Reviewed in November 2020. Content will be updated as negotiations develop.

Below are some frequently asked questions relating to Trading in Goods for businesses in both Ireland and Northern Ireland.

Customs

Do I need Customs paperwork when moving goods on the island of Ireland?

Because of the deal agreed, the NI Protocol, the movement of goods for the cross border traders will not require any customs paperwork to or from Ireland and Northern Ireland either during the transition period (31st January 2020 to 31st December 2020) or after this time. InterTradeIreland will follow trade negotiations and will update information should there be any exceptions to this.

We will keep the site updated, particularly in the area of products which fall into the area of food and animal origin, when more information becomes clear. We will also monitor any communications in the negotiation’s which discuss the processes around goods which are at risk of moving outside of the single market.

More information can be found here in the  NI Protocol and in the  EU publications.

Do I need Customs paperwork when moving goods from Ireland to Great Britain?

During the transition period (31st January 2020 to 31st December 2020), nothing will change in how you move goods to and from Ireland to Great Britain.

After this time, from 1st January 2021 you’ll need to follow the rules for importing goods from the rest of the world. For more information visit  Revenue.

Do I need Customs paperwork when moving goods from Northern Ireland to Great Britain?

There may be a requirement for some paperwork or checks when moving goods to and from Northern Ireland and Great Britain. Please note: this won’t be confirmed until later in 2020 when future EU-UK relationship is agreed.

What is ATA Carnet used for?

An ATA Carnet is an international Customs document which allows the temporary importation of commercial samples, professional equipment or goods for an exhibition.

An ATA Carnet is valid for one year and allows for movement of the goods shown on the Carnet as many times as required during the 12 months to any of the destinations applied for.

Further advice on the temporary admission of goods for businesses operating in Ireland is available from the  Revenue.

Further advice on the temporary admission of goods for businesses operating in Northern Ireland is available from   GOV.UK. 

What is inward processing relief?

Inward Processing or Inward Processing Relief (IPR), allows for the relief from customs duty and import VAT on the importation of non-EU goods that are processed and then exported outside the EU. Excise duty may also be suspended when goods are entered into Inward Processing.

Further advice on inward processing for businesses in Ireland is available from the  Revenue.

Further advice on inward processing for businesses in Northern Ireland is available from  GOV.UK.

What are Rules of Origin and when are they used?

Ireland – The country of origin of goods is a factor in determining the amount of duty payable alongside the type and value of the goods. Some countries have Reduced duty rates as laid out in trade agreements called preferential origin rules. Non-preferential rules apply for purposes other than preferential duty. These are used to determine, for example if trade embargoes or Anti-Dumping Duties apply or for compiling statistics.We would encourage you to visit   our Rules of Origin section.

Northern Ireland – A Rules of Origin (RoO) certificate, also known as a Certificate of Origin (CO), is a document which identifies the origin of goods being exported between two countries that have a Free Trade Agreement.

The certificate is issued by a Chamber of Commerce and is a requirement by customs in the buyers country to determine the origin of the goods.

Details included on the certificate include consignor, consignee, country of origin, description of goods, quantity of shipment and a chamber stamp.

It is the exporter’s responsibility to ensure that all paperwork relating to each consignment of goods is accurate and authentic.

There is a cost for each certificate, details on costs can be found from the individual Chambers and there are accredited  Chambers of Commerce that can issue a Rules of Origin in Northern Ireland.

What is a certificate of origin?

Ireland – A Rules of Origin (RoO) certificate, also known as a Certificate of Origin (CO), is a document which identifies the origin of goods being exported between two countries that have a Free Trade Agreement. The certificate is issued by a Chamber of Commerce and is a requirement by customs in the buyers country to determine the origin of the goods.

Details included on the certificate include consignor, consignee, country of origin, description of goods, quantity of shipment and a chamber stamp. It is the exporter’s responsibility to ensure that all paperwork relating to each consignment of goods is accurate and authentic.

There is a cost for each certificate, details on costs can be found from the individual Chambers and there are accredited  Chambers of Commerce that can issue a Rules of Origin in Ireland.

Northern Ireland –  The country of origin of goods is a factor in determining the amount of duty payable alongside the type and value of the goods. Some countries have Reduced duty rates as laid out in trade agreements called preferential origin rules. Non-preferential rules apply for purposes other than preferential duty. These are used to determine, for example if trade embargoes or Anti-Dumping Duties apply or for compiling statistics.

I am in the Primary Agriculture Sector. Where can I find out more information?

Ireland – Primary Agriculture will include businesses who are a primary producer in food, farming and fisheries.Contact Information

Visit the  Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM) website for dedicated Brexit support or use the information below:

• Email: Brexitcall@agriculture.gov.ie

• Phone: 076 106 4443

Northern Ireland – Primary Agriculture will include businesses who are a primary producer in food, farming and fisheries.

Northern Ireland Contact Information:

Visit the  Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) website for dedicated Brexit support or use the information below

Email: daera.helpline@daera-ni.gov.uk

Phone: 0300 200 7852

Incoterms 

What is an Incoterm?

Incoterms (which stand for International Commercial Terms) are 11 international rules created by by the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) that are accepted by governments, legal authorities and practitioners worldwide for as the standard contract term used in sales contracts with importing/exporting. Incoterms define responsibility and liability for shipment of the goods. In plain English – how far along the process will the supplier ensure that the goods are moved, and at what point does the buyer take over the shipment process.

What are each of the Incoterms?

There are 11 Incoterms, each has a three digit code followed by the full name of the Inocterm:

EXW Ex Works

FCA Free Carrier

CPT Carriage Paid To

CIP Carriage and Insurance Paid To

DAP Delivered at Place

DPU Delivered at Place Unloaded

DDP Delivered Duty Paid

FAS Free Alongside Ship

FOB Free on Board

CFR Cost and Freight

CIF Cost, Insurance & Freight

Why will I need Incoterms after the transition period?

After the transition period your existing Incoterms may not be right for your business as they could confer new obligations such as registering for VAT in a foreign country. It is therefore advisable to review your existing contacts to see if they contain Incoterms and assess whether these will need to be updated.

Do Incoterms change?

Yes. Regardless of Brexit, Incoterms are revised in ten-year intervals to reflect international commercial practice. The last revision effected in Incoterms 2020.

Are Incoterms legally binding?

Yes. Incoterms are a legally-enforceable part of a sales contract and can be used in the resolution of disputes that go to litigation.

How can I find out what Incoterms I am currently using?

You should review your existing contracts to see if they contain Incoterms and assess whether these will need to be updated, you may find these written on your invoice, alternatively you can contact your supplier or purchaser and ask the question. If you use a freight forwarder, they should also be able to tell you.

Supply Chain

What supply chain supports are available?

InterTradeIreland has free supports available in our  Bitesize guide to Supply Chain. This advice and guidance can help businesses with:

• Managing Supply Chain Relationships

• Mapping Your Supply Chain

• Make-or-Buy Decisions

• Future Proofing Contracts

I purchase my supplies locally. Will the new trading arrangements affect me?

Although you purchase your goods locally, we would encourage you to map your supply chain. It will be important to understand who supplies you and who supplies your suppliers. Looking further down the chain will allow you to identify any potential supply chain risks. You can then mitigate to ensure continuity of supply after the transition period.For further information, visit the free InterTradeIreland   Bitesize guide to Supply Chain.

How do I map my supply chain?

You can undertake a simple mapping exercise by following the below steps:

(1) Define: List all your suppliers and categorise them. For example, by priority stakeholders, locations, lead times, availability of alternative suppliers.

(2) Assess: Define the risk to the business. For example, regulation, currency, lead times.

(3) Mitigate: Supplier processes. For example, by talking to current suppliers, seeking alternative suppliers.

For further information, visit the free InterTradeIreland  Bitesize guide to Supply Chain.

What are other businesses doing to prepare their supply chains?

InterTradeIreland have helped many businesses across the island of Ireland map their supply chains in order to prepare for the new trading relationship. Read our  Supply Chain Case Studies to find out how they are preparing.

Trade Negotiations

What does ‘Trade in Goods’ refer to?

Trade in goods covers transactions in general merchandise and goods for processing. Both manufactured products and primary commodities are goods.

What does ‘Trade in Services’ refer to?

A service is an action that a person does for someone else. Services are actions such as customer service, hospitality, IT, electricity, banking, consultancy, outsourcing production. Services industries cover everything from transport services, legal services, financial services to education, health and tourism. These roles often involve face-to-face interaction between buyer and seller.

What is the WTO?

The World Trade Organization (WTO) is the only global international organization dealing with the rules of trade between nations. At its heart are the WTO agreements, negotiated and signed by the bulk of the world’s trading nations and ratified in their parliaments.

What is GATT?

General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade or GATT is the agreement by which the trade in goods is primarily regulated within the WTO.

What is GATS?

General Agreement on Trade in Services or GATS is the agreement by which the trade in goods is primarily regulated within the WTO.