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Post-Brexit Business: Guidance for organisations moving goods to and from Northern Ireland

At Western Union Business Solutions, we serve many organisations in Northern Ireland, helping them manage foreign currency risk and streamline their international payments. As such we are aware of their concerns in relation to post-Brexit guidelines. We have worked with the UK government to provide the information below, which we hope can help you see more clearly through this new business landscape.

Import and Export
Moving goods into, out of, or through Northern Ireland – guidance from the UK government

Now that the Brexit transition period is over, new rules for business are here. The Northern Ireland Protocol came into force on 1 January 2021 and there are changes to the way goods move between Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

If you’re a business moving goods into, out of, or through Northern Ireland it is important you act now to comply with the new rules by checking the latest Northern Ireland Protocol guidance available here. If you are not ready, you may not be able to move goods between Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

1. Sign up to the Trader Support Service. If you move goods between Great Britain and Northern Ireland, an easy way to get ready is to sign up for the free Trader Support Service which:

  • will help if you move goods between Great Britain and Northern Ireland, or bring goods into Northern Ireland from outside the UK
  • is free to use and will guide you through any changes to the way goods move between Great Britain and Northern Ireland
  • can complete declarations on your behalf

Sign up now online.

2. Get an EORI number. If you move goods between Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and you do not already have an EORI number you should apply for one now. You need an EORI number that starts with XI to:

  • move goods between Northern Ireland and non-EU countries (including Great Britain)
  • make a declaration in Northern Ireland
  • get a customs decision in Northern Ireland

To get an EORI number that starts with XI, you must already have an EORI number that starts with GB. For information on what an EORI is and how to get one, click here. It takes 5 to 10 minutes to apply.

3. Find out the commodity code for when you bring goods in or send goods out of Northern Ireland. To understand any duty or other measures that apply to your goods, you’ll need to find the right commodity code when you bring goods in or send goods out of Northern Ireland. You also need a commodity code to fill in declarations and other paperwork.

  • you can search the Trade Tariff tool to find the right commodity code
  • for goods you purchase, you should speak to your supplier, they may be able to tell you the code

4. Register for the UK Trader Scheme if you bring goods into Northern Ireland. While the UK-EU Free Trade Agreement delivers zero tariffs on imports and exports, there are some instances where duty may be due.

If you bring goods into Northern Ireland from Great Britain or a country outside of the EU, you will need to make declarations and may be liable to pay EU customs duty.

Whether you have to pay a duty, and how much that duty is, will depend on where you are bringing the goods from and whether they are ‘at risk’ of onward movement to the EU.

If you intend to bring goods into Northern Ireland which you know are not ‘at risk’ of moving to the EU, then you can apply for authorisation under the UK Trader Scheme.

5. Check your goods regulation. When placing goods on the Northern Ireland market, check whether your goods must meet EU standards and how these goods are approved for the EU market.

If you are placing manufactured goods on the market in Northern Ireland you need to check whether your goods comply with EU regulations. Click here for more guidance.

If you move live animals, products of animal origin, plants and plant products (agrifood goods) from Great Britain to Northern Ireland, free support, including a dedicated helpline, is available for traders and businesses from the Movement Assistance Scheme. The Movement Assistance Scheme also means that traders will not need to pay health certification costs.

Businesses can find out which rules affect them and get personalised and prioritised actions for their business by using the Brexit Checker Tool at gov.uk/transition.