What are the new rules?
The Northern Ireland protocol is now in effect. So, what does this mean for HGV drivers?
Qualifying Northern Ireland goods receive unrestricted access to the UK market, meaning no declarations, tariffs, new regulatory checks or customs checks are needed for theseNI businesses to place goods on the Great Britain market.
However, the protocol involves some changes in processes for goods movement into Northern Ireland from Great Britain. This includes new digital declaration requirements and digital safety and security information.
But don’t fret, the government have introduced several grace periods for businesses to adapt to the new rules and have also launched the Trader Support Service (TSS) – a free of charge service that helps businesses and traders to navigate the changes to the way goods move between GB and NI.
Also, for traders moving live animals, products of animal origination or agricultural goods, the movement Assistance Scheme provides free support, including a dedicated helpline, to keep your business moving.
What does my business need to know to trade with Northern Ireland?
There are five key actions companies need to take to continue to trade with Northern Ireland and these are outlined below.
You will need:
1. An EORI number starting with XI
If you don’t already have an EORI number, you can apply for one here. It takes 5 to 10 minutes to apply and usually takes about a week to process. Not only does an EORI number mean you can move goods between GB-NI but also goods from NI to non-EU countries.
2. The right commodity code
Commodity codes classify goods for import and export.
You can search the Trade Tariff tool to find the right commodity code.
3. To check whether the UK Trader Scheme could help your business
There may be some instances where duty may be due.
Whether you have to pay duty, and how much that duty is, depends on where you are bringing the goods from and whether they are ‘at risk’ of onward movement to the EU.
If you know the goods you are bringing into Northern Ireland are not ‘at risk’, then you can apply for authorisation under the UK Trader scheme.
4. Check the goods regulation for manufactured and agri-food goods
When placing manufactured goods on the Northern Ireland market, you will need to ensure that these goods meet the relevant EU rules that apply.
If you move certain agri-food goods (including, but not limited to live animals, products of animal origin, organic products and plants and plant products) from GB to NI, there are new rules you need to follow.
Depending on the type of goods you are moving, you may need to obtain certificates such as an Export Health Certificate (EHC), a Phytosanitary Certificate (PC) or a Certificate of Inspection (CoI).
As mentioned earlier, free support, including a dedicated helpline, is available for traders and businesses from the Movement Assistance Scheme.
5. Register for the trader support service (TSS)
As previously mentioned, the government have launched the Trader Support Service (TSS), a free to use service that helps businesses and traders to navigate the changes to the way goods move between GB and NI.
The TSS enables you to:
- Complete declarations without the need for specialist advice or software
- Gain access to free online courses and training materials, offering additional information about moving goods between Great Britain and Northern Ireland
- Receive help and support through a dedicated contact centre
Also, the service helps to submit customs and safety and security declarations on your behalf.
To find out more and to sign-up visit www.gov.uk/tradersupportservice
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