Grace Periods and Deadlines

There are a number of  grace periods and deadlines which are important to note, information is provided below with links to more information. 

Option 1

Option 2


Including Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) certification,  UKCA marking and Export Health Certificates  

UKCA Marking

The UKCA (UK Conformity Assessed) marking is a new UK product marking that is used for goods being placed on the market in Great Britain (England, Wales and Scotland). It covers most goods which previously required the CE marking, known as ‘new approach’ goods. The UKCA marking came into effect on 1 January 2021. However, to allow businesses time to adjust to the new requirements, you will still be able to use the CE marking until 1 January 2023 in most cases

Products of Animal Origin (POAO)

The grace period for UK importers to require Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) certification – an Export Health Certificate for Products of Animal Origin (POAO) and a Phytosanitary Certificate for plants and plant products from their suppliers has been extended, and Border Control Posts physical checks have been delayed until 2022.

Northern Ireland Point of Entry (POE)

From 01 January 2021, all agri-food goods, plants and animals entering Northern Ireland from GB, must do so via a Northern Ireland Point of Entry (POE). POEs which has been approved by the European Union (EU). DAERA has worked, with the Food Standards Agency (FSA), the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) and the EU to designated POEs for the purposes of (SPS) checks. Traders moving agri-food from Great Britain to Northern Ireland will benefit from increased Government support until the end of 2023. Certification requirements will then be introduced in phases, alongside the rollout of a digital assistance scheme.


Including EU Vat rules and rules on digital services with important dates 

EU’s VAT rules (including NI)

From 1 July 2021, major changes will be made to the EU’s VAT rules, which will also need to be implemented in NI. Under the new rules, the distance selling thresholds will be abolished and VAT due on supplies to consumers in EU countries will need to be accounted for under a “One Stop Shop” (the Union OSS). This means NI businesses will need to charge VAT at the appropriate rate in the customer’s country but account for this to HMRC.

VAT on Digital Services

On 31st July there were some changes for those selling digital services, now they must register for VAT in each EU country they sell to using OSS (one stop shop)


Including information on late applications to the EU Settlement Scheme, Immigration and information for Irish citizens 

EU Settlement Scheme

The EU settlement Scheme closed end of June, still open for late applications, but UK Immigration Scheme now applies for EU workers into UK and NI. 


New immigration routes have opened for applications to work, live and study in the UK. You can apply and pay for your visa online.

Irish Citizens

Free movement with the European Union (EU) ended on 31 December 2020 and there are new arrangements for EU citizens. Irish citizens can continue to freely enter, live and work in the UK.


Information for specific sectors and associated grace periods and deadlines

Authorised Traders

Authorised Traders (supermarkets and their trusted suppliers) may move goods from GB-NI under the conditions and qualifying criteria set out in Section 17.1 of the Compliance Protocol until at least 1 October 2021 (after this date, certification requirements will be introduced on a phased basis). Click here for more information. 

Supermarket Chilled Meats (GB to NI)

Chilled meats from Great Britain, such as sausages, which would otherwise be prohibited in Northern Ireland, will continue to move from Great Britain to Northern Ireland after the UK and the EU agreed to extend the grace period allowing this until 30 September 2021. Click here for more information. 

Business to Business Parcels

From 1 October 2021  if you’re a Northern Ireland based business receiving goods valued  over £135 through the Royal Mail Group or an express carrier you’ll have to submit a declaration. However, you can delay when you do this and you’ll be able to use the free Trader Support Service (TSS) to do so.   Click here for more information. 


There is a 12-month grace period for medicines, meaning these products will not be subject to full regulation until  January 2022. Click here for more information. 

Rules of Origin 

Information on Rules of Origin for all sectors and sector specific information for the automotive sector 

All Sectors

The UK and EU agreed on a one-year grace period before businesses were required to provide evidence regarding rules of origin. Businesses are advised to keep documentation about the source of parts they use, but no evidence needs to be supplied regarding origin until 1st January 2022. After this point, companies will need to ensure they have proof of origin when exporting products.  Click here for more information. 

Automotive Sector

The EU has granted a 12-month grace period to identify origin. This means that parts can move around without the relevant origin documentation until the end of 2021. Click here for more information.