In focus: The Protocol on Ireland/Northern Ireland

Oct 21, 2020

The Protocol defines the trading arrangements between Great Britain (GB), Northern Ireland (NI), Ireland, the remainder of the EU and the rest of the world after the transition period.  Its objective is to ensure that there is no hard border between NI and Ireland. But this means changes VAT and customs procedures, particularly for NI. Read on to see what this means for trade.

  • NI will follow a limited set of rules of the EU Single market for goods
  • While NI will remain part of the UK’s customs territory, there will be cases where NI will follow EU custom rules and apply EU customs duties
  • NI will continue to follow the EU’s safety standards for goods so that there will be no need for regulatory checks on goods crossing the land border into Ireland.
  • NI businesses shipping NI goods to GB should have unfettered access to that market.
  • Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) checks will be carried out on some agri-food products that move from GB to NI
  • NI will follow most EU VAT rules in relation to goods only and EU excise duty rules.