ODS exports rejected at an EU border control post

What to do if your ozone-depleting substances (ODS) exports get rejected at an EU border control post (BCP) and are returned to Great Britain.

If your ODS exports get rejected at a European Union (EU) BCP, they’ll need to comply with Great Britain’s clearance processes to re-enter the country. This is known as regaining free circulation status in Great Britain (England, Scotland and Wales).

How to regain free circulation status

To regain free circulation status you must:

You must have everything in place before your ODS reaches UK customs, or as soon as possible. If not, your ODS may be held in storage and will not be able to re-enter Great Britain.

Checks on returned ODS

The National Clearance Hub (NCH) or Border Force, and a relevant regulator, will check and decide how to deal with ODS returned from an EU BCP once it lands at the UK border.

The NCH will:

  • check your customs declaration against the ODS service
  • instruct Border Force to stop and detain your consignment at the border

The regulators are:

  • Environment Agency in England
  • Scottish Environmental Protection Agency in Scotland
  • Natural Resources Wales in Wales

If the ODS you’re trying to import is banned or does not comply with the clearance process, you may need to destroy it.

Published 11 January 2021
Last updated 23 November 2022 + show all updates
  1. Provided additional guidance on when you need to get rejected ODS to comply with clearance processes. Clarified the process of getting returned ODS checked. Removed irrelevant information on the Environment Agency managing the ODS system. Rearranged content for better information flow.

  2. First published.