New UK Customs & SPS Controls

New UK Customs & SPS Controls

On 1st January 2022, the second phase of the UK's Border Operating Model will be introduced. This will lead to new customs controls at the Great Britain border and will also include significant new requirements for the importation of sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) products into GB. 

In this post, we are focusing on SPS checks and controls. We will follow up with a similar summary on customs controls next week.

BDO Sanitary and Phytosanitary Training Brochure

UK SPS Controls

All Irish/EU exporters of food products will be subject to additional controls and checks, in order to ship goods into the UK, from 1st January. 

If you are the importer into GB, you need to prepare for these new requirements. If your customer is acting as importer, they equally they will be requesting further information and advance notifications from you.

January 2022 changes - pre notification of goods arrival

From 1st January, all businesses importing products of animal origin, animal by-products and high-risk foods not of animal origin (HRFNAO), must pre-notify consignments at least 4 hours in advance of arriving into GB. The pre-notification must be made on-line via the Import of products, animals, food and feed system (IPAFFS).

Regulated Plants and Plant products must be pre-notified on the relevant IT system. If you already use the PEACH IT system, continue to use it until you are contacted to switch to the Import of products, animals, food and feed system (IPAFFS). If you’re importing goods for the first time from 1 January 2022, register to use IPAFFS.

The 4 hour pre-notification is a temporary arrangement. From 1 July 2022, importers will be required to complete 24 hour pre-notification. You can also contact the competent authority at the point of entry to determine if, and by what degree, a derogation from 24 hours can be applied.

July 2022 chages

The following will also be introduced from July 2022 in various stages:

  • 24 hour pre-notification requirement
  • Provision of export health certs
  • Import through a border control post 

The below timetable sets out the key dates for the implementation of GB SPS controls. We recommend that you take the time to understand the actions needed to continue the supply of SPS goods from the EU into GB in 2022. 


SPS Requirement


Product Categories


Implementation Date

Import pre-notification requirements at least 4 hours in advance of goods arriving in GB

All product categories

1 January 2002

Import pre-notification requirements at least 24 hours in advance of goods arriving in GB

All product categories

1 July 2022

Border Control Post entry

All product categories


Live animal checks will also begin in stages incrementally moving from the point of destination to border control posts from 1 July 2022 as facilities become available and are appropriately designated.

1 July 2022

Phase 1 - Export Health Certs / Phytosanitary Certs, physical and identity checks

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

1 July 2022

Phase 2 - Dairy Export Health Certs, physical and identity checks

All dairy products

1 September 2022

Phase 3 - Export Health Certs, physical and identity checks 

  • All remaining regulated products of animal origin
  • Composite
  • Fish products.

1 November 2022

It is also important that you understand the requirements for the type of food product you are importing/exporting and that all necessary documentation is completed on time and provided to the necessary party.

How BDO can help

To prepare Irish Exporters for the impending changes, we will be running a series of online training sessions specific to your product category. These sessions are limited in number and will take place during December and January

The cost for the training is €1,500 and is suitable for both beginners and those with experience in SPS formalities. More information on the training can be found here.

Should you wish to discuss your food import/export requirements, we are delighted to be in a position to assist you in this process. Please contact myself ( or Marie Farrell ( to find out more.