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BCP Inspection Fees: How much will I actually pay?

We investigate the fees importers of SPS goods will actually face from April 30th  

Following the publication of the Common User Charge rates set by DEFRA as part of new regulations for SPS imports under the Border Target Operating Model, there’s been much confusion over additional costs SPS importers might face from April 30th. In particular, importers are concerned about the possibility of additional charges set by Port Health Authorities (PHA) for products of animal origin (POAO) and high risk food of non-animal origin (HRFNOA) and the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) for plants and plant products.

For those unaware, earlier this month the government laid out the Common User Charges that will be payable by all importers of SPS goods who enter or transit through GB via the Port of Dover or the Eurotunnel.  While announcing these costs, they have also clarified that additional inspection fees, charged by PHAs and the APHA, will be payable in addition to the Common User Charge. The rates and eligibility for this charge can be found here.

This announcement has caused confusion and concern among UK businesses regardless of the port of entry. Importers have sought clarity on whether inspection fees charged by PHAs/AHPA for SPS goods coming into the UK via Border Control Posts (BCPs) will apply regardless of whether the consignment is selected for inspection at the Border Control Post from April 30th. 

To gain some clarity on this important issue and understand the fees that importers might face from April 30th, Tees Global used an example SPS consignment, a medium-risk POAO product, to compare the charges and approaches being taken by PHAs across the UK.


Our enquiries revealed that there are a variety of approaches to the inspection charges being taken by Port Health Authorities throughout the UK.

One PHA explained they would charge all medium-risk POAO consignments a documentary charge of £22 and that additional charges per tonne for physical and identity checks would only apply if the consignment was selected for inspection.

Another PHA outlined that all medium-risk POAO consignments would be charged a single fee, ranging from £56 - £465 dependent on tonnage, which would cover documentary, physical and identity checks regardless of whether the consignment in question was selected.

They explained further that these were interim fees and that, when inspection rates for commodity codes were confirmed by the government, they would revise their charges in light of these.

It appears there is no single, standardised approach to inspection fees between Port Health Authorities.  This lack of certainty perhaps explains why some PHAs, including Port of Tyne and Dover, are still showing POAO fees as TBC on their websites. 

This lack of certainty might explain why some PHAs, including Port of Tyne, Portsmouth and Dover are still showing some fees as TBC on their websites.

For any business, the best course of action is to contact the Port Health Authority in your Port of Destination directly and ask them to confirm which charges will apply to your SPS consignments.  

To help, we've provided links to inspection fees published by key UK Port Health Authorities below:

If your port of destination is not listed, you can find the relevant PHA here:

If you have any questions, feel free to contact Tees Global at to see how we can help you to understand your costs and requirements from 30th April.

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