Commercial LandscapingDomestic LandscapingNature & BiodiversityTopics

New border trade plans inadequate for addressing horticulture needs, says the HTA

The Horticultural Trades Association (HTA) says more progress is needed following the publication of the government’s Border Target Operating Model (BTOM).

New controls were set out today that the government says will ensure more efficient trading and better protection against biosecurity threats, all of which will help to create a “world-class border system”. Lord Benyon, Defra’s Minister for Biosecurity, says the new model “sets out our innovative system of border controls, which will continue to uphold UK biosecurity and support trade with other countries.”

But Fran Barnes, chief executive of the HTA, says that whilst she acknowledges the positive strides made with the formal release of the Border Target Operating Model,” it “doesn’t go far enough in adequately addressing the legitimate needs of the horticultural sector.”

Imported plant material exceeded £753m in 2022, half of the value of the UK’s trees, plants, seeds, and bulbs production sector.

Barnes says one of the biggest concerns is “the readiness of Border Control Posts (BCPs) to handle the diverse range of imports received by the horticultural sector from the EU.”

A proposed delay to the introduction of checks at BCPs until 30 April 2024 falls in the middle of high season of plant trades, and “the delay is not long enough to complete the proposed pilot of the Authorised Operator Status model,” adds Barnes. She says that it would not allow for a seamless transition for businesses from the existing point of designation system to Control Points status, and the AOS model is still “unclear, with costs and processes unpublished.”

Show More

Related Articles

Back to top button