Ensuring an environmentally concious border target operating model


By Nichola Mallon, head of trade and developed policy, Logistics UK

On the 31 January 2024, the first phase of the Border Target Operating Model (BTOM) – government’s strategy for new customs and border processes – will be implemented. This includes the introduction of health certification on imports of medium-risk animal products, plants, plant products and high-risk food and feed of non-animal origin from the EU, as well as full customs controls for non-qualifying Northern Ireland goods. As a result, many consignments of animals, animal products and products of non-animal origin will have to come through a border control post (BCP).

With such significant planned changes to customs and trade procedures, it is imperative that environmental impact is considered and is not adversely affected. There is concern among the logistics industry that if a national uniform charge is not applied for commercial and government Border Control Post (BCP) facilities, then given current financial pressures, this could lead to rerouting to cheaper facilities and result in greater emissions.  

Without confirmation of decisions and details, questions also remain as to when private BCP facilities and government run facilities will start charging and the market impact of any potential disparity. Additionally, many businesses believe it would be more effective and less burdensome if all sanitary and phytosanitary goods could go through the same BCPs.

With no ‘one-size-fits-all’ solution to decarbonising HGVs currently, it is vital to reduce their environmental impact where possible, including minimizing distance travelled where circumstances allow. Logistics UK will continue to highlight environmental as well as economic concerns in conversations with government and members.