: Border Controls 3 May

As a result of EU-exit, new border controls are due to be introduced by UK Government on goods moving between the UK and EU. Controls are being introduced in phases, these are 1 January, 1 July, 1 September and 1 November 2022.

Traders and hauliers moving goods from Ireland to GB please note

On 15 December 2021, the UK Government announced it was postponing planned control introductions for imports from the island of Ireland. These were due to begin on 1 January 2022. This means current arrangements will remain in place for goods moving directly from Ireland to GB until further notice.

These planned controls for goods moving between Ireland and Great Britain have been postponed, not removed. Businesses should continue to take action and prepare for the introduction of new UK import and customs controls in 2022.

Businesses, hauliers and border supply chains should ensure they are fully prepared for these controls. You should be mindful the lead-in time to their commencement, once announced, could be quite short.

What you will need to do

New import controls were introduced for goods moving from the EU into GB on January 1 2022. For trade between the island of Ireland and GB these checks have been delayed. Guidance from the UK Government for how to prepare is below.

Businesses: what you can do to prepare for border control changes

  1. Complete full customs declarations on imports from the EU when you or your courier/freight forwarder bring them into GB. This means you can no longer delay making import customs declarations. 

    You can find a step-by-step guide to completing real-time customs declarations on GOV.UK

    You can also apply for authorisation to use simplified declarations for imports. This allows you to move goods into a customs procedure without having to provide a full customs declaration. It can take up to 60 calendar days to complete the checks needed. Guidance for using simplified declarations for imports on GOV.UK.
     
  2. Prove goods meet the rules of origin in order to use preferential tariffs. Information on rules of origin for goods moving between the UK and EU on GOV.UK.
  • Pre-notify when importing the following goods from the EU to GB:
    • most products of animal origin
    • animal by-products
    • high risk food and feed not of animal origin
    • regulated plants and plant products

For products of animal origin, animal by-products and high risk food and feed not of animal origin, register for Import of products, animals, food and feed system (IPAFFS) on GOV.UK

If you are new to the process of pre-notifying plants and plant products from 1 January 2022, you should register for and use IPAFFS. Importers using the PEACH IT system for pre-notifications should continue to do so until directed to move to IPAFFS in 2022. Further guidance on the import plants and plant products from the EU to Great Britain and Northern Ireland is available on GOV.UK.

Register for the relevant IT system for animal (on GOV.UK) and plant (on GOV.UK) products now to ensure your business is prepared.  

Hauliers and haulage companies get ahead of new rules for moving goods:

Moving goods from the EU into GB from 1 July 2022

There are due to be further new requirements introduced by UK Government for imports of some goods subject to SPS controls to GB from the EU from 1 July 2022. The requirements apply to imports of:

  • most products of animal origin
  • animal by-products
  • high risk food and feed not of animal origin
  • regulated plants and plant products

These goods are due to be subject to new certification requirements and remote documentary checks. They may also be subject to physical and identity checks at a border controls post or control point. These new UK Government requirements are due to be introduced by commodity type on the following dates:

From 1 July 2022

All certification, physical and identity checks are due to be introduced for the following commodities:

  • all remaining regulated animal by-products
  • all lower risk plants and plant products
  • all meat and meat products
  • all remaining high-risk food not of animal origin.

From 1 July 2022, high-priority plants and plant products will continue to be checked by identity and physical inspections.

Live animal checks are due to begin in stages incrementally moving from the point of destination to BCPs from 1 July 2022. This will be done as facilities become available and are appropriately designated.

From 1 September 2022

  • Certification and physical checks are due to be introduced for dairy products.

From 1 November 2022

  • Certification and physical checks are due to be introduced for all remaining products of animal origin. These include composite products and fish products.

The following guidance is available:

UK Government has developed a dedicated imports microsite. Key information and assets are available to download and share with your networks and communities. You will need to be granted access to this site. Sign up to access the Defra Animal Imports file on Dropbox and UK Government will grant you access.

Further information