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Customs: Contracts

Question for Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

UIN 113151, tabled on 27 January 2022

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what her timetable is for awarding contracts for the delivery and operation of her Department's three inland border control posts.

Answered on

4 February 2022

Defra is in the final stages of a competitive tender to secure a site operator for the Sevington and Dover Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) Border Control Posts (BCPs). The appointment of the operator for these sites will mark a major step towards completion of the BCPs for implementation of SPS inspections from July 2022.

The BCP operator will deliver a comprehensive facilities management function to enable the Port Health Authority and the Animal and Plant Health Agency to deliver their inspection services. The BCP operator will appoint the security, logistics, maintenance, and other support staff for the site.

The Department for Transport (DfT) is the leading Government department responsible for the construction of the Sevington site. All construction contracts for the Sevington site are managed by DfT.

In November 2021 Defra secured the lease on an existing warehouse at the Dover White Cliffs Business Park. The site was constructed in 2003 and had previously been used by P&O as a distribution warehouse and became vacant in March 2020. The Dover site will be converted to create a BCP to facilitate SPS checks of some goods entering the UK via the Port of Dover. Defra will allocate funds to Kent County Council (KCC) by way of ‘Section 31’ grants for the conversion and construction works of the site. KCC will issue and manage the necessary contracts on behalf of Defra.

A further facility in Kent to accommodate all other animal species not handled at the Sevington SPS BCP is also being sourced. Defra will make the necessary and appropriate contract arrangements in due course.