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Northern Ireland Protocol: How does it affect trade?

What is the Northern Ireland Protocol?

Following Brexit, the UK and the European Union agreed to the Northern Ireland Protocol, which came into force on 1st January 2021. This protocol aims to avoid trading difficulties at borders between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. However, this protocol can cause disruption for businesses trading between Northern Ireland and Great Britain.

New checks at border controls

After Brexit, the EU requires certain goods to be inspected for entry into the single market. Therefore, there is a new “regulatory” border between Northern Ireland and Great Britain. These new checks at borders lead to some complications for companies. For example, pre-import notifications are required for certain products such as: products of animal origin (POAO) for human consumption; Animal by-products (ABP) not for human consumption; High-risk food and feed not of animal origin (HRFNAO). Northern Ireland borders have to ensure the conformity of these goods.

Why is it important to get the correct documentation?

Getting incorrect documentation can result in delays at border controls and penalties; it is the case for getting the wrong commodity codes and incorrect document compliance – such as C88/ SAD forms. Therefore, getting correct documentation is important to comply with the new trade procedures.

The Trader Support Service

If you need guidance on the Northern Ireland Protocol, you can register for the Trader Support Service, which will guide you for moving goods between Great Britain and Northern Ireland. This service is free to use and it can complete declarations on your behalf. It can be helpful if you are moving goods yourself; acting on behalf of someone; sending parcels between Great Britain and Northern Ireland or sending parcels into Northern Ireland from outside the UK.

You need help with understanding the new trade procedures?

Register for our half-day training course coming up on the 18th of June, which will explain the new trade procedures in the NI Protocol including the documentation required.

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