Movement of Goods
The Government has now published guidance and explanatory materials on the free trade agreement with the EU.
Northern Ireland remains in the EU's single market for goods to avoid a hard border with the Republic of Ireland. This means that goods can flow between the two countries without customs checks or new paperwork. However, if moving goods moving between Northern Ireland and the UK will require new processes and paperwork.
With the signing of the UK-EU Trade and Cooperation Agreement, the vast majority of traders moving goods between the UK and EU will avoid paying tariffs on that trade. In order to avoid paying tariffs, all traders must – from 1 January – ‘claim preference’ by way of meeting the relevant rules of origin (RoO) for their products and making a declaration to that effect.
Businesses should ensure that the following actions are carried out as soon as possible so that they are ready to use the Agreement:
- Check the rules that are applicable to their products to ensure that the products are originating in either the UK or EU and can therefore be traded on preferential terms. The general rules are found in Chapter 2 of the Trade and Cooperation Agreement and the ‘Product Specific Rules of Origin’ are contained in Annex ORIG-2;
- Consult accompanying GOV.UK guidance (link below);
- Make sure they and their EU suppliers/customers have agreed whether a claim will be based on an exporter’s declaration or on the importer’s knowledge, informing customs agents as appropriate; and
- Get ready to make the appropriate statement on the commercial and customs documentation for all consignments being traded on and after 1 January.
The relevant GOV.UK guidance on claiming preference, including links to the Agreement itself and information about customs can be found here.