The Common User Charge: What does it mean? - CILT(UK)
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The Common User Charge: What does it mean?

08 April 2024/Categories: Industry News, Freight Forwarding, Logistics & Supply Chain, Ports, Maritime & Waterways

The Government has announced the new 'Common User Charge' for Animal and Plant imports entering Great Britain.

It will be implemented on April 30, 2024 for commercial imports of animal products, plants, and plant products entering or transiting through Great Britain via the Port of Dover and Eurotunnel.

The charge is being introduced as part of changes to the UK's Border Target Operating Model to fund the operating costs of government-run border control posts that conduct sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) checks on these types of goods.

UK businesses importing consignments that require potential SPS checks will need to pay the Common User Charge when their goods enter or transit through the Port of Dover or Eurotunnel - even if the shipment is not actually inspected.

The fees, which were set based on estimated annual operating costs for the border facilities, will range from £10 to £29 per commodity line listed on the import documentation, with a maximum charge of £145 per shipment capped at 5 commodity lines.

The new charge applies only to commercial imports - personal goods brought in by passengers on ferries and Eurostar trains are exempt.

Low-risk plant products may also be exempt in certain cases.

What are the Common User Charge rates?

The following rates will be charged for each commodity line in a CHED:

Commodity type



Low-risk products of animal origin (POAO)



Medium-risk POAO



High-risk POAO



Low-risk plants and plant products

no common user charge

no common user charge

Medium-risk plants and plant products




no common user charge

High-risk plants and plant products


no common user charge


In a blog post published by The Department for Environment Food & Rural Affairs (Defra) a Government spokesperson said:

“The charge is designed to recover the costs of operating our world-class border facilities where essential biosecurity checks will protect our food supply, farmers and environment against costly disease outbreaks entering the UK through the short straits.

“The charges follow extensive consultation with industry and a cap has been set specifically to help smaller businesses. We are committed to supporting businesses of all sizes and across all sectors as they adapt to new border checks and maintaining the smooth flow of imported goods."

For more information please click here.


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