The NAO has published 5 reports on the status of preparations and the government’s management of the border in relation to the UK’s exit from the EU. Our most recent work on this was the November 2021 report, The UK border: Post UK – EU transition period.

Following the end of the transition period in January 2021, the UK government introduced some import controls and planned to introduce further controls incrementally. However, in April 2022 the UK government announced it would delay introducing the remaining controls, pending a review of its approach.

This review was completed in April 2023 when the government announced its new draft Border Target Operating Model, which has a greater emphasis on risk-targeted controls. Government intends to introduce these controls in three stages between October 2023 and October 2024.

The new border operating model incorporates some aspects of the government’s 2025 UK Border Strategy, the aims of which include making better use of data, technology and people to improve the experience of businesses moving goods in and out of the UK.  


Our next report on this subject will consider:

  • How the UK border has been operating in relation to the movement of goods since the end of the transition period.
  • The government’s plans to introduce the remaining import controls between October 2023 and October 2024.
  • The government’s plans to implement its 2025 UK Border Strategy.

NAO Team

Director: Leena Mathew
Audit Manager: Helen Holden