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Trading with Northern Ireland: the UK Trusted Trader Scheme and Update on TSS

Updated: Jan 21, 2023

As part of the NI Protocol implementation, the UK Government created the Trade Support Service to support (TSS). TSS was set up back in 2020 to help businesses understand the changes to the way goods move between Great Britain and Northern Ireland providing a end-to-end support to manage declarations completing import and safety security declarations on behalf of traders. TSS also provides training and guidance about the NI Protocol and runs a call centre for traders. For more information about TSS, check the GOV.UK guidance or visit the TSS website

And equally to facilitate trade between Great Britain and Northern Ireland, the government introduce the UK Trusted Trade Scheme.

So, what is the UK Trusted Trader Scheme (UKTS)?

The Trusted Trader Scheme was introduced for companies trading with Northern Ireland (NI) or those based in NI. The system allows you to declare your goods ‘not at risk’ of moving onto the EU and therefore EU duty rates applying. You must apply for this authorisation.

What happens if my goods are ‘at risk’?

Customs clearance is required for goods travelling from the rest of the UK into NI. Goods that are travelling to or may be subject to moving to the EU will also be charged the EU duty rate when entering NI. This duty rate is different to the UK Global Tariff as it uses EU duty rates. These rates can be viewed here.

What is the advantage of applying for Trusted Trader Scheme for ‘not at risk’ goods?

· You won’t pay any duty if entering NI from declared into free circulation in GB

· UK duty if entering NI from outside of both the EU and the UK

· UK duty if entering NI from GB and the good were not in free circulation in GB

Who can apply for the UKTS?

· Established in NI

· Established in the rest of GB

· If your customs operations are carried out in the UK

· If you have a fixed place of business in NI, e.g., a branch or store goods are sold to for final use by end-consumers

· You have an indirect customs representative such as the TSS

You must also meet all the customs compliance requirements and have records, systems and controls in place that allow you to declare and evidence that the goods are not ‘at risk’.

You must also have a good customs and tax compliance record, as well as no record of serious criminal offences related to your economic activity.

Further details of the above and how to apply can be found here.

Update about the Trade Support Service (TSS)

HMRC has announced that TSS will continue to operate until the end of December 2023. Since TSS was introduced, over 47,000 traders have registered, over 560,000 goods movements have been created by TSS involving over 2 million consignments and has handled over 100,000 inbound calls.

How can we help?

· Visit our GMCC Brexit Hub for previous articles and recorded sessions that can help traders navigate the above.

· We can also provide 1-2-1 support for companies looking for assistance with the process and further guidance trading with NI.

Please email or call 0161 393 4134 for further guidance.


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