Is becoming a Control Point right for my business?

An image of a forklift moving plastic crates used for storing rhubarbs

The NFU is urging horticultural businesses to consider becoming a Control Point if they have concerns regarding biosecurity of BCP (Border Control Post) inspection facilities.

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.

NFU position

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

Martin Emmett Binsted Nurseries

“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.

It is also vital that that Defra provides 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.

You can read more detail and have your say on our consultation page The Border Target Operating Model.

Learn more from the government's guide: GOV.UK | Control Points.

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.

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This page was first published on 10 May 2023. It was updated on 17 May 2023.

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