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HMRC informs traders about upcoming changes on UK Border Control

Updated: Dec 5, 2023

HMRC has recently sent a communication to all traders about imminent changes coming up in the new year as set out on the Border Target Operating Model published in August 2023.

From the 31st of January 2024, goods moved directly from Ireland to Great Britain will be subjected to full customs controls, including the need of import procedures if going directly from Irish ports to GB.

Goods transported from Northern Ireland to Great Britain via Irish ports would be required to complete import procedures under the following conditions:

  • Non-qualifying Northern Ireland goods

  • Excise goods, including alcohol, tobacco, and energy products

  • goods which do not move directly to an Irish port once they have left Northern Ireland, for instance, goods held in storage in Ireland

When transporting these goods, traders will have to submit import customs declarations following the guidelines outlined in the Border Target Operating Model. Ports will supervise the transportation of these goods, and the absence of customs clearance will result in the goods not being released from the port.

In order to get ready for the above-mentioned changes, it is recommended to follow the below steps:

  • register for a GB EORI number if you do not already have one

  • get access to the Customs Declaration Service (CDS), as import declarations will be processed through it.

  • apply for the authorisation to use simplified declarations for imports to make import declarations in your records (Entry in Declarants Records - EIDR).

  • inform the carrier if they are transporting qualifying Northern Ireland goods, and make sure that they follow the Goods Vehicle Movement Service (GVMS) processes if they use roll-on, roll-off ports.

  • Declarations of goods moving from Ireland to Great Britain, including excise goods, are no longer required to be 'arrived' by the end of the next working day after arriving in Great Britain, whereas for goods entered into excise duty suspense, entry onto the Excise Movement and Control Systems (EMCS) must be made by the time they arrive in Great Britain.

  • Always refer to Irish customs guidance for details on how to move goods from Northern Ireland to Great Britain via Ireland

Additional details regarding qualifying Northern Ireland goods:

The Border Target Operating Model has affirmed that import declarations are not necessary for qualifying Northern Ireland goods when moved directly from Northern Ireland or indirectly through Ireland to Great Britain. However, there are a few exceptions, including the continued requirement to provide import declarations for excise goods. Specific details on these exceptions will be provided in upcoming guidance.

When transporting qualifying Northern Ireland goods through Ireland to Great Britain, import declarations are not required for ro-ro ports, but hauliers must still complete a Goods Movement Reference (GMR) indicating that they are moving such goods. If requested, hauliers and drivers should be prepared to present commercial evidence, such as a dispatch notice, invoice, or consignment note, to confirm that their goods qualify as Northern Ireland goods. Additionally, they must have access to a UK-issued travel document outlining the goods' destination, indicating that the goods have transited through Ireland.

At inventory-linked ports or other locations, similar processes will be implemented to facilitate the release of these qualifying Northern Ireland goods from inventories or local systems without the need for electronic declarations.


If your company is looking to importing goods from Ireland to the UK but is unsure how to get ready for it, please reach out to the Chamber.

We offer a wide range of services, including:

  • Import and Export Control Audit Our team performs internal business audits to evaluate the compliance of your Business Management System with import/export control regulations. This assessment can be included in your annual BMS audit schedule.

  • Customs Advisory: We can also provide advice in areas such as commodity codes, tariff classification, export and import documentation, customs processes and regulations, incoterms, rules of origin and much more.

  • In-house and Bespoke Import and Export Control Compliance Training: We offer customized training sessions, either on-site or virtually, addressing a variety of subjects, including general compliance, specific business processes and procedures and in-depth comprehension of Irish and Northern Irish customs market.

  • International Trade Readiness Assessment: Offers companies the chance to evaluate their current internal capabilities for effectively starting to export or import.

For more details regarding any of the above-mentioned services or to explore your unique needs, feel free to reach out to our team at, or just give us a call at 0161 393 4314. We will do our best to provide you with the answers and the support you require to make your international trade journey as smooth as it can be!


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