The Northern Ireland Protocol will take effect from 1 January 2021. New guidance provides support for businesses engaging in new processes under the Northern Ireland Protocol. The guidance outlines that, under the Northern Ireland Protocol, the UK Government will ensure that:
- Moving goods from Northern Ireland to Great Britain should take place as it does now – there will be no additional process, paperwork, or restrictions on Northern Ireland goods moving to Great Britain, delivering unfettered access.
- Changes for goods moving from Great Britain to Northern Ireland will be kept to an absolute minimum – with a new Trader Support Service, available to all traders at no cost, to be established to provide wraparound support, alongside guidance on the processes for food and agricultural products designed to uphold the longstanding status of the island of Ireland as a single epidemiological unit.
- Trade in goods between Northern Ireland and Ireland, and between Northern Ireland and EU Member States, will continue unaffected, with no change at the border, no new paperwork, and no tariffs or regulatory checks.
- For trade with the rest of the world, Northern Ireland will benefit from UK FTAs – ensuring the benefits of those agreements are felt right across the United Kingdom.
If businesses are impacted by these changes, they may want to consider the Trader Support Service. It can help businesses if they:
- move goods between Great Britain and Northern Ireland, or bring goods into Northern Ireland from outside the UK;
- act on behalf of someone to move goods between Great Britain and Northern Ireland, or bring goods into Northern Ireland from outside the UK;
- are based in Northern Ireland and receive goods from outside of Northern Ireland;
- send parcels between Great Britain and Northern Ireland, or bring parcels into Northern Ireland from outside the UK, using Royal Mail or an express operator.
The Trader Support Service will be free to use and will guide businesses through any changes to the way goods move between Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and into Northern Ireland from outside the UK. Businesses can also use it to get declarations completed on their behalf. Businesses can register an interest in the Trader Support Service here.
Apply for grants if your business completes customs declarations
Businesses can apply for 3 grants to help their business complete customs declarations. They can apply to get funding for:
- training that helps a business to complete customs declarations and processes;
- hiring new staff to help their business complete customs declarations;
- IT improvements to help their business complete customs declarations more efficiently.
More information on the scheme and how to apply is available here.