Ireland: Proposals for trade with Northern Ireland; customs controls and requirements

Protocol governing trade and customs between Ireland and Northern Ireland

Protocol governing trade and customs between Ireland and Northern Ireland

The European Commission (EC) on 13 October 2021 issued four “non-papers” regarding a Protocol governing trade and customs between Ireland and Northern Ireland. An EC release clarifies that this is not a renegotiation of the Protocol, but rather an “alternative model to how it could be implemented.”

As proposed, the measures would, among other items:

  • Simplify the checks and controls on sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) products (feed, food, plants, animals) moving from Great Britain to Northern Ireland that would otherwise be required under EU law
  • Adjust the current framework relating to customs requirements
  • Provide a long-term solution so that there is no disruption to medicine supplies from Great Britain to Northern Ireland for the benefit of patients in Northern Ireland

What’s next?

  • None of the documents published have yet been agreed. These are merely ongoing proposals and discussions. Read a related EC release.
  • Existing arrangements will continue for now. Therefore, businesses need to continue to meet the current requirements, including supplementary declaration requirements.
  • Businesses without their own fixed address in Northern Ireland can continue to be authorised under the UK trader scheme, provided they meet the other existing UK trader scheme requirements.

Read an October 2021 report prepared by the KPMG member firm in Ireland


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