Moving goods from Great Britain to Northern Ireland

Feb 03, 2021

From 1 January 2021, Northern Ireland stays in the EU Single Market for goods. This means that goods entering Northern Ireland from Great Britain will need to be accompanied by customs declarations and some may also be physically checked to ensure they meet EU standards. Find out how to make declarations and what to do if customs duties arise.

Supermarkets have been given three months from 1 January 2021 to adapt their systems to deal with the new customs controls and regulatory checks that are necessary under the Northern Ireland Protocol. This is to help minimise the disruption to food supplies in Northern Ireland.  Certain products such as chilled meats have been given six months to adapt. Due to the current unrest in Northern Ireland over the implementation of the Protocol, UK Cabinet Minister Michael Gove wrote to the European Commission Vice President urging him to extend easements for supermarkets and their suppliers on post-Brexit checks on trade between Great Britain and Northern Ireland until 1 January 2023, as well as finding  a permanent solution for the chilled meat products moving from Great Britain to Northern Ireland that are otherwise prohibited. Mr Gove also requested for changes to the current arrangements in place for parcels, pets and medicines.  We will update members when we know more. 

Other goods were not given a grace period and the following rules apply.

Sending goods from Northern Ireland

If you’re a UK-based business sending goods from Northern Ireland, check what declarations may need to be made.

Bringing or receiving goods into Northern Ireland

If you’re a UK-based business bringing or receiving goods into Northern Ireland, check what declarations may need to be made.

Check the origin of your goods. This may allow an EU or UK preferential arrangement to apply.

Customs duties

When bringing goods into Northern Ireland from Great Britain, no duties arise where you are:

Where goods are ‘at risk’ of entering the EU’s Single Market and tariffs arise, EU tariffs will apply. When bringing goods into Northern Ireland from outside the UK and the EU, the UK duty rate applies if your goods are not ‘at risk’ of onward movement to the EU.

If you import goods into Northern Ireland and want to declare your goods not ‘at risk’, you’ll need to apply for an authorisation for the UK Trader Scheme. You can also check how to claim preferential rates of duty on goods covered in the UK’s deal with the EU.

If you plan to move goods between Northern Ireland and non-EU countries (including Great Britain), you’ll need an EORI number that starts with ‘XI’.