The Northern Ireland protocol came into force on 1 January 2021 – meaning that there are now changes to the way goods move between Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
The Government have outlined key actions you can take now to ensure you are complying with the new rules which we summarise below.
Register for the Trader Support Service (TSS)
The Government has launched the Trader Support Service (TSS) – a free service that helps businesses (and traders) of all sizes to navigate the changes to the way goods move between Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
The TSS enables you to:
- complete declarations without the need for specialist advice or software
- obtain information and advice about moving goods between Great Britain and Northern Ireland through free online courses
- access help and support through a dedicated contact centre
The Trader Support Service will ask you to provide information which will then be used to submit customs, safety and security declarations on your behalf.
Find out more and sign up here.
Get an EORI number
If you do not already have an EORI number, and you move goods between Great Britain and Northern Ireland, you should ensure you apply for one as soon as possible.
You need an EORI number which begins with XI to:
- move goods between Great Britain and Northern Ireland
- move goods between Northern Ireland and non-EU countries
- make a declaration in Northern Ireland
- get a customs decision in Northern Ireland
In order to obtain an EORI number which begins with XI, you must already have an EORI number which starts with GB. To find out more, and apply for an EORI number, click here.
Check your commodity codes
To ensure you are aware of any duty which may apply, you will need to obtain the correct commodity codes when moving goods in or out of Northern Ireland. Commodity codes will also be required to complete declarations, where appropriate, and other relevant paperwork.
In order to determine the correct commodity codes, you can search the Trade Tariff tool here.
Can the UK Trader Scheme help your business?
Although the UK-EU Trade and Cooperation Agreement delivers zero tariffs on imports and exports, there are some instances where duty may occur.
If you bring goods into Northern Ireland from Great Britain, or a country outside of the EU, you will need to make declarations and may be liable to pay EU customs duty.
Whether you have to pay a duty, and how much it is, will vary depending on where you are bringing the goods from and if they are ‘at risk’ of onward movement to the EU.
If you are moving goods into Northern Ireland which you deem as not ‘at risk’ of moving to the EU, then you can apply for authorisation via the UK Trader Scheme.
For more information on the changing regulations when moving goods to Northern Ireland, click here.
Brexit Support Fund
Remember, there is still time to apply for the SME Brexit Support Fund. The Government announced in February a £20 million support package to assist SMEs adjust to new customs procedures, rules of origin and VAT rules when trading with the EU. Applications are open until 30 June 2021. Read more in our previous blog here.
Get in touch
Our team of experts are on hand to discuss any Brexit challenges and issues facing your business, including the Northern Ireland protocol. For more help and information tailored to your current circumstances, please get in touch with your usual PM+M adviser or contact email@example.com.