CIEH Acknowledges Next Phase of Border Target Operating Model Implementation

The Chartered Institute of Environmental Health (CIEH) acknowledges the next phase of implementation of the second stage of the Border Target Operating Model (BTOM), effective 30th April 2024. This stage introduces a new risk-based intelligence-led approach to sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) controls, focusing on the importation of medium-risk plant and animal products from the European Union (EU) and European Free Trade Association (EFTA) countries.

CIEH welcomes this move towards adopting a risk-based approach to controls and awaits to see how the new regime works in practice. As these regulatory adjustments are rolled out, CIEH members will continue to play a crucial role in supporting the transition and upholding high public health and safety standards across the UK.

Key updates for the new BTOM phase include:

  • The initiation of documentary, identity, and physical checks for medium-risk plants and plant products at the border.
  • The centralisation of inspections for high-risk products to Border Control Posts (BCPs) and Control Points (CPs).
  • The simplification of procedures for low-risk imports from non-EU countries will facilitate smoother operations.

To assist our members in adapting to these changes, the CIEH emphasises the resources available through our newly established Port Health Advisory Panel. This panel will help CIEH develop policy positions, support lobbying efforts, and be a source of expertise and knowledge on port health matters. Working with this new panel, CIEH will provide ongoing support, disseminate essential information, and offer guidance for both new and current regulations, as well as signpost members to relevant government sources for up-to-date information. Members working at the border and inland will find the panel a valuable asset for navigating the complexities of the new BTOM regime.

Environmental health professionals are invited to connect with the Port Health Advisory Panel during this important implementation phase of the new BTOM requirements. This engagement will ensure our members are well-prepared and informed, enabling them to continue their vital role in maintaining the UK’s public health standards at the border.

For more information or to engage with the Port Health Advisory Panel, CIEH members are encouraged to visit Port Health Advisory Panel – CIEH.

Louise Hosking, executive director of environmental health at CIEH, said: “With the implementation of the second stage of the Border Target Operating Model, it is imperative that our members are equipped with the knowledge and resources to manage these new challenges effectively.

“BTOM introduces significant changes to SPS controls, particularly for medium-risk plant and animal products. Our role is to ensure that our members are prepared not just to adapt but to lead in safeguarding biosecurity and protecting public health.

“Our Port Health Advisory Panel will be a critical resource for our members as they navigate these regulatory adjustments. By supporting CIEH in producing relevant policy content in this area, they will help bridge the gap between complex regulatory changes and practical implementation, supporting members on the ground. Thus, we empower our members to maintain the highest standards of public health and safety.

“Our commitment at CIEH is to support our members through these transitions, ensuring they are both well-informed and actively involved in the evolution of border health practices. As we move forward, the strength of our professional community will be key to our collective success in adapting to and influencing these developments at the national level.”