Date: 30.09.2020

EU/Northern Ireland; Politics and Practicalities

The UK government plans to break international law, while launching the Trader Support System, to keep them compliant!

In a truly extraordinary admission to the House on Tuesday, Northern Ireland Secretary Brandon Lewis said the government will break the law in a ‘very limited and specific way’ over the EU Withdrawal Agreement.

They intend to give UK ministers the power to override parts of that international treaty with respect to Northern Ireland – for example, allowing ministers to waive export declarations on NI to GB trade if the issue isn’t settled in joint talks with the EU.

The UK’s intended ‘Internal Market Bill’ does not look like going away anytime soon!

The move itself has sparked outrage from Conservative MP’s, who say Britain must stand up for the rule of law.

What price a deal now?

And while on the subject of Northern Ireland, and perhaps not entirely un-coincidental, the government released an update on Tuesday specifically aimed at UK Traders who do business with Northern Ireland.

The Northern Ireland Protocol (NIP) was introduced to avoid a border on the island of Ireland and to allow free movement of goods between NI and ROI (and vice versa).  

To achieve this NI, although remaining in the UK customs territory, will operate to the EU customs code (UCC).  

The NIP requires some form of control on goods moving between GB and NI (the so-called border in the sea) because they are effectively entering the EU customs control zone and may be at risk of entering the Republic of Ireland. (See indicative process below.)

HM Government have eased the situation by creating the Trader Support Service, which is now open and available for registrations!

This is the UK Government’s one stop shop for all things customs related for UK Traders shipping goods to Northern Ireland.

It will assist with things like: Import declarations into Ireland, licences and certificates for products of animal origin. Small parcel couriers and International Trade shipments clearing through the UK and moving into Northern Ireland.

This is all in line with the Northern Ireland protocol which comes into force on the 1st January 2021 and is a free to use service.

For any Trader on the mainland UK, who has elements of Trade with Northern Ireland, documentation queries and such like, it will be a must have. The service is now available online, so sign up today at the link below:

GB to NI process (extract):

1. GB supplier raises commercial invoice and charges UK VAT as normal 

2. No export declaration required

3. Export health certificate required if SPS goods

4. ENS entry safety & security declaration required 2 hours prior to arrival in NI

5. IPAFFS pre-notification of SPS goods

6. Import declaration to be pre-lodged, either full declaration or simplified

7. GVMS record generates GMR (goods movement reference)

8. Import entry arrived or finalised

9. Duty payable on goods ‘at risk’ of not remaining in NI

10. Goods are free to move on the island of Ireland but will attract duty if moved to ROI or (ultimately) no duty if they remain in NI

If you have not considered your Northern Irish post Brexit transition cargo movements we recommend that you consider this, until further notice and advice is given on a compromise with the EU, as an international market still adhering to the EU ‘rules’.