Updated guidance on applying for the UK Trader Scheme

Mar 23, 2021

If you intend to bring goods into NI which you know are not ‘at risk’ of moving to the EU, then you can apply for authorisation under the UK Trader Scheme. Traders can self-declare goods not “at risk” of entering the EU so that EU duty does not arise.  Guidance on applying for authorisation for the UK Trader Scheme has been updated to include new information about authorisation requirements, particularly if you supply goods to a business in NI but do not have a fixed address in NI.

HMRC is encouraging businesses to look at the eligibility for the UK Trader Scheme and apply if they think even some of their purchases would meet the requirements.  The UK Trader Scheme aims to help to ensure traders do not pay tariffs on goods moving into NI from GB where those goods remain within the UK’s customs territory and should not be confused with the Trader Support Service which is a customs support service for bringing goods (including goods “at risk”) into NI.  

The scheme is open to all traders and across all industries who operate under the NI Protocol.  Businesses who do not sign up to the UK Trader Scheme could have to pay tariffs on their goods unless they are eligible to claim a waiver. Traders moving goods into NI for the purposes of onward movement to the EU must always pay the EU tariff.

If you applied before the end of February 2021 you should have received a provisional authorisation for up to four months whilst HMRC process your application. You can declare goods as not ‘at risk’ while you are provisionally authorised.

If you apply after February 2021, HMRC has advised that applications can take up to a month to be processed. Therefore, HMRC advise that you should apply one month before you plan to move goods that you want to declare goods not ‘at risk’.

If you supply goods to a business in NI but do not have a fixed address in NI

The UK government has extended the period in which traders who do not have a fixed place of business in NI can be authorised to declare their goods “not at risk” to 1 November 2021 – providing they meet all other eligibility requirements.

For more information on the scheme eligibility click here.

More guidance in the UK Trader Scheme can be found on Gov.uk and you find out more information about:  

  1. Who can apply
  2. When to apply
  3. What you’ll need
  4. How to apply
  5. After you’ve applied