I have resently had my intake manifold replaced before the swirl flaps would be a problem. And yes the swirl flaps is controlled by vacuum in europe and cannot be replaced seperatly, only by replacing the entire intake manifold.
There are some solutions in the UK to remove the swirl flaps. The ppl I have read about cannot feel any difference before and after removal. As far as I know theres no coding involved in removing the swirl-flaps.
The new intake manifold is a bit different than the old one. The axel where the flaps is mounted is stronger, the swirlflaps is mounted with small screws and the actual flap is covered with a rubber band at the edges. Proberbly to keep it sealed and to remove any debree building up inside the intake manifold.
'06 E91 330dA Sparkling Graphite|19" AvantGarde M359 Satin Black|335i brakes|Bilstein B16 IRC|Powerflex|GroundControl|Wagner|Ecotune|Turbo Dynamics|Zimmermann