Air Freight News

Unsworth prepares clients for next stage in Border Target Operating Model

Apr 15, 2024

Unsworth, a leading UK-based freight forwarding and logistics company, has recently organized an exclusive tour of Defra’s Inland Border Clearance facility at Sevington for almost 100 clients and other stakeholders.

The event, which was held in association with Ashford Port Health, was designed specifically to provide first hand information about the next stage of the Border Target Operating Model (BTOM), which takes effect from 30th April, 2024.

The attendees were given an invaluable opportunity to gain an understanding of how UK importers and EU exporters will be affected by the introduction of documentary and risk-based identity and physical checks on medium-risk animal products, plants, plant products and high-risk food and feed of non-animal origin from the EU.

Unsworth Group commercial director Charles Hogg said: “With existing inspections of high-risk plants/plant products from the EU moving from destination to Border Control Posts (BCP) at the end of this month, participants were able to engage with customs experts from Unsworth, alongside officials from Ashford Port Health and Defra, in an immersive exploration of the Sevington Inland Border Facility.

“The interactive session facilitated a deep dive into the intricacies of sanitary inspections and regulatory procedures governing the importation of sensitive goods, which will leave participants better prepared to ensure that they are compliant with the evolving regulatory landscape.”

A highlight of the event was a dynamic Q&A session, where attendees had the chance to ask their most pressing questions aimed at clarifying ambiguities and addressing concerns.

Feedback from attendees unanimously praised the level of knowledge and expertise shared during the tour, underscoring the event's significance in preparing stakeholders for the imminent changes in BTOM regulations and procedures.

Hogg concludes: “Over the eight years since the Brexit referendum, the freight forwarding industry has experienced a number of policy changes and has learnt to use many new systems including GVMS, IPAFFS or S&S GB.

“Add to that the complexity of CDS, the system that arrived to replace CHIEF, and the picture one can see is that of continuous change together with increased challenges being placed on the sector.

“The publication of the BTOM in August 2023 added further impetus to the process but provided much needed clarity to the rollout of new UK policies for trade between the UK and EU. Consequently, 2024 seems set to be the year when the process will be completed, or at least be near completion.

“With the landscape of border regulations undergoing significant shifts, some have voiced concerns that the potential for disruption at the border at the end of this month is significant. “Events such as these are one of the ways that Unsworth, aims to play a pivotal role in equipping our clients with the knowledge and resources necessary to navigate the evolving regulatory terrain effectively.

“It’s another way of showing how we try to set the standards for excellence in the freight forwarding industry, leveraging our expertise and innovation to meet the evolving needs of our clients and partners worldwide.”

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