05 July 2024


Since the implementation of the new Border Target Operating Model (BTOM) on April 30, 2024, logistics operators have faced challenges at UK borders. The regulations mandate physical quality checks for certain products coming into Britain from the EU at border posts situated in or nearby British ports.  Under the new Brexit rules, plants for planting have been categorised as high-risk, meaning much higher rates of inspection than for businesses that import meat and dairy, which are classified as medium risk. This has led to extensive delays, increased costs, and substantial operational inefficiencies. These issues are particularly pronounced in the transport of fresh product, plants, and flowers, severely affecting the horticulture and food sectors.

The inspection process has become a significant burden for logistics operators and particularly for drivers. With long waiting times, in particular reported at Sevington, the process is both time-consuming and costly (see recent article in the Guardian). Drivers experience great unease due to long waiting times and consequent disruption of their schedules, leading to possible violations of driving and rest time legislation. Furthermore, there have been numerous reports of goods being damaged during inspections, with no clear avenue for compensation.

The Guardian recently reported on calls made by Dutch road haulier associations TLN to solve the situation urgently and to engage in constructive dialogue with the UK authorities to address these challenges. TLN has called for extending and streamlining Border Control Posts (BCPs) opening hours to support the 24/7 nature of transport operations which is vital to avoid these delays and ensure efficient logistics.  They also stress the need to provide timely information to carriers and trade regarding inspections and goods release which is essential to streamline operations and reduce delays.