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Ashford Borough Council will provide a Port Health Service at the Sevington Inland Border Facility (IBF), starting in January 2022. It is expected to be one of the biggest facilities in the UK.

As a result of EU Transition, the council becomes responsible for checks on imports of products of animal origin (POAO), high-risk food not of animal origin (HRFNAO) and animal by-products (animal products not for human consumption) imported from the EU that transit into the UK via Eurotunnel.

The site will operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. It is estimated that around 124,000 checks a year will be carried out at Sevington, which has been built on farmland alongside J10A of the M20. 

Around 130 staff are likely to be directly employed/engaged by the council. The service will be introduced from 1 January 2022.

  • The requirements for pre-notification of Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) goods, which were due to be introduced on 1 October 2021, will now be introduced on 1 January 2022.
  • The new requirements for Export Health Certificates, which were due to be introduced on 1 October 2021, will now be introduced on 1 July 2022.
  • Phytosanitary Certificates and physical checks on SPS goods at Border Control Posts, due to be introduced on 1 January 2022, will now be introduced on 1 July 2022.
  • Safety and Security declarations on imports will be required as of 1 July 2022 as opposed to 1 January 2022.

Full customs declarations and controls will be introduced on 1 January 2022 as previously announced. The written ministerial statement can be found here. Written statements - Written questions, answers and statements - UK Parliament

However, IUU (Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated Fishing) clearance commenced on 7 June 2021.

The recruitment drive has already begun, with a range of new posts on offer including specialist veterinary staff, environmental health officers, administrative staff and several other roles. The new team will be based at a new building being constructed on site. 

Work is now going on to design the service in detail. This includes ensuring the policies and procedures are in place, integrating the IT systems, designing the checking processes, undertaking the necessary recruitment and beginning the various training programmes.