Photo credits @ Port of Dover

UK government introduces common user charges for imports: what hauliers need to know

From 30th April 2024, the UK Government is set to implement common user charges for commercial movements of animal products, plants, and plant products entering Great Britain through the Port of Dover and Eurotunnel. Here’s all the essential information hauliers need to navigate the changes.

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The common user charge will apply to imports entering Great Britain and transits entering and leaving Great Britain. However, it will not apply to live animal imports until checks are introduced.

Starting from 30th April 2024, UK businesses importing goods that enter or transit through Great Britain via the Port of Dover or Eurotunnel and are eligible for sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) checks at a government-run border control post in England will need to pay the common user charge.

The charge is calculated based on each commodity line in a common health entry document (CHED) submitted on the Import of Products, Animals, Food, and Feed System (IPAFFS). The rates vary depending on the risk category of the commodity, with a maximum charge per CHED.

Rates for Common User Charge

Commodity Type Imports Transits
Low risk products of animal origin (POAO) £10 £10
Medium risk POAO £29 £10
High risk POAO £29 £10
High risk food and feed of non-animal origin (HRFNAO) £29 No charge
Low risk plants and plant products No charge No charge
Medium risk plants and plant products £29 No charge
High risk plants and plant products £29 No charge

Invoices for the common user charge will be issued monthly in arrears by Shared Services Connected Ltd. (SSCL). These invoices will include details of CHEDs charged during the invoicing period. Invoices can be paid via various methods, including GOV.UK Pay, bank transfer, over the phone, or by cheque, with payment due within 30 days.

Measures will be implemented to deter late payment and payment avoidance, including charges for late payment. Further information on compliance measures will be published before the issuance of the first invoices.

Rates for the common user charge have been determined by estimating annual operating costs at government-run border control post facilities and dividing this by the estimated annual number of SPS commodity lines entering through the Port of Dover and Eurotunnels.