What we do

We check imports of food and feed entering the UK via Portsmouth. We also monitor the control of infectious diseases on board vessels docking in Portsmouth.

Portico Cargo Terminal is a designated Border Control Post for non-animal origin food and feed, as well as plastic kitchenware originating from China and Hong Kong. We also conduct certain checks at Portsmouth International Port (PIP).

We are part of the wider Regulatory Services team.

Border Target Operating Model (BTOM) FAQs

The following responses to frequently asked questions are subject to change

Where can I find government information on the Border Target Operating Model?

Visit GOV.UK:

Where can I get assistance with IPAFFS?

If you need assistance with IPAFFS, please visit GOV.UK and either call the number provided or email the relevant address: Import of products, animals, food and feed system (IPAFFS)

What will Port Health require from 31 January 2024?

There will be no changes to our requirements, however you need to follow the guidance on GOV.UK (above) and notify via IPAFFS. The National Clearance Hub (NCH) will then undertake documentary checks.

Essentially, this is a grace period for businesses to prepare for the when formal checks come into place on 30 April 2024.

Will Portsmouth International Port (PIP) be designated as a Border Control Post?

PIP is expected to be formally designated by 30 April 2024. We have been advised that the BCP list on GOV.UK will be updated closer to that date. You can continue to import products through PIP as it is only a requirement to import via a BCP from 30 April 2024. If you face any issues with IPAFFS, please seek assistance directly with the IPAFFS team as provided above.

Designation will be for:

Products of Animal Origin (POAO)

  • POA – Products of animal origin, composite products, germinal products, animal by-products, hay and straw
  • HC – Products for human consumption
  • NHC – Products not for human consumption
  • NT – No temperature requirement
  • T – Frozen/chilled products

Products of non-animal origin (PNAO)

  • HC (food) – Food of non-animal origin covered by conditions or measures referred to in Annex 2 of assimilated Regulation (EU) 2019/1014
  • NHC (feed) – Feed of non-animal origin covered by conditions or measures referred to in Annex 2 of assimilated Regulation (EU) 2019/1014
  • NHC (other) – Products of non-animal origin, which are neither food nor feed
  • NT – No temperature requirement
  • T – Frozen/chilled products

The BCP designation at Portico cargo terminal will remain unchanged.

What is the prenotification time for CHED-applicable products?
Whilst the legal pre-notification time is 24 hours (for entry by road, which RO-RO entry is classed as), we can offer a derogation where there are logistical constraints.

The pre-notification time for POAO coming into PIP on RO-RO is therefore 6 hours. Agents and importers do not need to contact us to request this derogation.

Please note that the prenotification times for organics and IUU are different and can be found elsewhere on this page.

What will the charges be?

A charging structure is being developed and will be published on this page when available.

How do payments work?

We currently invoice for charges by email using the council’s standard finance system. We know that other ports use a deposit/holding account system for charges, and we are actively exploring the possibility of moving towards such a system.

See the ‘Fees’ section to register as a customer.

How will drivers access the BCP?

Details will be published in due course. The address of the BCP is:

Border Control Post, Portsmouth International Port

Mile End Road



This address is not our current postal / contact address.

All documents should be submitted by IPAFFS, or where applicable, email/online form.

African swine fever

Because of outbreaks of African swine fever, non-commercial imports of pork may be subject to checks by Port Health Officers, in conjunction with Border Force.

If you are bringing in pork or pork products over 2kgs from the EU, it must be:

  • commercially packaged with an EU identification mark; or,
  • stamped with a health mark if it is a carcass.

The marks will be an oval containing a two-letter country code, an approval number and the letters ‘EC’ for European Community (or their equivalents in other EU languages).

If you’re bringing in animal by-products they must be commercially packaged with the name and address of the feed business operator or have an animal by-product commercial document.

Find out more: Bringing food into Great Britain: Meat, dairy, fish and animal products – GOV.UK

Maritime Declaration of Health (MDH)

We work in conjunction with KHM Portsmouth and Portsmouth International Port to monitor any suspected disease or death on board any vessel entering Portsmouth waters.

In any case of suspected infectious disease or death on board any vessel, the masters of ships arriving from foreign ports must:

Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated Fishing (IUU) Catch Certificates

Pre-notification time: at least 2 hours before anticipated arrival, otherwise a late fee may apply.

Pre-notify us using our online form.

Download a Multiple Catch Certificate Summary Document, if required. Please complete your sections and upload this when you submit your request if you have multiple Catch Certificates.

Our guide Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated Fishing (IUU) Catch Certificates: Information for importers provides more detailed advice on the requirements, including what information to supply to us.

If we are provided with unsatisfactory documentation, we will usually allow the agent/importer a grace period of 72 hours to provide the information, after which we may charge a fee. See our guide and the fees section for more information.

Imports from the EU

IUU Catch Certificates must be notified to us as outlined on this page.

You must notify Products of Animal Origin (POAO) and High-Risk Food and Feed of Non-Animal Origin (HRFNAO) via IPAFFS. We do not currently have access to the live data from goods entering from the EU.

Plastic kitchenware originating from China and Hong Kong, which has been released for free circulation in the EU, does not need to be notified to us. Any declarable plastic kitchenware must enter via Portico BCP.

There are other controls in place which are under the jurisdiction of APHA, Border Force and HMRC. You should contact them directly with any queries you have or visit: Import goods into the UK: step by step – GOV.UK

The UK Government published the Border Target Operating Model (BTOM) in August 2023 which provides final plans for a new approach to importing goods into Great Britain, that will be progressively introduced from the end of January 2024.

Portsmouth International Port is expected to be designated as a Border Control Post.

High Risk Food and Feed of Non-Animal Origin (HRFNAO)

Pre-notification time: at least 24 hours before the consignment is due in port, otherwise a late fee may apply.

At the Border Control Post at Portico Cargo Terminal, Official Controls are carried out on imports of HRFNAO requiring a Common Health Entry Document (CHED-D). HRFNAO entering from the EU through Portsmouth International Port must have been cleared in the EU as PIP is not yet designated as a Border Control Post.

Please see the FSA’s website for further information: Importing high-risk food and feed into GB – Food Standards Agency.

Organic products

Pre-notification times:

  • Portico (by container ship): at least 24 hours before the vessel arrives.
  • PIP (by RO-RO ferry): at least 6 hours before the vessel arrives.

Late notifications may be subject to a late fee.

Pre-notify us using our online form. There must be a Certificate of Inspection (COI) and accompanying documentation with each shipment.

Organic products which have transited the EU and are arriving via Portsmouth International Port are subject to inspection. Organic products originating from the EU, or cleared in the EU, do not currently need to be notified to us.

Further information: Importing and exporting organic food – GOV.UK

Plastic kitchenware originating from China and Hong Kong

Pre-notification time: at least two working days in advance of the expected arrival, otherwise a late fee may apply.

A declaration document and supporting evidence must be provided for every consignment of polyamide and melamine plastic kitchenware originating in or consigned from the People’s Republic of China and Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, China. If the product has been cleared for entry into the EU, a declaration need not be provided. Samples may be taken by a Port Health Officer.

Guidance: Importing plastic kitchenware from China and Hong Kong – Food Standards Agency

Shellfish classification

We undertake the official control monitoring for the shellfish production areas in Portsmouth, which are Portsmouth Harbour and Langstone Harbour. We also monitor classified production areas for marine biotoxins, phytoplankton and chemical contamination.

Live Bivalve Molluscs (LBMs) include:

  • oysters (pacific and native)
  • mussels
  • clams
  • cockles
  • scallops

As filter feeders, LBMs are susceptible to picking up and accumulating toxins, chemical or bacteriological contaminants from their environment.

To reduce the risk of contamination, commercial harvesting of can only be undertaken from classified production areas.

Classification of production areas

The sampling information is used by the Food Standards Agency (FSA) to determine the classification of the production area. The areas are species specific. See the section “Current classification list and sampling plans” on the FSA’s website for further information: Shellfish classification | Food Standards Agency

For maps of the areas, see: Classification zone maps – Cefas (Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science)

Registration document

Each batch or consignment of LBMs or live shellfish being removed from a designated shellfish production area must, by law, be accompanied by a registration document.

Registration documents are available free of charge on request. Contact us to request.

Ship sanitation certificates and water sampling

Portsmouth Port Health Authority is authorised to issue ship sanitation certificates. A certificate (or extension) will only be granted after an inspection of the vessel.

We will ask to see several documents, including the following (which should be provided in advance, where possible):

  • Most recent ship sanitation certificate and any attachments
  • Most recent water sample results
  • Master handover log
  • Medicine and narcotics list (with expiry dates)
  • Food safety management system
  • Cook’s food hygiene training certificate
  • Medical log
  • Garbage log
  • Ballast management plan
  • Waste management plan
  • Discharge book
  • Tank cleaning record
  • UV changing record

The inspection is conducted under the International Health Regulations 2005 and cross-referencing the WHO Handbook and Guide. In certain circumstances domestic food legislation applies on board passenger vessels.

Port Health Officers can obtain samples of drinking water and ice. It is recommended potable water is tested every six months, from three different points on board, plus water fountains.

Legionella sampling can be undertaken, which will detect levels of Legionella at the point the sample is taken. A full survey of the vessel is required to provide assurances of its Legionella status.

Analysis is UKAS Accredited. You will be provided with a certificate of the results. Please see the fees section for tests and associated charges.


New customers should complete our online form to enable us to add you to our finance system. Please note that we do not use PHILIS.

Portsmouth Port Health Fees from 1 April 2023.

Our fees are subject to review.

Contact us

Our standard working days are Monday-Friday, except bank and public holidays.

Portsmouth Port Health Authority
Civic Offices
Guildhall Square