UK Importer - New SPS Changes in Oct 2023

Update: Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures & SPS Changes for UK Importers
Please check the most recent info from Jan 31st 2024.

UK Importers: What You Need to Know About New SPS Changes Coming into Force in Oct 2023


As the United Kingdom (UK) continues its post-Brexit journey, changes in regulations and standards are inevitable. In October 2023, new Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) measures will be implemented, affecting UK importers. SPS regulations are crucial for ensuring the safety of imported agricultural and food products, protecting human, animal, and plant health.

The Background: Post-Brexit SPS Landscape

The UK’s departure from the European Union (EU) brought about the need for a separate SPS regime. The new SPS measures aim to maintain robust health and safety standards while enabling the UK to establish its own regulatory framework. Read more direct from the UK Government.

The Oct 2023 SPS Changes: Key Points

  • Risk Assessments and Border Controls Under the new SPS changes, UK importers will need to engage in rigorous risk assessments for imported products. It will be crucial to identify potential risks to human, animal, and plant health associated with imported goods. The border control procedures will be strengthened to ensure compliance with the new regulations. Importers should be prepared for potential delays and additional paperwork as a result.


  • Enhanced Documentation Requirements: Importers will be required to provide enhanced documentation for SPS purposes. This documentation may include detailed information about the products’ origin, production methods, and compliance with UK health and safety standards. It is essential to establish strong communication channels with suppliers to obtain the necessary documentation efficiently.



  • Changes in Product Certification: Certification requirements for imported agricultural and food products may undergo significant changes. The UK may introduce new certification schemes or adapt existing ones to align with the post-Brexit SPS regime. Importers should keep a close eye on updates from relevant authorities and certification bodies to ensure compliance with the latest requirements.
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Import Controls and Inspections

To ensure the safety of imported goods, the UK will enhance import controls and inspections. Importers should be prepared for an increased likelihood of physical inspections at the border or designated inspection points. Maintaining high-quality product standards and ensuring compliance with all applicable regulations will be paramount to avoid delays and potential penalties.

Preparing for the SPS Changes

  • Stay Informed: UK importers must stay informed about the latest developments regarding SPS regulations. Regularly check updates from government agencies, trade associations, and industry publications. Establishing connections with regulatory bodies can also provide valuable insights into upcoming changes.


  • Strengthen Supplier Relationships: Maintaining strong relationships with suppliers will be essential for navigating the new SPS landscape effectively. Communicate with your suppliers about the upcoming changes and ensure they understand the requirements. Collaborate to obtain the necessary documentation and ensure compliance with UK health and safety standards.


  • Review and Update Import Processes: Review your current import processes and adapt them to align with the upcoming SPS changes. Consider any potential risks associated with imported goods and develop strategies to mitigate them effectively. Assess the impact of additional paperwork and potential delays on your supply chain and plan accordingly. Talk to your customs clearance broker for additional support.


  • Invest in Training and Expertise: Consider investing in training and expertise to ensure your team members are knowledgeable about the new SPS regulations. Training programs can help your staff understand the intricacies of SPS compliance, risk assessment, and documentation requirements. Also talk to your customs clearance agent for assistance. If you need assistance now, contact our Salvatori team directly via


The October 2023 SPS changes will bring significant shifts in regulations for UK importers. It is crucial for importers to familiarize themselves with the upcoming changes, strengthen their supplier relationships, and review and update their import processes accordingly. By staying informed, adapting their practices, and investing in training, UK importers can ensure compliance with the new SPS requirements while maintaining the flow of safe and high-quality imported goods.