Key Actions


1) Register for an EORI number. The UK Government advises that businesses won’t usually need an EORI number if they only move goods between NI and Ireland. If moving goods between GB and Ireland, companies in NI may need both GB and Ireland EORI numbers.

2) Check contracts and terms of trade (Incoterms) to see where the responsibility lies for transport, insurance, Customs paperwork and the payment of duties. 

3) Decide whether to complete Customs paperwork in-house or use a Customs agent. If planning to use a Customs agent, line them up early. 

4) Register for the new Trader Support Service (TSS) here, if your business moves goods between GB and NI or brings goods into NI from outside the UK.

5) Check if your imported goods into GB from the EU are eligible for staged controls, to defer import declarations on most goods for up to 6 months after 1 January 2021.

6) Identify your commodity code(s) through the TARIC database or UK Trade Tariff. Find the UK import tariff (from January 2021) here and the EU import tariff here. Seek Binding Tariff Information.  

7) Consider Customs authorisations or simplifications. 

8) Check if import VAT is due on import and decide how you will account for import VAT if making a Customs declaration. 

9) Engage a service provider to guide you with support from InterTradeIreland’s Brexit Planning Voucher Scheme

10) The voucher can also be used by the cross border trader to support Customs training, to complete a supply chain analysis of the business, map trade flows, map data flows, review suppliers and explore the impact of the future trading environment. 

The UK Internal Market Bill may lead to some changes in this guidance.



Northern Ireland

Just three months remain until the end of the transition period. The European Union (EU) and United Kingdom (UK) are negotiating a possible Free Trade Agreement (FTA). No agreement has been reached yet. Firms are being advised – once again – to prepare for the consequences of the UK’s EU exit, notably the changes to trade and the Customs documentation that will be required. 

Moving Goods: On 7 August the UK published its policy paper on ” Moving goods under the Northern Ireland Protocol“, highlighting that the UK Government will ensure: 

  • “Unfettered access” for goods moving from Northern Ireland to Great Britain (GB). This movement should take place as it does now i.e. without additional process, paperwork, or restrictions.
  • Minimal changes for goods moving from GB to Northern Ireland, with a new Trader Support Service, available to all traders at no cost.
  • Trade in goods between Ireland and Northern Ireland and between Northern Ireland and other EU Member States, will continue unaffected i.e. without changes at the border, new paperwork, tariffs or regulatory checks.
  • Northern Ireland will be part of UK FTAs for trade with the rest of the world.

As some of the detailed procedures will depend on the outcome of discussions within the UK-EU Joint Committee, further details will be set out in due course. 

Will there be an EU-UK Free Trade Agreement?

We don’t know yet but we should have a good idea by the end of October. Meanwhile negotiations continue and the EU and UK are aiming for a tariff-free agreement. 

Trader Support Service

To facilitate trade from GB to Northern Ireland, the Trader Support Service will complete import declarations and safety and security declarations on behalf of traders, free of charge.