Part of the customs processes that were implemented in January affected the trading relationship between Great Britain and Northern Ireland. It was decided that Northern Ireland would be treated as though it had retained its EU membership as a method of upholding the Good Friday agreement. This is known as the Northern Protocol.
Eight Things for GB-NI Trade
If you are looking to transport goods between Great Britain and Northern Ireland then a good place to start is ensuring that you have an EORI number. This number will become a vital aspect of trade and you will not be able to ship goods without one. If you are completing CDS (customs declaration service) import declarations then both the importer and the exporter should hold an EORI number beginning with the letters GB.
As with the movement of all goods between Great Britain and EU member states, it is important that you have the correct commodity codes for your goods. This step can be complicated and it's easy to make a mistake, which can lead to transport delays and fines. Our team is available to make sure that your commodity codes are correct.
UK Trader Scheme
If you are registered as a trusted trader under the UK trader scheme, then you will be entitled to suspended duties on goods from Great Britain going into Northern Ireland.
If you are not registered on the system, then you will need to pay duties on the goods that you are transporting. The system will declare that the goods that you are moving are ‘at risk.’
If you are transporting goods between Great Britain and Northern Ireland on a regular basis and meet the criteria to join the scheme, then it makes a lot of sense for you to register under the scheme to benefit from duty-free trade.
Duty Waiver on Goods
Your business may be eligible to claim for a duty waiver on the goods that you are intending to ship from Great Britain to Northern Ireland. You are only able to make this claim on your import declarations.
Rules of Origin
You may be eligible for preferential rates of duty if your goods meet the rules of origin. The rules of origin can become fairly complex, but essentially, if your goods are created in the country they are shipping from and the majority of components within your goods are also manufactured within this country, then it is likely that you will be eligible for the preferential rates. If your goods don’t meet these requirements then you will still need to pay for Customs Duty.
Accounting for VAT
Northern Ireland is aligned with the EU VAT rules for goods. However, Northern Ireland is still part of the UK’s VAT system.
UK VAT rules related to transactions in services apply across the whole of the UK. HMRC is responsible for the operation of VAT and collection of revenues in Northern Ireland.
Under the obligations in the Northern Ireland Protocol, import VAT is due on goods that enter Northern Ireland from Great Britain (England, Scotland and Wales). This also applies to goods entering Great Britain from Northern Ireland.
For more information on VAT on goods sold between GB, NI and the EU, read the government GB - NI VAT guide.
Duty Deferment Account
A duty deferment account will enable importers to be able to delay the payments on most of their customs charges. This includes customs duty, excise duty and import VAT. You can make one monthly payment rather than a payment for each individual consignment.
If you hold a deferment account with the Customs Declaration Service (CDS), then it is important that this is completely set-up with bank details prior to conducting trade.
CDS is a replacement for the Customs Handling Imports and Export Freight (CHIEF) system. Duty deferment accounts can be used for CHIEF and CDS, however two direct debits will need to be set up.
As well as offering a multitude of services as part of our complete end-to-end customs solution for Northern Ireland, we are also able to assist you with your transit movements to Northern Ireland via Ireland for shipments coming from Great Britain.
Our expert team are also on hand to help you with your import declarations for Northern Ireland shipments from Great Britain and export declarations for goods travelling from Northern Ireland to Great Britain (this will be needed for goods moving under transit procedures and for the movement of prohibited and restricted goods).