New Chamber services: HR, H&S, Legal & Tax

Now included in your Membership - Unlimited access to document library with
800 FREE downloadable templates PLUS 5 ADVICE LINES for help with key issues.

Add to home screen

Quick access to Chamber news, events and offers

Growing your business,
building our economy

Common User Charge Rates Confirmed

Common User Charge Rates Confirmed

The Common User Charge rates are confirmed today on Gov.UK. You can also view the Government’s response to the consultation on charging arrangements at Government-run border control posts here.

DEFRA will be hosting a webinar on the Common User Charge rates, who will need to pay and how it will be administered - on Wednesday 10 April between 9:30 and 10:30am. You can sign up to attend the webinar here.

Please pre-submit your questions by 3pm on Tuesday 9 April. You’ll be given the option to do this when signing up for the session. DEFRA will be answering most commonly asked questions, as well as taking further prioritised questions at the session.

About the Common User Charge

From 30 April 2024, and in line with the introduction of risk-based identity and physical Border Control Post (BCP) checks set out in the BTOM, the Government will administer a Common User Charge on all eligible SPS imports (from rest of world EU and EFTA countries) entering the UK through the Port of Dover and Eurotunnel in Kent.  

The introduction of new sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) import controls are fundamental to protecting the UK’s food supply chain, our food and farming industries, and our natural environment from biosecurity risks including the costly outbreaks of diseases.

Charges on eligible imports coming into GB are necessary to fund the operation of planned government-run BCP facilities serving Port of Dover and Eurotunnel to make sure physical checks on SPS imports can be undertaken safely and securely.      

The Common User Charge will apply to imports of animal products, plants and plant products entering GB through the Port of Dover or Eurotunnel which are eligible for checks at a government-run BCP. It will be applied to all eligible imports whether or not the import is selected for a physical check at planned government-run BCP facilities.  

From 30 April 2024, the following rates will be charged for each commodity line in a Common Health Entry Document (CHED).

Commodity type: Low-risk products of animal origin (POAO)
Imports - 
£10 per commodity line
Transits - £10 per commodity line

Commodity type: Medium-risk POAO
Imports - 
£29 per commodity line​​​​​​​
Transits - £10 per commodity line

Commodity type: High-risk POAO
Imports - 
£29 per commodity line​​​​​​​
Transits - £10 per commodity line

Commodity type: Low-risk plants and plant products
Imports - 
no common user charge
Transits - no common user charge

Commodity type: Medium-risk plants and plant products
Imports - 
£29 per commodity line
Transits - no common user charge

Commodity type: High-risk plants and plant products
Imports - 
£29 per commodity line​​​​​​​
Transits - no common user charge

The maximum charge for one CHED will be limited to 5 commodity lines, even if there are more than 5 commodity lines present in the CHED. This means that medium and high-risk CHEDs will be capped at £145. Low-risk POAO CHEDs and POAO transits will be capped at £50.

To support business readiness, the first digital invoices will be issued in arrears later in the year for charges incurred from 30 April 2024. Thereafter, digital invoices will be issued in arrears on a month-by-month basis. Further details about the administration of the charge including the process about how and when importers will be invoiced, and what support there is for businesses to pay the charge will be set out in guidance ahead of 30 April 2024.    

The Common User Charge will be in addition to any inspection fees applied by the Port Health Authority (for products of animal origin) and/or the Animal and Plant Health Agency (for plant and plant products). It will be up to commercial (private) ports to set their own charging structure and rates for traders using their services.     

The impact of the Common User Charge on businesses of all sizes will be kept under monthly and quarterly reviews, with rates reviewed and updated annually.

British Chambers of Commerce Reaction

Reacting to details of the common user charge being introduced on animal and plant product imports into the UK later this month, William Bain, Head of Trade Policy at the British Chambers of Commerce said: 


“This is an extremely disappointing decision by Defra on the common usage charge. The level of import charges shows scant regard to the interests of both businesses and consumers.  


“A flat rate fee for bringing most animal and plant products into the UK is a hammer blow for small and medium sized importers. It’s also deeply concerning for retailers, cafes and restaurants.  


“Importing a small consignment of goods with only five different meat, poultry, egg, milk or some fish products in the medium risk category will now face a bill of £145 per package under these proposals.  


“The clock is ticking to 30th April when these charges will come into force. We urge the Government to reconsider their import charge plans in the coming days. Failing to do so risks higher prices for us all, at a time when we should be bearing down on business costs and food price inflation.” 

Pattesons Glass Ltd
Aa Global
Gold patron
Hatfields Hull
East Riding of Yorkshire Council
Alan Boswell Insurance Brokers
Connexin Live, Hull
Andrew Jackson Solicitors LLP
Gold patron
Streets Chartered Accountants
We are My
SPS Group
University of Hull
Wilkin Chapman LLP