MHA | The Border Target Operating Model: what is it and how to…
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The Border Target Operating Model: what is it and how to prepare for the 31st January

Nick Crouch · Posted on: January 25th 2024 · read

Are you ready for the Border Target Operating Model changes?

The Border Target Operating Model (BTOM) is a new approach being introduced by the UK Government and will come into effect from the 31st of January 2024. These new requirements will impact importers of animals, plants and plant products. The scheme is designed to modernise the border and speed up controls.

From the 31st of January 2024, health certificates will be required on imports of medium and high-risk products of EU and EFTA origin. Such products include live cattle, horses and bees, meat of goat, duck and frogs’ legs.

The health certificates are to be obtained from a competent authority in the country of export and are to be included in the Import of products, animals, food and feed system (IPAFFS) notification before the goods arrive in Great Britain. - Import of products, animals, food and feed system (IPAFFS) - GOV.UK (

The person responsible for the load is responsible for creating the notification in IPAFFS and uploading the digitally signed PDF to that notification.

If a paper certificate is used, it will need to travel with the consignment, a scan will also need to be provided to the importer to upload to IPAFFS.

In preparation we recommend importer check to see if they will be affected by reviewing the risk category of products provided by the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (DEFRA) - Check import risk categories and related rules for animals and animal products imported from the EU to Great Britain, from 31 January 2024 - GOV.UK (

Failure to obtain the correct certification could result in goods being held at border points, leading to potential stock spoilage and delays in the supply chain.

Find out more

Don't let the Border Target Operating Model changes catch you off guard – be proactive, stay informed, and ensure compliance to protect your business interests. If you would like to find out more about Border Target Operating Model please get in touch.