Trader Support Service provides free assistance on movement of goods into Northern Ireland
The Northern Ireland Protocol (NIP) becomes effective on 1 January 2021. It must be fully functional from that date, unlike the six-month phased approach which will apply for the UK’s external borders.
Businesses which sell goods into NI from Great Britain will face change because of the NIP as it requires some new administrative processes; notably new digital import declaration requirements, and digital safety and security information, for goods entering NI from the rest of the UK. These processes will depend upon the outcome of discussions within the UK-EU Joint Committee; however, the UK government states they are to be streamlined to the maximum extent and will not require any export declaration, exit declaration, or customs and regulatory clearance for goods as they leave the rest of the UK for NI.
The NIP will require the application of tariffs on goods moving into NI which are “at risk” of moving on to Ireland and the rest of the EU through the porous NI/Ireland border. The precise details of how those duties will be applied (and potentially rebated if the goods do not ultimately move across the EU border) depends upon further decisions of the UK-EU Joint Committee. HMRC’s guidance on moving goods under the NIP falls under “UK and EU transition: new rules for 2021”.
Trader Support Service
To support businesses in dealing with these new processes, a free of charge Trader Support Service has been introduced by the UK government. This end-to-end support service is intended to remove the burden of having to pay for customs declarations for trade across the NI/GB boundary. To access this support, it is necessary to register online at https://www.tradersupportservice.co.uk/tss. Once registered, a business will be required to provide digitally the required information on the goods being moved into NI and Trader Support Service will deal with all the associated declaration requirements for free. It is the government’s hope that even businesses which have never engaged with customs matters before will find the movement of goods to NI continues to be straightforward with this support.
Registration should be done as soon as possible to be ready in good time for 1 January 2021 and to benefit from the information and training material available on this and wider issues like Sanitary and Phytosanitary regulations.
For NI businesses supplying into the rest of the UK internal market, the UK Government states it will ensure that trade from NI to GB will continue as it does now with no import customs declarations, no entry summary declarations, no tariffs, no customs checks or new regulatory checks and no additional approvals required.(There will be some very limited exceptions for a narrow category of controlled goods). It is worth noting that the UK Government also states that “its unequivocal position is that there should be no requirement to submit export or exit summary declarations for goods leaving Northern Ireland for the rest of the UK. This approach will require formal agreement between the UK and the EU via the UK-EU Joint Committee.”
For movement of goods between NI and Ireland there will be no new processes, tariffs or controls. The existing procedure will continue unchanged.
Trade between NI and the rest of the world will continue to be subject to the same customs procedures as at present. The tariff applied to imported goods will be dependent upon whether their intended final destination is the UK or the EU.
For more information on Trader Support Service and how to register, please see the link below.