Latest updates

The Border Target Operating Model: changes to future UK border controls

The government has now published the final version of the Border Target Operating Model (BTOM). The key changes to the final version are the revised dates on the introduction of certification and check requirements for EU imports:

  • 31 Jan 2024: the introduction of certification requirements on imports from the EU
  • 30 April 2024: documentary and risk-based identity and physical checks on medium-risk products and on high-risk food and feed of non-animal origin imports from the EU

9 May Update: Defra have confirmed that the risk review of EU composite products initially scheduled for April has not yet taken place. They also confirmed that they are not looking to make immediate changes to the categorisation, except for exceptional circumstances e.g. a disease outbreak. Defra have also stated industry will be provided with 6 months notice for any changes that occur.

Key documents that we have produced for FDF members are available here:

FDF overview of the final BTOM

FDF BTOM issues tracker

FDF response to the BTOM consultation

The Windsor Framework: what does it mean for UK food and drink?

The Windsor Framework sets out updated processes for movements of goods from Great Britain (GB) into Northern Ireland (NI). 

Key documents that we have produced for FDF members are available here:

FDF overview of the Windsor Framework

FDF Windsor Framework issues tracker

FDF Navigating the Windsor Framework slides

Defra have shared two letters with industry on enforcement and compliance. The first letter covers the overall approach in the initial months of the scheme with the second letter focusing on further exceptions to box level labelling requirements and conditions for moving Rest of World (Non-UK/EU goods). 

Next steps

NI Retail Movement Scheme 

UK Internal Market Scheme 

1 October 2024: Product-level labelling extended to dairy products. At this stage, product level labelling is proposed to apply on a UK-wide basis

July 2025: Product-level labelling extended to some composite products, fruit, vegetables, fish and pet food and all further goods subject to controls at EU BCPs

1 October 2024: Full deployment of Customs Green Lane

  • Only ordinary commercial data required
  • Simple goods description instead of commodity code
  • No 80 field supplementary declaration
  • Facilitations extend to parcels and e-commerce



FDF Trade Snapshot full year 2023

The FDF 2023 Trade Snapshot shows that exports were down 2%, totaling £24.8bn, With non EU markets driving this decline, down 6%. Sales to our EU partners were up, with impressive export growth to Ireland and Spain.

Download the FDF 2023 Trade Snapshot

FDF Trade Snapshot H1 2023: strong value growth to EU

The FDF Trade Snapshot shows that exports for the first half of 2023 have risen to almost £12 billion, up nearly £0.5 billion from the same period in 2022. The data shows strong growth in sales to European markets. This report also looks at trade with India and Turkey.

Download the FDF H1 2023 Trade Snapshot

CPTPP: five benefits for UK food and drink manufacturers

On 31 March 2023, the UK government announced that it had reached agreement in principle to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership – better known as CPTPP – a trade bloc that spans 11 countries in the Indo-Pacific region which is set to grow beyond the UK’s accession.

The agreement includes 30 chapters that cover a range of areas including market access for goods, customs administration, sanitary and phytosanitary measures, labour, environment, SMEs and regulatory coherence. The deal upholds the UK’s high food safety and animal welfare standards and any imports will continue to comply with existing UK requirements.

We have identified five key benefits for UK food and drink manufacturers:

  1. It delivers new opportunities to export to Malaysia and Brunei

    UK manufacturers will benefit from new opportunities to export to Malaysia and Brunei with the removal of tariffs that have until now blocked our exports. This includes the complete removal on entry into force of Malaysian tariffs of up to 20% on many manufactured products including soft drinks, confectionery and chocolate.
  2. It makes exports to the other nine CPTPP members more competitive

    While the UK already has FTAs with the other nine members, CPTPP offers a range of new and improved opportunities in most of these markets. This includes access to a tariff-free cheese export quota in Canada, additional access for dairy and cereals in Japan and the removal of tariffs on chocolate and confectionery to Mexico.
  3. It secures improved access to essential imports that enhance our resilience

    While we haven’t yet seen the full details of the UK’s agreement on import tariffs, we know that the deal will cut tariffs on a wide range of products, providing more competitive access for UK importers to many ingredients and raw materials used in UK manufacturing that either aren’t produced domestically or not in sufficient quantities.
  4. It provides more flexibility for manufacturers to access tariff-free trade

    Rules of origin are the terms and conditions that dictate if a trader is able to access a preferential tariff in a trade agreement. CPTPP includes a single set of rules that will offer an alternative for businesses to those in the nine existing FTAs and this can help to unlock additional opportunities for UK exporters. The rules of origin also allow full cumulation, supporting production of goods that use inputs sourced from across the trade bloc.
  5. It speeds up trade in short shelf life food and drink products

    Businesses that trade in limited shelf life products will benefit from a commitment from all CPTPP member states to ensure goods will be released within 48 hours of arrival wherever possible. It also includes a commitment to move to the use of electronic systems for customs users that can help to cut bureaucracy and the cost of trade.

We have produced further documents for FDF members to find out more about CPTPP:

FDF overview of the CPTPP agreement

FDF guidance on CPTPP rules of origin

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Our priorities for UK trade policy, including our trade and investment strategy and detailed positions on live negotiations.

borders and customs

Border policy

Our priorities to deliver world leading borders and customs to support the growth of UK food and drink manufacturing.


FDF Trade Snapshots

Our quarterly Trade Snapshots provide analysis of the latest trends in UK food and drink exports and imports.

Report: A UK trade and investment strategy for food and drink

In this report, we have set out a series of actions which champions the interests of the UK’s food and drink industry alongside delivering economic growth and providing greater choice and affordability of products for UK households.

Read more