Authorised traders for GB to NI movements: Requirements and application

Under the latest Command Paper on the Northern Ireland Protocol there will be a three month grace period for certain certification requirements for agri-food goods going from Great Britain into Northern Ireland via authorised supermarket supply chains. Find out if your business is eligible to be included on Authorised Trader List here.

The grace period will allow for exemptions on Export Health Certificate and Phytosanitary Certificate requirements for products of animal origin (POAO), composite products, food and feed not of animal origin, and plants and plant products. This exemption will only apply for certain businesses within the food supply chain – it will not apply to retail supply chains that are not primarily focused on food supply into NI for consumption by the NI consumer:

  • Authorised traders are supermarkets and their trusted suppliers
  • The UK government will not discriminate against smaller suppliers or between different companies in recognising traders as authorised for the purpose of this grace period
  • The goods must be packaged for end consumers and bear a label reading “These products from the United Kingdom may not be marketed outside Northern Ireland”
  • They must be destined solely for sale to end consumers in supermarkets located in Northern Ireland, and they cannot be sold to other operators of the food chain
  • They must be accompanied by a simplified official certificate globally stating the products meet all the import requirements of EU legislation
  • They must enter Northern Ireland through a designated point of entry, where they are submitted to a systematic documentary check and to a risk-based identity check on a selection of items in the means of transport
  • The goods will be monitored through a channelling procedure applicable from the designated point of entry to the destination supermarket in NI.

A trusted supplier is one that independently moves its end product from GB to NI, for sale in NI.

  • For example, a meat pie manufacturer that moves its own products from GB to NI, which delivers its products directly to a store for sale solely within NI would be in scope.

However, where a meat pie producer delivers products to a supermarket distribution centre in GB, which is then moved by the supermarket to NI, the producer would not qualify (but would not need to – the supermarket would be the authorised trader for that movement into Northern Ireland).

Defra is compiling a list of authorised traders who can benefit from the three month grace period. Once identified the traders will be added onto Defra’s authorised traders list that will be sent to the European Commission.

You can also self-identify to apply for inclusion on the authorised traders list. If you self-identify as an authorised trader, download and complete the authorised traders form.

The form must be completed fully. Make sure you provide your:

  • Business name
  • Company affiliation (if a supplier)
  • Economic Operators Registration and Identification number (EORI)
  • Head office address
  • NI distribution address (if relevant).

The form will ask further information on your operations. This information will be required to determine whether you are eligible for inclusion on the list.

Email the completed ‘authorised traders form’ to bmlzdXBlcm1hcmtldGFuZHN1cHBsaWVybGlzdEBkZWZyYS5nb3YudWs= by 17.00 pm (GMT) on 28 December 2020.

If you have any questions about your eligibility, email Defra at bmlzdXBlcm1hcmtldGFuZHN1cHBsaWVybGlzdEBkZWZyYS5nb3YudWs=.

The emailed response will either:

  • confirm that your business is included on the authorised traders list and detail your business’ unique registration number


  • contain a rejection letter with reasoning and steps to resolution.

Businesses can challenge rejection decisions via email until 28 December 2020.

If you have any queries relating to authorised trader requirements or the grace period, email bmlzdXBlcm1hcmtldGFuZHN1cHBsaWVybGlzdEBkZWZyYS5nb3YudWs=

Temporary urgent relaxations of enforcement of EU drivers' hours rules

In response to pressures on local and national supply chains, the Department for Transport has pursuant to Article 14(2) of Regulation (EC) No 561/2006, introduced two temporary urgent relaxations of the enforcement of EU drivers’ hours rules in England, Scotland and Wales from 00:01 23 December 2020 to 23:59 on 22 January 2021.

Please see the documents linked below for details:

If there any questions about these relaxations, then please email the following: [email protected].

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