Trade Routes – Customs Paperwork 

The EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement, now in place, means change and will require adapting to new trading arrangements, rules and regulations. Learn more about important trading requirements for each trade route, trade information and useful FAQ’s for cross-border SMEs in Ireland and Northern Ireland. 

Trade between Ireland and Northern Ireland

As agreed in the Northern Ireland Protocol which covers Trade in Goods there will be no customs paperwork requirements for the cross-border trader.

Trade between GB and Ireland

Businesses in Ireland will now need to understand customs declarations EU-UK / UK-EU Trade and Cooperation Agreement provides zero tariffs and zero quotas on all goods that comply with the appropriate rules of origin. In order to understand if you are able to claim preferential rates of duty you will need to know the rules of origin. Latest updates on rules of origin can be accessed in a tab provided further below, this section relates to customs, live animals and goods and useful links.

SEPTEMBER 2021 UPDATE: GB (England, Scotland and Wales) is now no longer part of a safety and security zone with the EU. This guide sets out how to meet the safety and security requirements for imports and exports. Safety and security declarations will now apply from:

  • October 2021 – on all goods leaving GB — this includes goods moved in roll on roll off (RoRo) vehicles, empty containers, pallets and vehicles moving to the EU under a transport contract.
  • 1 July 2022 – on goods being imported from the EU and other territories to GB that did not require these before 1 January 2021.

For more information on this safety and security requirements on imports and exports guidance, click here. 

SEPTEMBER 2021 UPDATE: If you run an EU-based business, check what your business needs to know to continue trading with the UK, see below for what this guidance covers and for more information,  click here. 

  • Sign up for upcoming webinars to learn more about trading with the UK.
  • Rules have changed and there are border requirements placed on the movement of goods between the EU and UK.You must check with your country’s customs authority what customs procedures will need to be applied for bringing goods from the UK to the EU.
  • You must check with your country’s customs authority what customs procedures will need to be applied for bringing goods from the UK to the EU.
  • Find out more about taxes and tariffs for EU businesses trading with the UK.
  • What EU businesses need to consider when transferring data to and from the UK.
  • What EU citizens need to do if they are working in the UK.

Customs: You will need to complete the appropriate customs declarations to allow you to move goods to, from or through GB.

Live Animals and Goods: If you want to import or export animals or products of animal origin (including fish) from or to the UK (excluding Northern Ireland) from 1 January 2021, there are important actions you need to take.

Useful Links: For further reading, see the links below. 

Trade between GB and Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland to GB: From 1 January 2021, there will be no changes in how qualifying Northern Ireland goods move directly from Northern Ireland to GB. There will be some changes for qualifying goods moved indirectly through Ireland. This qualifying goods regime forms part of a phased approach to the implementation of ‘unfettered access’, click here to read the latest UK guidance.

GB to Northern Ireland: On 24 December 2020, the EU and the UK reached an agreement in principle on the EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement. As part of the agreement the UK and the EU have agreed to a zero tariff zero quota deal. This means it provides for zero tariffs and zero quotas on all goods that comply with the appropriate rules of origin.

Bringing Goods into Northern Ireland from GB and from Outside the EU: The Northern Ireland Protocol confirmed that goods from GB which remain in the UK’s customs territory will not be subject to tariffs, however from 1 January 2021, you will need to make customs declarations when bringing goods into Northern Ireland from GB or from outside the EU. September Update: Use this application form to apply for reimbursement of support attestation costs for movements of agri-food goods from GB to Northern Ireland, click here. 

All Goods: An entry summary (safety and security) declaration must be submitted before  the goods arrive, click  here. A declaration will need to be made when the goods arrive, click  here. Prepare for supplementary declarations and have your information ready for reporting – read more from TSS about about how to prepare and what information you will need, click  here.

Next Steps:

Useful Links:

Important Trade Information 

Rules of Origin

Rules of origin are an intrinsic component of every free trade area, but they are complex. They determine the ‘economic nationality’ of products when these have been produced using components or materials made in more than one country. Such rules are necessary to ensure that the products benefiting from the terms of the free trade agreement (in this case, zero tariffs, zero quotas) are either wholly obtained from or manufactured in the free trade area itself (in this case, the EU and the UK), or sufficiently worked or processed there (e.g. by setting a limit on the value of non-originating materials that can be used in order to benefit from the agreement. See our  dedicated page on Rules of Origin for more information. See important takeaways below: 

  • Until 31 December 2021, if you’re claiming preference on the basis of the importer’s knowledge or making out a statement on origin.
  • You do not need to hold a supplier’s declaration at the time you’re claiming preference for goods imported from or to the EU.
  • But the importer must be confident that the goods meet the rules of origin.
  • You must make every effort to obtain suppliers declarations retrospectively.
  • Exporters will also be able to self-certify the origin of the goods, thereby making it easier for traders to prove the origin of their products and reducing red tape.
  • In addition, the operators will benefit from additional flexibility in collecting documentary evidence to prove origin during the first year.
  • This is to allow them to benefit from the preferences despite the little time available between conclusion and application of the Agreement.
Transit

Sending goods from Ireland to an EU Member State through Great Britain (GB): Transit is a customs special procedure used to move goods between two parts of one Customs territory through another Customs territory. It allows for the temporary suspension of duties and checks that would usually be due on import. See the scenarios for the use of the transit procedure for traders on the island of Ireland:

Sending goods from Ireland through GB to the EU26 and vice versa:  For Irish Revenue guidance, click  here and  here.

Sending goods from Northern Ireland through GB to the EU26 and vice versa. For HMRC guidance,  click  here and  here.

Sending goods from GB through Northern Ireland to Ireland and vice versa: For HMRC guidance click  here for Irish Revenue guidance click  here.

Sending goods from Northern Ireland through Ireland to GB and vice versa:  For HMRC guidance, click  here for Irish Revenue guidance  here and  here.

EORI Numbers

Northern Ireland: In order to submit an export/import declaration, businesses must register with the relevant Customs authority and obtain an Economic Operator Registration Identification (EORI) number. Without this number, goods cannot be cleared for Customs. The responsibility of whether or not to serve as the exporter/importer depends on the agreed terms of trade (see the InterTradeIreland guide to  Incoterms).

Moving Goods Between Northern Ireland and Non-EU Countries: From 1 January 2021 businesses in Northern Ireland will need an EORI number that starts with XI to m ove goods between Northern Ireland and non-EU countries, including GB (England, Scotland and Wales), to make a declaration in Northern Ireland and to get a Customs decision in Northern Ireland. Please note that in order to obtain an XI EORI number, businesses must already have a GB EORI number.  The UK Government advises that Northern Ireland businesses who already have an EORI number from an EU country, will not need an EORI number starting with XI.

Moving Goods Between the EU (Ireland) and Northern Ireland: An EORI number is not required for direct trade between the EU (Ireland) and Northern Ireland. To see if a business already has an EORI number. Insert the country prefix (e.g. GB for Great Britain) followed by the company’s VAT/tax reference number, click here. To apply for a GB and XI EORI number, click here. To register for the Trader Support Service which has been set up to help move goods between GB and Northern Ireland or bring goods into Northern Ireland from outside the UK, click here.

Moving Goods Between Ireland and Non-EU Countries: A customs declaration is needed for each goods export/import between EU (Ireland) and non-EU countries. To submit an export/import declaration, businesses must register with the relevant Customs authority and obtain an Economic Operator Registration Identification (EORI) number. Without this number, goods cannot be cleared for Customs. The responsibility of who services as the exporter/importer depends on the agreed terms of trader (see the InterTradeIreland guide to  Incoterms).

Moving Goods Between the EU (Ireland) and GB: From 1 January 2021, businesses will need an EORI number to move goods between GB (England, Scotland and Wales) and the EU (including Ireland). Businesses will require an  IE EORI number for Customs declarations in Ireland and a  GB EORI number for declarations in GB.

Moving Goods Between Ireland and Northern Ireland: An EORI number is not required for direct trade between Ireland and Northern Ireland.

Ports – Border Control Posts (BCP)

Live animals, animal products and food and feed of non-animal origin:   GOV.UK have information on the importation of live animals, animal products and food and feed of non-animal origin border control posts (BCP) in the UK, click here for more information.

If you’re a haulier and move goods through a port in the UK that uses the Goods Vehicle Movement Service you’ll need to register for the service to get your goods through customs. For more information or to register, click   here. Check how to move goods through ports using the Goods Vehicle Movement Service – click   here for more information. 

Northern Ireland to Ireland & Ireland to Northern Ireland (Cross-Border Trade)

As agreed in the Northern Ireland Protocol which covers Trade in Goods there will be no customs paperwork requirements for the cross-border trader. 

For more information, click  here.


Ireland to Great Britain & Great Britain to Ireland

Businesses in Ireland will need to be ready for customs in January 2021. 

On 24 December 2020, the European Union and the United Kingdom reached an agreement in principle on the EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement. As part of the agreement the United Kingdom and the European Union have agreed to a zero tariff zero quota deal. This means it provides for zero tariffs and zero quotas on all goods that comply with the appropriate rules of origin.  

Customs 

You will need to complete the appropriate customs declarations to allow you to move goods to, from or through GB. For Information about trade facilitation and customs procedures for trade with the United Kingdom from Revenue.ie click  here.

Customs implications of trade with GB, read information from Revenue.ie click  here.

Latest updates on rules of origin can be accessed in a tab provided further below

Latest updates on Transit can be accessed in a tab provided further below

Other important documentation – Please also note if you want to import or export animals or products of animal origin (including fish) from or to the UK (excluding NI) from 1 January 2021 you must be registered with the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM). For more information, click  here. 

Additionally, if you would like to find out how to register for TRACES  which then allows for the mandatory completion of Common Health Entry Documents (CHED), click  here.

For an update from Revenue.ie on parcels click  here.

Useful links

  • You will need to register for an EORI  Number. You can do that  here.
  • For help with Commodity Codes businesses in Ireland should click  here.
  • For Revenue updates on Brexit and VAT changes  click  here.
  • For Revenue updates on Brexit seminars and informational videos  here.


Northern Ireland to Great Britain & Great Britain to Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland to Great Britain

From 1 January 2021, there will be no changes in how qualifying Northern Ireland goods move directly from Northern Ireland to Great Britain. There will be some changes for qualifying goods moved indirectly through Ireland. This qualifying goods regime forms part of a phased approach to the implementation of ‘unfettered access’.

Read the latest UK guidance click here.

Great Britain to Northern Ireland

On 24 December 2020, the European Union and the United Kingdom reached an agreement in principle on the EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement. As part of the agreement the United Kingdom and the European Union have agreed to a zero tariff zero quota deal. This means it provides for zero tariffs and zero quotas on all goods that comply with the appropriate rules of origin. 

Latest updates on rules of origin can be accessed in a tab provided further below.

Latest updates on Transit can be accessed in a tab provided further below.


Bringing goods into Northern Ireland from Great Britain and from outside the EU.

The Northern Ireland Protocol confirmed that goods from Great Britain which remain in the UK’s customs territory will not be subject to tariffs however from 1 January 2021, you will need to make customs declarations when bringing goods into Northern Ireland from Great Britain or from outside the EU.   

For all goods:

You will need to know what customs paperwork is required and consider which category your goods fall into, either at risk or not at risk. (For at declaring goods at risk or not at risk – see ‘Next Steps’ section below).

Customs Paperwork

  • An entry summary (safety and security) declaration must be submitted before the goods arrive click here.
  • A declaration will need to be made when he goods arrive click here.
  • Prepare for supplementary declarations and have your information ready for reporting – read more from TSS about about how to prepare and what information you will need here.



Next Steps

  • For help with your customs documentation – Sign up for the Trader Support Service (TSS) click here.
  • Check if you can declare goods you bring into Northern Ireland not ‘at risk’ of moving to the EU from 1 January 2021, read about the UK Trader Scheme, and find out more detail click here.
  • If you intend to bring goods into Northern Ireland which you know are not ‘at risk ’ of moving to the EU, then you can apply for authorization under the UK Trader Scheme click here.
  • Check to see if you can claim a waiver for duty on goods that you bring to Northern Ireland from Great Britain click here.
  • For an update on sending parcels between Great Britain and Northern Ireland see here.


Useful Links

  • Get help on UK transition with online webinars from HMRC here.
  • You will need to register for an EORI Number. You can do that here for Ireland and here for Northern Ireland.
  • For help with Commodity Codes –  businesses in Ireland should click here and businesses in Northern Ireland, click here.
  • New Computerised Transit System (NCTS) Helpdesk , Export Control System (ECS) Helpdesk, Import Control System (ICS) Helpdesk here.
  • Check when you can account for Import VAT on your VAT Return from 1 January 2021 here.
  • Claim VAT refunds in Northern Ireland or the EU, if you’re established in Northern Ireland or in the EU here.
  • For more information on sending goods from Northern Ireland and what Customs declarations are required, click here.
  • For more information onbringing or receiving goods from Great Britain and what Customs declarations are required, click here.
  • For more information on the exportation or movement of live animals and animal products in Ireland click here, or for Northern Ireland click  here.
  •  Register for the Mover Assistance Scheme (3 month grace on Export Health Certificates ) here.
  • For more information on how to comply with REACH Regulations (chemicals ), click here.
  • Another consideration would be to ensure that new packaging and labelling applied is compliant with new regulations. There is some useful information on this here.
  • Simplified Customs – Use inward processing to delay or reduce import duties or VAT on goods that you process or repair. For more information, click here.
  • Check if Authorized Economic Operator status could benefit you here.
  • Simplified Customs – Find out what you can do with your goods when they are being processed or repaired using outward processing here.
  • Trading and moving goods in and out of Northern Ireland from 1 January 2021 – Read the latest UK guidance here.
  • If you need to use the Customs Handling of Import and Export Freight (CHIEF) system to make an import or export declarations you’ll need to tell HMRC, click here. For more on using CHIEF for declaring goods into or out of Northern Ireland click here.
  • Look up Meursing code –  Use this tool to look up the additional code (Meursing code) for import or export of goods containing certain types of milk and sugars, click here.
  • Register to make an entry summary declaration in Northern Ireland (check if you need software) here.
  • DAERA EU Exit Moving goods into, out of or through Northern Ireland – latest update on Collecting and transporting  groupage consignments, read here.


Rules of Origin

EU-UK / UK-EU Trade and Cooperation Agreement provides for zero tariffs and zero quotas on all goods that comply with the appropriate rules of origin.   

What Next

Learn about the rules of origin paperwork requirements and how to claim preferential rates of duty in the links provided below.

Key Tip – Understand the grace period and know your commodity codes.

Until 31 December 2021, if you’re claiming preference on the basis of the importer’s knowledge or making out a statement on origin, you do not need to hold a supplier’s declaration at the time you’re claiming preference for goods imported from or to the EU. But the importer must be confident that the goods meet the rules of origin. You must make evaery effort to obtain suppliers declarations retrospectively.

  • GOV.UK Claiming preferential rates of duty between the UK and EU from 1 January 2021 here.
  • EU – Access2Markets Trade Helpdesk here.
  • Revenue.ie useful contacts here.



Detailed guidance on the rules of origin requirements under the UK’s deal with the EU (the Trade and Cooperation Agreement) can be found here. This explains the most important provisions which businesses need to understand and comply with, in order to ensure that they pay zero tariffs when trading with the EU. This applies to both businesses that wish to export goods to the EU at zero tariffs, as well as businesses who wish to import goods from EU at zero tariffs. 

 

What are the applicable ‘rules of origin’ and what will traders need to do to comply with them?

Rules of origin are an intrinsic component of every free trade area. They determine the ‘economic nationality’ of products when these have been produced using components or materials made in more than one country. Such rules are necessary to ensure that the products benefiting from the terms of the free trade agreement (in this case, zero tariffs, zero quotas) are either wholly obtained from or manufactured in the free trade area itself (in this case, the EU and the UK), or sufficiently worked or processed there (e.g. by setting a limit on the value of non-originating materials that can be used in order to benefit from the agreement.

This ensures that the free trade agreement benefits the operators inside that free trade area, preventing circumvention. Under the Trade and Cooperation Agreement, EU and UK traders would have to meet rules of origin comparable to those which the EU and the UK have with other trading partners. These rules and procedures are therefore familiar to our respective business operators.

The Agreement also includes specific mechanisms aimed at facilitating compliance with these rules of origin, namely:

A provision on ‘full cumulation’, which allows traders to account not only for the origin of materials used, but also if their processing took place in the territory of one of the Parties. This mechanism enables the agreement to capture to the greatest extent the value added in the free trade area.

Exporters will also be able to self-certify the origin of the goods, thereby making it easier for traders to prove the origin of their products and reducing red tape In addition, the operators will benefit from additional flexibility in collecting documentary evidence to prove origin during the first year, to allow them to benefit from the preferences despite the little time available between conclusion and application of the Agreement.


Transit

What is Transit?

Transit is a Customs special procedure used to move goods between two parts of one Customs territory through another Customs territory. It allows for the temporary suspension of duties and checks that would usually be due on import.

 

There are eight scenarios for the use of the transit procedure for traders on the island of Ireland:

·        Sending goods from Ireland (RoI) through Great Britain (GB) to the EU26 (and  vice versa)

·        Sending goods from Northern Ireland (NI) through GB to the EU26 (and  vice versa )

·        Sending goods from GB through NI to RoI (and vice versa  )

·        Sending goods from GB through RoI to NI (and vice versa  )

 

Transit Procedures

In all the above scenarios traders who send goods using transit will need to submit an electronic transit declaration to the appropriate Customs authority. This can be done using a Customs software package or through an agent/broker – acting on the trader’s behalf. A transit guarantee is also required.

Traders who wish to carry out transit formalities at their own premises – without presenting the goods at the Customs office of departure – may apply for “authorised consignor” status.

Likewise, traders who wish to receive transiting goods at their own premises – without presenting the goods at the Customs office of destination – may apply for “authorised consignee” status.

 

Ireland Links

·        Irish Revenue guidance on “Sending goods from Ireland to an EU Member State through Great Britain (GB)” – click  here.

·        Irish Revenue guidance on “Sending goods from Ireland to Great Britain (GB), through Northern Ireland (NI)” – click  here.

·        Department of the Taoiseach guidance on “Trading GB-NI via Dublin after 1 January 2021” – click  here.

·        Department of the Taoiseach guidance on “Trading NI-GB via Dublin after 1 January 2021” – click   here.

·        Department of the Taoiseach guidance on “Using the UK Landbridge” – click   here.

·        Submit transit declarations to Irish Customs by electronic means – click  here.

·        Transit guarantee – click  here.

·        Authorised consignor status – click  here.

·        Authorised consignee status – click  here.



UK Links

·        HMRC guidance on “Starting and ending transit movements in Northern Ireland using common and Union transit – click  here.

·        HMRC guidance – “Bring Goods Into Or Through The UK Using Common And Union Transit” – click   here.

·        HMRC guidance “Check if you can use transit to move goods to the EU and common transit countries”  – click   here.

·        DEFRA guidance on “Transiting animals and animal products through Great Britain” – click   here.

Transit

What is Transit?

Transit is a Customs special procedure used to move goods between two parts of one Customs territory through another Customs territory. It allows for the temporary suspension of duties and checks that would usually be due on import.

There are eight scenarios for the use of the transit procedure for traders on the island of Ireland:

·        Sending goods from Ireland (RoI) through Great Britain (GB) to the EU26 (and vice versa). Irish Revenue guidance here and here.

·        Sending goods from Northern Ireland (NI) through GB to the EU26 (and vice versa). HMRC guidance here and  here.

·        Sending goods from GB through NI to RoI (and vice versa ). HMRC guidance  here. Irish Revenue guidance here.

·        Sending goods from Northern Ireland through RoI to GB (and vice versa ). HMRC guidance here. Irish Revenue guidance here and here.


Transit Procedures

In all the above scenarios traders who send goods using transit will need to submit an

electronic transit declaration to the appropriate Customs authority (HMRC guidance here and Irish Revenue guidance here). This can be done using a Customs software package or through an agent/broker – acting on the trader’s behalf. A transit guarantee is also required (HMRC guidance here and Irish Revenue guidance here).

 Traders who wish to carry out transit formalities at their own premises – without presenting the goods at the Customs office of departure – may apply for “authorised consignor” status.

Likewise, traders who wish to receive transiting goods at their own premises – without presenting the goods at the Customs office of destination – may apply for “authorised consignee” status.

Guidance from HMRC here and Irish Revenue here.

 

Further Links


·    European Commission guidance on “Union and Common Transit”, here.

·    HMRC guidance “Check if you can use transit to move goods to the EU and common transit countries”, here.

·   DEFRA guidance on “Transiting animals and animal products through Great Britain”,  here.

EORI Numbers

Northern Ireland

To submit an export/import declaration, businesses must register with the relevant Customs authority and obtain an Economic Operator Registration Identification (EORI) number. Without this number, goods cannot be cleared for Customs. The responsibility of whether or not to serve as the exporter/importer depends on the agreed terms of trade (see Incoterms).

Moving Goods Between Northern Ireland and Non-EU Countries

From 1 January 2021 businesses in Northern Ireland will need an EORI number that starts with XI to:

·        move goods between Northern Ireland and non-EU countries, including Great Britain (England, Scotland and Wales);

·        make a declaration in Northern Ireland; and

·        get a Customs decision in Northern Ireland.

To obtain an XI EORI number, businesses must already have a GB EORI number.

The UK Government advises that Northern Ireland businesses who already have an EORI number from an EU country, will not need an EORI number starting with XI.

Businesses are also advised to register with the Trader Support Service (TSS) which has been set up to help move goods between Great Britain and Northern Ireland or bring goods into Northern Ireland from outside the UK.

Moving Goods Between the EU (Ireland) and Northern Ireland

An EORI number is not required for direct trade between the EU (Ireland) and Northern Ireland.

Key Actions

·        Click here to see if a business already has an EORI number. Insert the country prefix (e.g. GB for Great Britain) followed by the company’s VAT/tax reference number.

·        Apply for a GB and XI EORI number here.

·        Register for the Trader Support Service.



Useful Contact Details for EORI Support

·        HMRC: online form or telephone: 0300 322 9434.

 

Ireland

A Customs declaration is needed for each goods export/import between EU (Ireland) and non-EU countries. To submit an export/import declaration, businesses must register with the relevant Customs authority and obtain an Economic Operator Registration Identification (EORI) number. Without this number, goods cannot be cleared for Customs. The responsibility of who services as the exporter/importer depends on the agreed terms of trader (see Incoterms).

Moving Goods Between the EU (Ireland) and Great Britain

From 1 January 2021, businesses will need an EORI number to move goods between Great Britain (England, Scotland and Wales) and the EU (including Ireland). Businesses will require an IE EORI number for Customs declarations in Ireland and a GB EORI number for declarations in Great Britain.

Moving Goods Between Ireland and Northern Ireland

An EORI number is not required for direct trade between Ireland and Northern Ireland.

Key Actions

·        Click here to see if a business already has an EORI number. Insert the country prefix (IE for Ireland and GB for Great Britain) followed by the company’s VAT/tax reference number.

·        Apply for a GB EORI number here.

·        Apply for an IE EORI number here.

 

Useful Contact Details for EORI Support

·        HMRC: online form or telephone: 0300 322 9434.

·        Irish Revenue: ecustoms@revenue.ie or telephone: +353 1 7383677.


Ports – Border Control Posts (BCP)

For more information on the importation of live animals, animal products and food and feed of non-animal origin border control posts (BCP) in the UK, click here.

Register for the Goods Vehicle Movement Service – If you’re a haulier and move goods through a port in the UK that uses the Goods Vehicle Movement Service you’ll need to register for the service to get your goods through customs.

For more information or to register, click here.

Check how to move goods through ports using the Goods Vehicle Movement Service – click here for more information. 

Useful links

  • Ireland Gov.ie   Transport and Haulage read more here.
  • Dublin port brexit information here.
  • Northern Ireland GOV.UK Carry out international road haulage from 1 January 2021 here.
  • Transporting goods between Great Britain and the EU from 1 January 2021: guidance for hauliers and commercial drivers here.
  • GOV.UK Moving goods through the Port of Holyhead here.
  • GOV.UK Moving goods through the Port of Holyhead with an ATA Carnet here.
  • The Border Operating Model here.
  • For further information on Transit see tab above.


Customs FAQs for Ireland and Northern Ireland

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

No, the Protocol on Ireland and Northern Ireland has confirmed that goods can continue to move freely – without Customs controls or tariffs.

What does the EU-UK trade deal mean for trade between the EU and GB?

The EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement took provisional effect at the start of 2021. It provides for tariff-free trade in goods between GB and the EU (including Ireland) so long as they meet origin criteria, to see if your good meet the origin criteria, click here. Goods that do not meet the rules of origin requirements will have to pay the standard tariffs that each of the EU and UK apply to imports from countries this means that customs declarations are required, although products entering GB face less onerous paperwork requirements until the end of 2021. Goods arriving in Ireland have faced full Customs import controls since January 2021.

Do I need Customs paperwork when moving goods to/from GB?

To GB from Ireland: There is a staggered approach to border controls for goods moving from Ireland to GB. Entry Safety and Security (ENS) declarations and full import declarations will be required from 1 January 2022. Before then, a deferred declaration scheme is in place, which allows firms to enter goods in their own records and to submit supplementary declarations up to six months after the goods have been imported. Irish Revenue has more information about trading with GB, click  here.

To Ireland From GB: Full Customs controls have been imposed since January 2021. This includes export and import declarations. The responsibility for completing these depends on the terms of trade agreed between seller and buyer – known as Incoterms, for more information on Incoterms, click here. 

To GB from Northern Ireland: Qualifying Northern Irish goods moving direct to GB won’t face new Customs processes or documentation. The UK Government advises that products shouldn’t be moved through Northern Ireland to avoid the UK tariff or import processes.

To Northern Ireland From GB: GB goods entering NI require Customs declarations. The free-to-use  Trader Support Service can assist with paperwork. If goods are deemed “at risk” of entering the EU’s single market, EU tariffs will be due. If not “at risk” of leaving the UK Customs territory, products won’t face tariffs. For more information on the risk of goods, click here. 

Is temporary import possible?

Yes, an ATA Carnet is an international Customs document that permits the temporary importation of commercial samples, professional equipment or goods for an exhibition. An ATA Carnet is typically valid for one year and allows for movement of the goods shown on the Carnet as many times as required during this period to any of the destinations applied for. Further advice on the temporary admission of goods is available from  Irish Revenue and from  GOV.UK .

What is Inward Processing?

Ireland: Inward Processing is a Customs special procedure. It permits authorisation holders to delay or reduce import duties or VAT on non-EU goods for processing or repair. Excise duty may also be suspended. Further advice is available from Irish Revenue, click   here for more information. The export side of this procedure is called Outward Processing – for temporarily exporting EU goods for processing/repair in non-EU countries. Click here for more information.

Northern Ireland: Inward Processing enables authorisation holders to delay or reduce import duties or VAT on goods for processing or repair. Excise duty may also be suspended. The UK government advises that traders applying for authorisation in Northern Ireland and GB need to complete a separate application for each. Traders carrying out work at locations in both Northern Ireland and the EU, can get a single authorisation rather than having one for each place. GOV.UK have further advice, click here for more information. The export side of this procedure is called Outward Processing. Click here for more information.

What are Rules of Origin and when are they used?

Ireland and Northern Ireland: Origin is the “economic nationality” of a product. That is where it was obtained or manufactured, rather than from where it was shipped. The country of origin of goods is a factor in determining the amount of duty payable, alongside the commodity code and value of the goods. Some countries have reduced duty rates as laid out in trade agreements – called preferential rules of origin. In many trade deals a Rules of Origin certificate is required to qualify for favourable treatment. It is the exporter’s responsibility to obtain. A certificate is often issued by a Chamber of Commerce for a price but, in some agreements, self-certification is permitted.

How may I claim rules of origin under the EU-UK trade deal?

Ireland: Exporters must complete a Statement on Origin to claim the tariff-free preference under the EU-UK trade deal. This requires an Exporter Reference Number – with different rules for EU and GB exporters. GB exporters can use their GB EORI numbers regardless of consignment value. EU exporters can use their EORI number if the value of the consignment is below €6,000 but, if it is above this amount, they will need to be registered in the Registered Exporter System (REX) . From 2022, a Supplier’s Declaration form will be needed to support the exporter’s claim in the Statement on Origin. Irish Revenue guidance on Origin in the EU-UK TCA, click   here.

Northern Ireland: Northern Ireland goods can enter the EU and GB tariff-free without requiring a Statement on Origin (and vice versa for goods destined for Northern Ireland).

I am in the agriculture sector. Where can I find out more information?

Ireland: Visit the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM) website for dedicated support, email Brexitcall@agriculture.gov.ie or phone: 076 106 4443.

Northern Ireland: Visit the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) website for dedicated support, email: daera.helpline@daera-ni.gov.uk or phone: 0300 200 7852.

Where can I find information to help me identify the commodity code for my product?

Ireland and Northern Ireland: Detailed step-by-step guidance on how to identify commodity codes is available here.

How many digits should a commodity code have?

Ireland and Northern Ireland: Commodity codes should be 10 digits long for imports and 8 digits long for exports. For a simple guide to commodity codes, click here. 

How can I make sure that I’m using the correct commodity code?

Ireland and Northern Ireland: Non-binding guidance is available in the first instance from the Revenue authorities. For Irish Revenue, email: tarclass@revenue.ie and for HMRC, email: classification.enquiries@hmrc.gov.uk. Traders can apply to revenue authorities for a legally binding ruling on the correct commodity code. This is called Binding Tariff Information (BTI) in the EU/ Northern Ireland and Advance Tariff Ruling in GB. Specific guidance for Ireland is available here and for Northern Ireland here.

I know my commodity code and the origin of my product. Where should I look to identify the appropriate rate of import duty payable?

Ireland: The TARIC database is used to identify import duties for products entering the EU. For products entering GB, use the UK Global Online Tariff .

Northern Ireland: Traders bringing goods into Northern Ireland from outside the UK and the EU will pay the UK duty rate if the goods are not ‘at risk’ of onward movement to the EU. If they are ‘at risk’ of onward movement to the EU, use the Northern Ireland Online Tariff (this mirrors the TARIC database).

How are goods valued for Customs purposes?
  • Ireland and Northern Ireland: Customs valuation is used to determine the economic worth of goods being declared for Customs purposes. The authorities wish to ensure that goods are not being undervalued for Customs purposes as this will result in diminished revenue. This risk is seen as particularly arising particularly where buyer and seller are somehow related and market value is not applied. A summary of the EU valuation methods is available from the European Commission, click here for more information. Detailed guidance is available from HMRC here and from Irish Revenue, click here.
Is the buyer or seller responsible for completing Customs declarations, transporting goods and paying duty?

Ireland and Northern Ireland: The responsibility for completing Customs export and import declarations depends on what has been agreed in the contract of sale. International commercial terms, or “Incoterms”, identify where the responsibility lies between the seller and buyer (e.g. for export declarations, import declarations, transport, insurance, import VAT and Customs duty) and where risk passes from one to the other. Click here for a step-by-step guide on the subject.

Should I complete Customs declarations in-house or use a Customs agent?

Ireland and Northern Ireland: The choice about which is more appropriate will depend on the nature of the business, the number and complexity of transactions and the Customs expertise of staff. Completion in-house involves purchasing Customs software and training staff in a specialist field over time. Click here for more information.

What documents should accompany a Customs declaration?

Ireland and Northern Ireland:

· Commercial invoice.

· Proof of origin (Statement on Origin and a Supplier’s Declaration in due course), if required.

· Transport documents identifying the mode of transport and departure times for export/import.

· Information regarding the ability to pay import VAT or Customs duties direct to a Customs authority, e.g. deferment account.  

We’d love to know if we could improve this information, use the box below to give feedback or request information you’d like to see included.