Movement Assistance Scheme now covers Organic Certification Requirements

04 March 2021


Learn how the movement of organic products to Northern Ireland is now eligible for support following the expansion of the Movement Assistance Scheme (MAS). 

The cost of the Certification of Inspection (CoI) for organic produce moving from Great Britain to Northern Ireland is now covered under the expanded Movement Assistance Scheme (MAS).

The MAS was established in December 2020 to provide support for exporters of agri-food goods from Great Britain (GB) to Northern Ireland (NI). Since 1 January 2021, under the Northern Ireland Protocol, agri-food goods moving from GB to NI need to meet the same SPS and other certification requirements as goods moving from GB to the EU.

Inspection and certification costs covered

The expansion to cover organic CoIs means the organic control bodies will now invoice government for the costs of inspection and certification. Businesses will still need to use the Trade Control and Expert System NT (Traces NT) to apply for CoIs.

Welcome support for the organic sector

This step, to include organic CoIs in the MAS, will provide welcome support for the organic sector, helping to ease the process for sending goods from GB to NI. The NFU continues to work closely with Defra on what other support is needed by the agri-food sector when sending goods to NI, including support for meeting other new certification or SPS requirements.

The MAS already helps to cover the costs of Export Health Certificate (EHCs) and Phytosanitary Certificates (PCs) for products of animal origin or plant products, either through a reimbursement of vets or waiver for APHA inspections. The MAS also provides a dedicated helpline to support industry.

More information on the MAS can be found here.


The exception to this is for goods being moved by authorised traders into authorised retailers (e.g. supermarkets), which are currently operating under a grace period which provides an exemption for such certification requirements.

On 3 March 2021 the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland Brandon Lewis announced plans to extend this grace period to October 2021.

More details on this extension can be found here.


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