Control Points explained
Control Points are inland inspection facilities where SPS (Sanitary and Phytosanitary) checks of plants and plant products can take place, which operate under customs supervision.
The Control Points have the same function as a BCP, providing the first line of control in maintaining UK biosecurity. Therefore, they must be customs authorised as a temporary storage facility and meet the same minimum requirements as a BCP in terms of facilities and resource to facilitate inspections.
NFU Horticulture and Potatoes Board chair Martin Emmett said: “We are aware of grower concerns regarding the biosecurity of Border Control Point facilities amongst other issues relating to JIT (Just-in-time) supply chains.
“Therefore, for growers bringing in single load consignments, we are encouraging them to explore becoming a Control Point if they wish to avoid inspections taking place at a BCPs. This would mean that checks may continue to be carried out by an APHA inspector at the consignment’s final destination.
“If consignments are part of a groupage load, it is still worth growers exploring the CP option but growers must be mindful that consignments may still have to go through a different CP first.
“It has yet to be determined which type of CP groupage loads would need to pass through, such as a BCP or another CP.”
Find out if a Control Point is right for you
“For growers bringing in single load consignments, we are encouraging them to explore becoming a Control Point, if they wish to avoid inspections taking place at a BCPs.”
NFU Horticulture and Potatoes Board chair, Martin Emmett
It can take anywhere between 3 – 18 months for a business to be designated as a CP. It is therefore crucial that business start to explore this option now in readiness for 31 January 2024, when Place of Destination inspections will stop.
More information on how you can meet the criteria and apply to become a CP can be found on Defra's CP Guidance - UK Plant Health Information Portal.
In summary, the first step in the designation process is the submission of an EoI (Expression of Interest) by emailing [email protected]. You will be asked to provide information about the anticipated volume of imports.
If the application is accepted, the CA (Competent Authority) allocates an inspector to support the application.
The operator will have to submit plans and supporting documents to the CA who, in conjunction with Defra, assesses plans for compliance with minimum requirements. However, those minimum requirements are not specified in the online guides. The final site visit will confirm if designation is accepted.
The NFU are asking Defra to provide a clear and accessible application process, with defined stages and costs, so that growers can evaluate whether becoming a CP is the right option for their business.
Learn more from the government's guide: GOV.UK | Control Points.
Single load consignments
For growers bringing in single load consignments, we are encouraging them to explore becoming a CP (Control Point), if they wish to avoid inspections taking place at a BCP.
This would mean that checks may continue to be carried out by an APHA inspector at the consignment’s final destination.
More information on BCPs can be found at: GOV.UK | Border Control Post Guidance
Additional FAQs & information on costs associated with CP designation, can also be found within Defra’s UK Plant Health Information Portal found on Defra's TOM online session recordings and Questions and Answers (Q&A) – UK Plant Health Information Portal.