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Importing products of animal origin into the United Kingdom 

Alinea Customs provide a step by step guide to customs administration when importing meat, fish and dairy products, export health certification, IPAFFS, border control posts, and common user fees.

Sanitary and Phytosanitary controls and the Border Target Operating Model (BTOM)


Alinea Customs provide specialist insight into the implementation of the import controls on goods covered by sanitary and phytosanitary legislation, newly impacting goods imported from the European Union from 31 January 2024. We can act on behalf of your company to use IPAFFS to generate a Common Health Entry Document (CHED) and manage the import process.


You must notify the competent authorities in advance of a consignment arriving in Great Britain (England, Scotland and Wales), when it includes:


  • products of animal origin (POAO) – such as dairy products (cheese, milk, yoghurt), eggs, meat, fish and products containing these.

  • composite food products – such as pizza, pies and lasagne – that are not exempt from import controls

  • regulated plants and plant products

  • live animals - such as livestock (cattle, chicken, turkey, sheep, pigs, horses and more), fish or ornamental fish (not for consumption).

  • germinal products – such as semen, embryos, oocytes collected or produced from breeding animals for the purpose of assisted reproduction.

  • animal by-products (ABP) - such as animal manure, feathers, skin and bones, blood, fat and offal not for human consumption. high-risk food and feed not of animal origin (HRFNAO) – such as ground nuts, raisins and herbs from certain countries.

  • high risk food and feed not of animal origin


This involves the following procedures as identified by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra):


  • Step One – Determine the risk category of the products that you trade in. Low risk animal commodities will not need an Export Health Certificate (EHC). If your consignment is in the low BTOM risk category Use the import of products, animals, food and feed system ( IPAFFS ) to notify authorities before the goods arrive in Great Britain. 


  • Step Two - Log into the Import of Products, Animals, Food and Feed System (IPAFFS) system to complete the Common Health Entry Document (CHED) Part 1 import notification for EU imports of Products of Animal Origin (POAO) animal by-products and germinal products, and High Risk Food and Feed of Non-Animal Origin (HRFNAO) to/via Great Britain with information concerning areas including the classification, weight, country of origin, consignor, consignee, and port of entry.


  • Step Three - Ensure that your EU supply chain is preparing to provide you with health certificates and/or phytosanitary certificates – find out more here, using There is a certified by EU approved establishments, and send them the Unique Notification Number (UNN) concerning the consignment to attribute to the certificate prior to export.

  • Step Four – complete the IPAFFS entry a minimum of one working day prior to entry by uploading the certificate, to finalise the CHED and lodge a pre-notification at the relevant Border Control Post (BCP). Notifications can be submitted up to 30 days in advance of the consignment’s arrival.

  • Step Five – provide the import notification reference number to your customs agent to reference on the customs declaration.


  • Step Six – the haulier must be prepared to undertake physical checks at the relevant border control post on entry, if selected. Sevington Inland Border Facility (IBF) is the designated destination for checks on goods entering the UK market from Calais or Dover.


  • Step Seven – pay the invoice for the common user charges per CHED to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs monthly in arrears. The maximum charge for one CHED is limited to 5 commodity lines, even if there are more than 5 commodity lines present in the CHED.


Physical checks


Physical and documentary checks on goods covered by SPS controls will be implemented from 30 April 2024, in addition to a requirement to upload IUU catch certificates for fishery products into IPAFFS.


Common User Charge Rates


Defra will issue monthly invoices in arrears. Invoices will come from Shared Services Connected Ltd. (SSCL), who will answer queries about invoices.  


Further information on charges is available from:


Contact information


Please use the details below to set up an account with Alinea Customs, or to request further information regarding UK customs clearance.

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