Northern Ireland Protocol - what you need to know

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There will be key changes to the movement of agri-food goods between Great Britain and Northern Ireland from 1 January 2021. Here’s what you need to know.

If you are sending goods to Northern Ireland from 1 January 2021, you should act now to:

  • Register for the Trader Support Service – this will help you complete new customs procedures for movement of goods between Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
  • Register for the new UK Trader Scheme – this will allow you to declare goods that are moving to Northern Ireland but will not be moved on to the EU so you will not have to pay EU duty on them. To be eligible you need to have a fixed place of business in Northern Ireland.
  • Contact the Movement Assistance Scheme (MAS) on 0330 0416 580 – advisers can help with the new requirements, including advice on export health certificates, live animals, animal products, and plants and plant products. The MAS will also provide support with some additional certification costs.

    To minimise the impacts of other checks and controls, a ‘phased solution’ will support the supply of agri-food products to authorised traders, such as retailers and their trusted suppliers. This only applies to businesses supplying those supply chains.

    • A three-month grace period to 1 April 2021 where official certification, such as export health certificates and phytosanitary certificates, will not be required for those supply chains.
    • A six-month grace period to 1 July 2021 to allow the movement of chilled meats, which would otherwise have been subject to certain legal restrictions and prohibitions.

    If you do not supply those supply chains, you should prepare for SPS checks by:

    Contact the Movement Assistance Scheme for further advice and guidance on these checks.

    NFU members can find out more information by logging in and downloading the latest briefing.


    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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