Business - steps to take for changes from 1 January 2021

There will be new rules on how Northern Ireland businesses can operate from 1 January 2021. This checklist highlights the key actions that your business must take to get ready for the changes at the end of this year.

What your business must do

Assess your exposure to changes

Use Invest NI’s EU Exit Resilience Tool to assess where you will need to make changes. The tool is free and available to all businesses.

Register for the Trader Support Service

The Trader Support Service will provide free training and support for businesses on customs processes that will arise for goods moving between GB and NI.

The Trader Support Service can provide support in:

  • registering for an EORI number
  • understanding Incoterms

and

  • making declarations for goods moving from GB to NI.

Even if you're not sure whether you will buy from/ sell to GB in the next year, it is worth registering just in case.

Get an EORI number

If you trade with GB, and you do not already have a UK EORI number you should apply for one now:

There is no risk to having an EORI number if you do not use it.

Find out the commodity code for goods you buy or sell

If you buy from/ sell to GB, you will need to know the commodity codes for the goods you purchase and sell.

For goods you purchase, 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).

Speak to your haulier

If you move goods to or from GB, ask you haulier what information they will need from you.

Find out whether your goods routinely move through Dublin port, as processes will be 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) will remain the same and who will be responsible for declaring goods to customs.

You should suggest that your supplier registers 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 at the moment.

Ask your supplier whether they will continue to make sure the products meet the requirements for the EU market.

Consider your data

Make a list of all the data flows into and out of your business.

If you receive personal data from the EU, you may need to take action.

The Information Commissioner’s Office has 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

More information is available on at this link:

Share this page

What do you want to do?
What is your question about?
Do you want a reply?
Your email address
To reply to you, we need your email address
Your feedback

We will not reply to your feedback.  Don't include any personal or financial information, for example National Insurance, credit card numbers, or phone numbers.

This feedback form is for issues with the nidirect website only.

You can use it to report a problem or suggest an improvement to a webpage.

If you have a question about a government service or policy, you should contact the relevant government organisation directly as we don’t have access to information about you held by government departments.

You must be aged 13 years or older - if you’re younger, ask someone with parental responsibility to send the feedback for you.

The nidirect privacy notice applies to any information you send on this feedback form.

Don't include any personal or financial information, for example National Insurance, credit card numbers, or phone numbers.

Plain text only, 750 characters maximum.
Plain text only, 750 characters maximum.

What to do next

Comments or queries about angling can be emailed to anglingcorrespondence@daera-ni.gov.uk 

What to do next

If you have a comment or query about benefits, you will need to contact the government department or agency which handles that benefit.  Contacts for common benefits are listed below.

Carer's Allowance

Call 0800 587 0912
Email 
dcs.incomingpostteamdhc2@nissa.gsi.gov.uk

Discretionary support / Short-term benefit advance

Call 0800 587 2750 
Email 
customerservice.unit@communities-ni.gov.uk

Disability Living Allowance

Call 0800 587 0912 
Email dcs.incomingpostteamdhc2@nissa.gsi.gov.uk

Employment and Support Allowance

Call 0800 587 1377

Jobseeker’s Allowance

Contact your local Jobs & Benefits office

Personal Independence Payment

Call 0800 587 0932

If your query is about another benefit, select ‘Other’ from the drop-down menu above.

What to do next

Comments or queries about the Blue Badge scheme can be emailed to bluebadges@infrastructure-ni.gov.uk or you can also call 0300 200 7818.

What to do next

For queries or advice about careers, contact the Careers Service.

What to do next

For queries or advice about Child Maintenance, contact the Child Maintenance Service.

What to do next

For queries or advice about claiming compensation due to a road problem, contact DFI Roads claim unit.

What to do next

For queries or advice about criminal record checks, email ani@accessni.gov.uk

What to do next

Application and payment queries can be emailed to ema_ni@slc.co.uk

What to do next

For queries or advice about employment rights, contact the Labour Relations Agency.

What to do next

For queries or advice about birth, death, marriage and civil partnership certificates and research, contact the General Register Office Northern Ireland (GRONI) by email gro_nisra@finance-ni.gov.uk

What to do next

For queries about:

If your query is about another topic, select ‘Other’ from the drop-down menu above.

What to do next

For queries or advice about passports, contact HM Passport Office.

What to do next

For queries or advice about Penalty Charge Notices (PCNs), including parking tickets and bus lane PCNs, email dcu@infrastructure-ni.gov.uk

What to do next

For queries or advice about pensions, contact the Northern Ireland Pension Centre.

What to do next

If you wish to report a problem with a road or street you can do so online in this section.

If you wish to check on a problem or fault you have already reported, contact DfI Roads.

What to do next

For queries or advice about historical, social or cultural records relating to Northern Ireland, use the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland (PRONI) enquiry service.

What to do next

For queries or advice about rates, email:
rating@lpsni.gov.uk

For queries or advice about property valuation, email:
valuation@lpsni.gov.uk

For queries or advice about land registry, email:
CustomerInformation.LandRegistration@finance-ni.gov.uk

For mapping queries, email:
Mapping.Helpdesk@finance-ni.gov.uk

What to do next

For queries or advice about  60+ and Senior Citizen SmartPasses (which can be used to get concessionary travel on public transport), contact Smartpass - Translink.