Important Information for Importers: Avoiding Delays with BTOM

Date: 14/05/2024
Author: Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce
Company: Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce

Accurate Data Key to Smooth Import Process 

Importers bringing in Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) controlled goods from the EU or non-EU countries need to be aware of new procedures implemented by HMRC and Defra. These changes aim to ensure smooth customs clearance and avoid unnecessary delays. 

Key Points: 

  • Accurate Information in CHED: Importers must ensure all information in the CHED import notification submitted through IPAFFS is accurate and complete before submission. IPAFFS will highlight any errors that need correction. 
  • Customs Declaration Service: Similar to the CHED notification, ensure all details in the customs declaration submitted through the Customs Declaration Service (CDS) are accurate. Most importantly, the CHED import notification reference and commodity codes must be identical in both documents. 
  • IPAFFS Copy Function: IPAFFS offers a new "Copy" function to easily copy the CHED reference and customs Doc code in the correct format for the customs declaration. This information can then be pasted into the relevant section of the declaration. 
  • Collaboration with Customs Agent: Sharing a copy of the CHED notification along with the copied reference and code with your customs agent is crucial. They can then double-check the commodity codes for consistency and ensure there are no special characters present in the description of goods field. 
  • Error Correction Before Departure: Working with your customs agent to address any errors identified in either IPAFFS or CDS before the consignment reaches the port of departure is essential. This will prevent unnecessary rerouting to a Border Control Post (BCP). 
  • Unresolved Errors and Delays: If errors remain unaddressed upon arrival at the port of departure, the consignment will likely face customs hold upon arrival. Refer to HMRC guidance or their video resources for further information. 

Contact Information for Urgent BTOM Queries: 

  • Plants and Plant Products (England & Wales):  
  • Email: 
  • Phone: +44 (0) 3000 200 301 (Animal and Plant Health Agency - APHA) 
  • Animal Products: Contact the Port Health Authority (PHA) at your designated BCP. Find contact details using the provided map.

Resources for Compliance: 

You can follow APHA’s detailed guidance has been updated with information on how to comply with your new legal responsibilities for: 

Visit APHA’s YouTube channel and watch recordings of our previous webinars for traders 

By following these guidelines and utilizing the available resources, importers can ensure a smooth and efficient import process for their SPS controlled goods. 

Simplify your BTOM compliance!  

Our HMRC-approved customs brokerage service ensures a smooth import experience for your SPS controlled goods. We offer: 

  • Expert BTOM Guidance: We help navigate the new system, ensuring accurate CHED and declaration data to avoid delays. 
  • Seamless Customs Clearance: Our team handles all import clearances (sea, air, rail, road) across the UK. 
  • Unmatched Compliance Support: We provide in-depth audits, consultations, and support on all aspects of customs compliance. 

Need further support? 

Source: (Animal and Plant Health Agency - APHA)