Import Surveillance Team

Our import surveillance team carries out examinations of high risk consumer products arriving in the UK via the Port of Felixstowe.

The Suffolk Trading Standards Import Surveillance Team is a Market Surveillance Authority working as part of the OPSS Product Safety at Ports & Borders Programme.

The team are responsible for ensuring that consumer goods imported via Felixstowe comply with product safety laws. Office for Product Safety and Standards (OPSS) is part of the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS).

Consignments subject to an intervention are identified by the Border Referral Team at OPSS through analysis of risk and intelligence.

Our Import Surveillance Team carries out inspections of high risk consumer products arriving in the UK via the Port of Felixstowe and regularly takes samples in order to assess compliance with relevant product safety legislation.

Product samples may be subject to an in-house examination against relevant safety standards and Regulations.  Many samples are submitted for further testing to an external test house.

If products are found to be non-compliant with safety laws, they may be refused entry, or importers may be required to carry out re-labelling under the supervision of their Local Trading Standards.  Products presenting a serious safety risk may be destroyed.

Our Import Surveillance Team takes on a national role to ensure the best possible security measures are in place to protect the public across the whole of the UK from unsafe products.

Contact the Import Surveillance Team

Information for importers and agents

Importers or agents importing non-food products may receive an entry route notification on CHIEF (Customs Handling of Import and Export Freight) which informs them that Trading Standards have an involvement with the entry.

This means the following documentation needs to be submitted to the Border Referral Team at OPSS to

  • Entry acceptance advice
  • C88
  • Commercial Invoice
  • Packing list
  • Bill of lading

This documentation will be assessed by the Border Referral Team at OPSS and referred to Suffolk Trading Standards Imports Team if appropriate.  You will be notified when Suffolk Imports Team place a hold on Destin8.

If a hold notification is placed on Destin8 this means that Officers from Suffolk Imports Team will be conducting a physical inspection of goods in the importer’s consignment. Suffolk Imports team notifies Felixstowe Port or the relevant ETSF (External Temporary Storage Facility) where the goods are being held, that the consignment needs to be inspected.

When the Port/ ETSF have got the consignment ready to be inspected, one of our Import Surveillance Officers attends the Port/ETSF to carry out the inspection.  The team take samples of goods and will contact importers and agents if further information is required.  Such information might include Declarations of Conformity for some products as well as supporting technical and compliance documentation such as test reports.

Consignments are released if the goods are found to be compliant with all safety laws and standards.  If goods are found to be non-compliant, they may be refused entry into the UK or in some circumstances, may be released for further work under the supervision of the importer’s Local Trading Standards Authority.  Unsafe goods may be refused entry and destroyed.

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