What your business must do now
Register for the Trader Support Service
The Trader Support Service provides free training and support for businesses on customs processes already in place for goods moving between GB and NI.
The Trader Support Service can provide support for:
- customs processes and terminology
- making declarations for goods moving from GB to NI
Even if you're not sure whether you will buy from/ sell to GB this year, it is worth registering just in case.
Get an EORI number
If you trade with GB, you now need an EORI number number beginning with ‘XI’ to move goods:
Find out the commodity code for goods you buy or sell
If you buy from/ sell to GB, you need to know the commodity codes for the goods you purchase and sell.
For goods you buy, you should speak to your supplier - they may be able to tell you the code.
You can also check the code using the Trade Tariff.
You should check the tariffs applicable under the EU Common External Tariffs and UK Global Tariff (UKGT).
UK Trader Scheme
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.
Register for the UK Trader Scheme
If you move goods from GB to NI in 2021, you will need to consider whether a tariff will apply to those goods.
There will be two categories of goods in terms of tariffs:
- those 'at risk' of entering the EU to which a tariff will apply
- those not 'at risk' of entering the EU to which tariffs would not apply
Some goods will automatically fall into one of these categories. Find out more at this link:
Find more on who is eligible and how to apply for the UK Trader Scheme at this link:
It may take some time for your application to be processed. However, if you meet the conditions, you will be granted a provisional authorisation that will allow you to declare goods not to be 'at risk' until HMRC reaches a final decision on your application.
All businesses that bring goods from GB to NI should consider whether they meet the criteria for the UK Trader Scheme.
Speak to your haulier
If you move goods to or from GB, ask your haulier what information they need from you.
Find out whether your goods routinely move through Dublin port, as processes are different for goods that travel via Ireland.
Speak to suppliers
Ask your suppliers what preparation they have made for Brexit.
If your supplier is in GB, ask whether the Incoterms (the terms which define the responsibilities of buyers and sellers) remains the same and who will be responsible for declaring goods to customs.
You should suggest that your supplier has registered for the Trader Support Service.
Check your goods regulation
Check whether your goods must meet EU standards and how these goods are approved for the EU market.
Ask your supplier whether they will continue to make sure the products meet the requirements for the EU market.
If you bring agri-food products from GB, guidance and support is available from the Movement Assistance Scheme.
The scheme will help traders moving animals, plants and associated goods from Great Britain to Northern Ireland. It will include a helpline with advisers ready to help you with the new requirements, including advice on:
- export health certificates
- live animals
- animal products
- plant and plant product types
Consider your data
As part of the UK-EU Travel Cooperation Agreement (TCA), a time-limited (no more than six months) ‘bridging mechanism’ has been agreed to allow personal data to continue to flow while the EU adequacy decisions for the UK are adopted through the EU’s approval process.
It is still advised that, as a sensible precaution, organisations which receive personal data from the EU continue to develop plans for alternative transfer mechanisms to mitigate against any potential data flow interruptions.
The Information Commissioner’s Office has updated information on possible steps you will need to take.
Apply for the EU Settlement Scheme
If you or one of your staff is an EEA national (excluding Ireland), you or they will need to apply to the EU Settled Status Scheme.
Your employees risk not being able to continue living or working in the UK if they do not apply to the scheme.
Apply for an Immigration Sponsorship Licence
If you wish to hire foreign nationals (EU and non-EU, excluding Irish nationals) you will be required to apply for a sponsorship licence from the Home Office.
You should also consider the impacts of the new points-based immigration system on recruitment timelines and the costs of the immigration fees associated with the skilled worker route.
More information is available on at this link: