Moving goods under the Northern Ireland Protocol section two: moving goods from Great Britain to Northern Ireland

Source: Cabinet Office Policy Paper

 

1. Great Britain to Northern Ireland: one customs territory

As the Protocol makes clear, and the Government set out in our Command Paper, The UK’s approach to the Northern Ireland Protocol, there will be some changes for goods movements into Northern Ireland from Great Britain. The UK as a whole will leave the EU’s customs union and Northern Ireland will remain unequivocally part of the UK’s customs territory.

That means:

  • no new customs infrastructure required to be built in Northern Ireland (or in Great Britain ports facing Northern Ireland)
  • no export or exit declarations for goods leaving Great Britain for Northern Ireland
  • processes will be fully digital and eligible to be facilitated by the Trader Support Service
  • the regime will be administered by UK authorities – meaning a minimal proportion of checks only as required by the levels of risk
  • the UK Government position remains that there should be no tariffs payable on all internal UK trade, and in any case, full use will be made of waivers and reimbursements to minimise the impact on business in any scenario
  • an end-to-end Trader Support Service available at no costs to all businesses who wish to use it

2. Great Britain to Northern Ireland: digital declarations

The Protocol entails some new administrative processes for traders, notably new digital import declaration requirements, and digital safety and security information, for goods entering Northern Ireland from the rest of the UK. These processes, which will be administered by UK authorities in the form of HMRC and Border Force, are needed to make sure that tariffs are not paid on trade within the UK, that Northern Ireland can benefit from UK FTAs, and that goods destined for Ireland and the EU (i.e. at a genuine and substantial risk of doing so) pay tariffs when they should.

The UK Government has been clear that there should be no tariffs on internal UK trade; and that in any case, full use will be made of waivers and reimbursements to minimise the impact on business in any scenario. The Protocol requires a UK-EU Joint Committee decision on the application of tariffs on ‘at risk’ goods moving into Northern Ireland. Full details will be provided subsequent to that decision; but for these purposes, it is important to note that the ultimate destination of goods and whether, for example, traders will be selling them in Northern Ireland or moving them on to Ireland/the EU, will become relevant in the future.

These digital processes will be streamlined and simplified to the maximum extent, and will not require any export declaration, exit declaration, or customs and regulatory clearance for goods as they leave the rest of the UK for Northern Ireland. Furthermore, the new Trader Support Service will ensure that the process is straightforward even for businesses who have not previously engaged with customs, and that no direct costs are incurred.

Traders who wish to make use of the service should sign up now for the Trader Support Service. Further information is provided on the following pages.

3. Great Britain to Northern Ireland: Trader Support Service

The UK Government has established a new, free service, the Trader Support Service(TSS). It will be able to help all traders, regardless of size and at no additional cost, to move their goods between Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and to import goods into Northern Ireland from the rest of the world.

This is an optional service for any Northern Ireland business, which will record electronic information on goods movements so that traders do not have to engage with new digital customs systems or processes. This service will deal with formalities (such as import declarations and safety and security information) on behalf of traders, providing unprecedented support for Northern Ireland business.

Initially traders will be able to register with the service and receive support and guidance on what the Protocol means for them. This will include the steps they need to take to comply with them (including getting an Economic Operators Registration and Identification (EORI) number). Traders will also be supported to understand the information they will need to collect about their goods, including their description, value and any supporting documentation required.

The service will then use this information to complete import and safety and security declarations on behalf of traders. Where a trader uses the TSS to complete these they will not need to access HMRC systems, such as CDS or ICS, themselves.

Sign up now using the Trader Support Service website.

The UK Government will also be engaging with businesses and other stakeholders on further Government support that could be provided to address the new requirements on sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) goods moving from Great Britain to Northern Ireland. Further information on any support here will be provided in the light of that engagement.

For traders who already engage with customs systems, or who wish to undertake any necessary procedures separately, guidance on the requirements are detailed further below.

This guidance may be subject to further updates in the light of developments in the UK-EU Joint Committee or other discussions.

This is highlighted where relevant.

4. Great Britain to Northern Ireland: other requirements

4.1 Economic Operators Registration and Identification (EORI) number

An EORI number is required for all businesses who need to manage customs operations with HMRC. Further information, including a link to apply for an EORI number, is available. VAT registered businesses with EU trade were previously enrolled with an EORI number, so should check whether they already have a number before applying.

4.2 Tariffs

The UK Government has been clear that there should be no tariffs on internal UK trade; and that in any case, full use will be made of waivers and reimbursements to minimise the impact on business in any scenario. The Protocol sets out that there must be a UK-EU Joint Committee decision on the application of tariffs to ‘at risk’ goods moving into Northern Ireland, and that decision will inform the final regime that applies. Full details will therefore be provided subsequent to that decision.

4.3 Simplifications and facilitations

Where customs procedures apply there are a number of facilitations available that will make processes smoother for traders choosing not to use the Trader Support Service, including simplified declarations for import and authorised economic operators.

Businesses can use Customs Special Procedures to suspend, reduce or claim relief on the payment of customs duties and VAT under specified conditions. Special procedures include customs warehousing, inward processing, outward processing, temporary admission and authorised end use.

It is recognised that this system of facilitations will need to take account of the regime that will apply for the application of tariffs to ‘at risk’ goods moving from Great Britain to Northern Ireland. As such, further guidance may be provided following the UK-EU Joint Committee decision in that regard. In the meantime, further information on these and other facilitations available is on gov.uk.

4.4 Transit

The UK has successfully negotiated membership of the Common Transit Convention after the end of the transition period. Common Transit allows the movement of goods under duty suspension until they reach their final destination. Traders will only have to make customs declarations and pay import duties on arrival at their final destination. Safety and security requirements will still need to be met.

The use of transit can provide benefits for traders in particular for movements that cross multiple territories, such as those movements which use the UK as a landbridge to move between continental Europe and the island of Ireland. Recognising the importance of that route for goods movements, specific discussions are ongoing as to the transit requirements for that trade.

Further guidance will be provided on transit movements.

4.5 Hauliers

The precise requirements for hauliers at locations will depend on the model used by locations through which goods are moved. Two options will be available: a pre-lodgement model or a temporary storage model and locations will be able to choose which model to operate depending on their circumstances. The UK Government will provide details specific requirements for traders, hauliers, carriers and port operators in due course. But there will be no change regarding the road haulage legislation or permit regimes which apply.

4.6 Non-freight

Any requirements for goods in luggage, Royal Mail and parcels are still under consideration. Further guidance will be set out in due course.

4.7 VAT and Excise

The Protocol means that Northern Ireland maintains alignment on some administrative processes included within the EU VAT and excise rules for goods. Northern Ireland is, and will remain, part of the UK’s VAT and excise system, reflecting the fact that each jurisdiction across Europe already operates separate VAT and excise regimes. HMRC will continue to be responsible for the operation and collection of the revenues, which will not be passed on to the EU.

Please see further guidance on how VAT processes will operate between Great Britain and Northern Ireland on goods sold by VAT-registered businesses. Please see further guidance on the movement of excise goods which may involve interaction with customs requirements.

5. Great Britain to Northern Ireland: sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) goods

As set out in the Command Paper on The UK’s Approach to the Northern Ireland Protocol, and proposed by the UK Government last October, there will be new requirements on sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) goods moving from Great Britain to Northern Ireland. These requirements will uphold the longstanding status of the island of Ireland as a single epidemiological unit, and will build on the existing checks on live animal movements arriving in Northern Ireland from Great Britain.

The Protocol obliges both the UK and EU to seek to streamline trade between Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and to avoid controls at Northern Ireland ports as far as possible. In line with that obligation, discussions are ongoing about the process by which controls are conducted, and their frequency. This guidance will be updated to take account of those discussions.

Specifically, the UK Government recognises the unique position of authorised traders, such as supermarkets, with stable supply chains, and comprehensive oversight of warehousing and distribution operations, moving pre-packaged products for retail sale solely in Northern Ireland. We are continuing to pursue specific solutions for this trade, and this guidance does not therefore apply to this trade.

The UK Government will also be engaging with businesses and other stakeholders on further Government support that could be provided to address the new requirements on sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) goods moving from Great Britain to Northern Ireland. Further information on any support will be provided in the light of that engagement.

5.1 SPS goods: common requirements

There will be a series of common requirements that will apply to typical movements of agri-food products from Great Britain to Northern Ireland from 1 January 2021 (subject to the outcome of discussions about the process and frequency of controls). These are as follows:

  • Entry via a designated point of entry – agri-food goods subject to controls will have to enter Northern Ireland via designated points of entry. The Government has submitted its designation applications to the EU and further information will be provided on specific port/airport designations once that application process has concluded. Designations will take into account existing patterns of movement and current commercial ferry routes.
  • Pre-notifications – many agri-food movements will need to be pre-notified on TRACES NT, the EU system for processing movements of SPS goods. Further guidance will be provided. This is a simple online notification procedure and is designed to support traceability of goods.
  • Health Certification (such as Export Health Certificates (EHCs) and Phytosanitary Certificates – Export Health Certificates will be required for movements of animal products and live animals, and phytosanitary certificates will be required for movements of plants and plant products. The Government has introduced a new digital online application service, EHC Online (EHCO) to streamline the process.

5.2 SPS goods: specific products

Further requirements may also apply to movements of specific goods – many of which are already in place today, recognising the status of the island of Ireland as a single epidemiological unit. Further detail is provided on the following pages on:

  • live animals
  • animal products
  • fish, shellfish and their products
  • plants and plant products
  • other agri-food requirements

6. Great Britain to Northern Ireland: sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) goods – live animals

Live animals being moved from Great Britain to Northern Ireland already undergo checks upon arrival in Northern Ireland. This is to ensure the island of Ireland remains disease-free, and respects its longstanding existing status as a single epidemiological unit.

Building on these existing processes, from 31 December 2020, those live animals subject to controls as stipulated in the relevant legislation, including cattle, sheep, pigs and poultry, that are moved from Great Britain to Northern Ireland will need to:

  • be pre-notified via TRACES NT in advance of arrival
  • enter Northern Ireland via a designated point of entry
  • be accompanied by an Export Health Certificate

At the point of entry, all goods will be subject to documentary, ID checks and physical checks.

Businesses must follow welfare in transport rules when moving live animals. In particular, all journeys over eight hours will also need to be accompanied by a journey log.

An import licence from the Northern Ireland Department for Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) may be required, as is the case today. Access further information on import licences.

To obtain the appropriate EHC, the exporter will need to apply on EHC Online (EHCO). EHCO is a new digital online application service for EHCs that has been developed by Defra and APHA and will have replaced the current manual PDF process for applying for EHCs by the end of the transition period. The EHC will need to be completed and signed by an appropriately qualified Official Veterinarian (OV). Access further information on EHCs.

Additional requirements for specific purposes are:

6.1 Live aquatic animals

Live aquatic animals, including ornamental fish and certain live bivalve molluscs, will need an EHC certified by a Fish Health Inspector from the Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (CEFAS) in England and Wales or Marine Scotland in Scotland.

6.2 The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES)

Access further guidance on the process for endangered species subject to CITES requirements below.

6.3 Zootechnics

Exporters must be registered under a recognised UK breeding society or breeding operation. A zootechnical certificate may be required. Find out more about zootechnical rules and standards.

7. Great Britain to Northern Ireland: sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) goods – animal products

All Products of Animal Origin (POAO), Germinal Products and those Animal By-Products (ABP) subject to SPS checks as set out in the relevant legislation will need to:

  • be pre-notified via TRACES NT in advance of arrival
  • enter Northern Ireland via a designated point of entry
  • be accompanied by an Export Health Certificate

At the point of entry, all goods will be subject to documentary and ID checks and a small proportion of goods will be subject to physical checks.

To obtain the appropriate EHC, the exporter will need to apply on EHC Online (EHCO). EHCO is a new digital online application service for EHCs that has been developed by Defra and APHA and will have replaced the current manual PDF process for applying for EHCs by the end of the transition period. The EHC will need to be completed and signed by an appropriately qualified certifying officer. For products of animal origin (excluding fish) this is usually an Official Veterinarian (OV). Further information on EHCs is available.

Additional specific requirements are:

7.1 Products of Animal Origin (POAO)

Establishments moving POAO from Great Britain to Northern Ireland will additionally need to be approved in line with food hygiene regulations, either by the relevant local authority or by the Food Standards Agency (or Food Standards Scotland) depending on the nature of the production they are undertaking. More information is available on approved food establishments. These establishments will also need to be listed by the EU.

7.2 Animal by-products and derived products not intended for human consumption (ABP)

Establishments moving ABP from Great Britain to Northern Ireland must be on APHA’s approved ABP list, unless they are nationally authorised (only possible for non-harmonised exports). Access more information on ABPs.

The establishment of destination in NI must also be approved or registered by DAERA and be listed on the EU ABP establishment list for NI. Access information on approved establishments.

ABPs may also require an import licence from the Northern Ireland Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA).

Most ABPs will require an EHC or declaration; for non-harmonised exports (where an EHC or declaration is not available) a DAERA authorisation will be required. Some certificates may require an official seal.

Access more information on importing animals and animal products.

8. Great Britain to Northern Ireland: sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) goods – fish, shellfish and their products.

8.1 Northern Ireland registered vessels

There will be no new SPS requirements for UK-flagged vessels with their port of registration in Northern Ireland (‘NI-registered vessels’) when landing fishery products into Northern Ireland or EU ports. This will be the case regardless of the location from which those products are caught.

This means that NI-registered vessels will not be required to land at designated ports in the EU or in Northern Ireland for SPS purposes and no Captain’s Certificate will be required for the landing of processed products from food approved vessels. Additionally, these vessels, if food-approved vessels, do not have to be listed by the EU as third country vessels approved for exports.

Other aspects of the treatment of NI-registered vessels, and in particular their exemptions from duties in line with the decision to be reached by the UK-EU Joint Committee, are subject to ongoing discussions between the UK and EU. Further guidance will be provided subsequent to their conclusion.

8.2 Movements of fish, shellfish and their products from Great Britain to Northern Ireland (excluding direct landings)

All fish, shellfish and their products being moved from Great Britain to Northern Ireland will need to:

  • be pre-notified via TRACES NT in advance of arrival
  • enter Northern Ireland via a designated point of entry
  • be accompanied by an Export Health Certificate
  • be accompanied by catch certificates (if applicable to the species being transported) for each consignment

Export Health Certificates will need to be completed and signed by an appropriately qualified certifying officer. For fishery products, this can be a non-veterinary certifying officer, such as a food competent local authority Environmental Health Officer (EHO).

At the point of entry, all goods will be subject to documentary and ID checks and a small proportion of goods will be subject to physical checks.

While not SPS-specific, catch certificates are official documents that prove any marine-caught fish has been caught legally. These are issued by the Marine Management Organisation (MMO) and will need to be applied for and secured by the GB-based party. Traders can create a catch certificate online. Catch certificates checks will be conducted on a risk-led basis.

Goods will also need to be accompanied by a processing statement/storage document where applicable.

As with all movements of animal products, establishments will need to be approved in line with food hygiene regulations, either by the relevant local authority or by the Food Standards Agency (or Food Standards Scotland) depending on the nature of the production they are undertaking. Access more information on approved food establishments. These establishments will also need to be listed by the EU.

8.3 Live bivalve molluscs

In certain circumstances, live bivalve molluscs (LBM) will be deemed as products of animal origin for human consumption and follow the procedures set out here, as opposed to those for the movement of live animals.

8.4 Direct landings by GB-registered vessels into NI ports

Direct landings of fresh fishery products (or fish that has undergone primary production such as de-heading) by UK-flagged vessels with their port of registration in England, Wales or Scotland into ports in Northern Ireland will need to:

  • land into a port designated in line with illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing regulations
  • submit a prior notification form four hours in advance of landing
  • submit a landing declaration (and transhipment declaration if applicable) four hours in advance of landing (or the transhipment taking place)
  • send a complete and validated catch certificate to the competent authority in Northern Ireland (if applicable to the species of fish being landed)

Live bivalve molluscs cannot be directly landed in this manner.

Direct landings (either the vessel or the catch) may be subject to risk-based checks at the designated port into which they land.

There is a separate process for freezer, factory or reefer vessels landing fish that has undergone secondary processing (e.g. freezing or wrapping). These vessels will need to enter via a designated point of entry in line with SPS regulations and provide a Captain’s Certificate. To sign the certificate, the captain must have been authorised by the Animal and Plant Health Agency. The vessels will need to be approved in line with food hygiene regulations by the relevant local authority and listed by the EU.

8.5 The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES)

Access guidance on endangered species subject to CITES requirements – such as caviar from the Sturgeon family or some live aquarium fish – below.

9. Great Britain to Northern Ireland: sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) goods – plants and plant products

All plants and plant products moved from Great Britain to Northern Ireland will need to:

  • be pre-notified via TRACES NT in advance of arrival
  • enter Northern Ireland via a an appropriate point of entry
  • be accompanied by a phytosanitary certificate (PC)

The GB operator intending to move regulated plants and plant products to NI, will need to secure a phytosanitary certificate prior to the goods departing GB with sufficient time to allow for inspections and any testing which may be required. A phytosanitary certificate is an official document that certifies that the material has been inspected, is considered free from quarantine and other pests, and that it conforms to the plant health regulations of the place of destination.

In order to obtain a phytosanitary certificate, the operator will need to apply to the relevant plant health authority: the Animal and Plant Health Agency in England and Wales; the Scottish Government in Scotland; and for wood, wood products and bark only, the Forestry Commission in England, Wales and Scotland.

Physical inspections for the sake of securing a phytosanitary certificate can take place inland, prior to movement to NI.

Fruit and vegetables that have been processed, such as packaged salad, may not be subject to plant health control depending on the degree of processing. A selection of fruits (pineapple, coconut, durian, bananas and dates) are already exempt from specific phytosanitary controls, and do not therefore need to be accompanied by a phytosanitary certificate. These products will continue to not be subject to any phytosanitary requirements.

For movements of regulated plants and plant products, the GB operator will need to have registered with the appropriate plant health authority in GB to obtain a phytosanitary certificate. For England and Wales this will be through the EHC Online (EHCO) system, further information will be available shortly for Scotland.

9.1 Timber

Businesses moving timber from Great Britain to Northern Ireland must meet the requirements for timber as set out in applicable NI legislation (which will continue to be the same framework as in place today).

Further information for businesses trading timber between Great Britain and Northern Ireland is now available.

9.2 Plant Protection Products (PPPs)/Pesticides

If produce being moved from Great Britain to Northern Ireland has been treated by PPPs, the produce must meet the Maximum Residue Levels (MRLs) set out in the legislation made applicable in NI for each product-PPP combination. The MRLs for all crops and pesticides can be found in this database.

10. Great Britain to Northern Ireland – sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) goods – other agri-food requirements

10.1 High-risk food and feed not of animal origin (HRFNAO)

HRFNAO must be accompanied by a health certificate issued by the country of origin where relevant, and a certificate of laboratory analysis signed by the relevant Competent Authority. Goods must be pre-notified on TRACES NT as is the case for other agri-food movements. All goods will be subject to documentary checks, and a percentage will be subject to ID and physical checks.

10.2 Organics

Organic goods moving from Great Britain to Northern Ireland must meet the regulatory requirements that apply to Northern Ireland under the Protocol. Further guidance may be provided in due course to take account of discussions between the UK and the EU.

10.3 Marketing Standards

Products moving from Great Britain to Northern Ireland must continue to meet the regulatory requirements for the relevant marketing standards that apply to Northern Ireland under the Protocol. Specific marketing standards requirements apply to the following commodities. Further information:

10.4 Natural Mineral Waters

Further requirements may also be required for movements of natural mineral waters. Read further guidance on natural mineral waters.

10.5 Food labelling requirements

Read guidance on food labelling requirements for food placed on the Northern Ireland market and further guidance on health and identification marks for Products of Animal Origin.

11. Great Britain to Northern Ireland: manufactured goods

11.1 Placing Manufactured Goods on the market in Northern Ireland

At the end of the transition period, the effect of the Protocol is to maintain the existing requirements for placing manufactured goods on the market in Northern Ireland. Northern Ireland will align with all relevant EU rules relating to the placing on the market of manufactured goods. This means that, where a business already holds the relevant approvals that goods meet EU rules, and will continue to produce goods to those rules, this will continue to provide the basis for placing goods on the market in Northern Ireland.

There will however be new requirements for goods to be able to be placed on the market in the EU, including with respect to how approvals are sought. These requirements may necessitate changes for businesses, and the implications are considered in the guidance on the following pages.

Separate guidance for Northern Ireland businesses placing manufactured goods on the rest of the UK market is available in section one. In short, Northern Ireland businesses will have unfettered access to the whole of the UK market, without the need for additional approvals.

This means that Northern Ireland businesses, for goods which meet the relevant standards and have the relevant approvals for harmonised goods, will have full access to both the UK market and free access to EU markets without the need to produce two separate sets of requirements or hold two sets of approvals. This is a unique arrangement available only to Northern Ireland businesses in recognition of the unique circumstances of Northern Ireland.

11.2 Applicable rules

What is required depends on the type of goods you are placing on the market.

This page covers goods often known as ‘new approach’ goods. It does not cover agri-food products, which are the subject of separate guidance. Nor does it address ‘old approach’ goods (chemicals, medicines and vehicles); or goods for which special rules apply (medical devices, rail interoperability, marine equipment, transportable pressure equipment, construction products and civil explosives). Finally, this does not apply to aerospace goods as separate rules apply, including in Northern Ireland, after the transition period.

As now, such goods (‘harmonised goods’) will be subject to risk-based market surveillance when placed on the market; and in exceptional circumstances where the risk assessment requires it, before goods are released into free circulation. Goods covered by national rules (‘non-harmonised’ goods) must continue to meet UK rules.Check the UK product safety rules to find out the requirements in that regard.

11.3 Conformity assessment bodies and marking

You need to use a conformity mark if you are placing certain goods on the Northern Ireland market. After the end of the transition period, the CE mark will continue to be the conformity assessment mark for most goods, to show they meet EU rules. You may also need to apply the UK(NI) mark if you choose to use UK bodies for approvals or certification. Any conformity mark held by a Northern Ireland business which validates the goods for sale on the Northern Ireland market will be valid for the whole of the UK market.

  • If you are a Northern Ireland business and you currently mark your goods on the basis of self-certification, you will not need to make any changes. Your goods will continue to be valid on the UK and EU markets.
  • If your goods require any mandatory third-party conformity assessment, or if you use a third-party conformity assessment body even where it is not mandatory, you can use either a UK notified body or an EU notified body to test against EU rules.

Depending on which you choose, your goods may require additional marking and will be valid for different markets:

  • If you choose to use an EU body, you will apply only the relevant EU conformity mark, usually the CE mark. Your good will be valid for the UK market, and the whole of the EU market.
  • If you choose to use a UK-recognised body, you will apply only the relevant EU conformity mark, usually the CE mark, plus an additional UK(NI) mark. Check the UK(NI) mark rules which will be published shortly to find out what you need to do. Your good will be valid for the UK market, but cannot be placed on the EU market. This is because the results of mandatory conformity assessments carried out by UK-recognised conformity assessment bodies will not be recognised in the EU.

11.4 Using the UK(NI) and relevant EU conformity marks

Products currently requiring an EU conformity marking, usually the CE mark, for sale in Northern Ireland, under the requirements of the Protocol, will continue to need to use this marking. The UK(NI) mark accompanies, but does not replace, the relevant EU conformity mark on certain goods. Products carrying both the relevant EU conformity mark, for example the CE mark, and the UK(NI) mark cannot be placed on the EU market. Harmonised goods carrying only the UKCA mark will not be valid for the Northern Ireland market.

You need to use the UK(NI) marking if:

  • you’re placing certain goods on the Northern Ireland market after the end of the transition period; and
  • you need to have your good assessed by a third-party conformity assessment body; and
  • you are using a UK notified body now or you plan to after the end of the transition period

Check the guidance for using the EU conformity (including CE), UK(NI) and UKCA markings which will be published shortly for more information.

Manufacturers

Your legal obligations will remain largely unchanged, including responsibility for compliance activities. Goods will need to continue to be manufactured to relevant rules in order to be placed on the Northern Ireland market. Such harmonised goods can generally also be placed on the EU market. If your goods require any mandatory third-party conformity assessment and this is undertaken by a UK body, the UK(NI) mark will need to be applied. Check the UK(NI) mark guidance, which will be published shortly, to find out what you need to do. Goods with the UKCA mark, or an EU conformity mark such as the CE mark accompanied by the UK(NI) mark, cannot be placed on the EU market. National rules (non-harmonised) goods will no longer automatically benefit from the EU mutual recognition principle for placing on the EU market.

Northern Ireland-based distributors and suppliers

You will need to confirm whether you or your supplier will take on the role of ‘importer’ described in the relevant rules after the end of the transition period. You’ll become an importer if you’re the one bringing goods into Northern Ireland from either Great Britain or another non-EEA country and placing them on the Northern Ireland market, including if you are bringing them from somewhere else in the UK.

If you are an importer, you will need to make sure:

  • goods are labelled with the details of the importer (or importer’s authorised representative) who must be based in Northern Ireland, the EU or the EEA. These details include the company’s name, or registered trade mark, and a contact address or registered trademark
  • the correct conformity assessment procedures have been carried out and that goods have the correct conformity markings
  • the manufacturer has drawn up the correct technical documentation and complied with the labelling requirements
  • you maintain a copy of the declaration of conformity for a period of 10 years
  • goods conform with the relevant essential requirements

If you are a fulfilment service provider, you may need to fulfil new compliance responsibilities from 16 July 2021.

There are different rules for cosmetics and medical devices on which guidance will follow soon.

Guidance on regulating medical devices from 1 January 2021.

11.6 Authorised representatives or responsible person

The rules for certain goods require the appointment of a named individual who has responsibility for safety. These roles have different names under rules for different types of goods. Authorised representatives and responsible persons can continue to be based in Northern Ireland, the EU or the EEA for placing goods on the Northern Ireland market. If you currently use a responsible person based in Great Britain, then the Northern Ireland or EU ‘importer’ of goods manufactured outside of Northern Ireland or the EU becomes the responsible person under EU law.

Authorised representatives, who can undertake specified tasks on behalf of the manufacturer, must be based in Northern Ireland or the EU after the transition period and must be appointed by the manufacturer, by written mandate.

From 16 July 2021, in most sectors an authorised representative must be appointed for certain compliance responsibilities where there is not a Northern Ireland or EU based manufacturer, importer or fulfilment service provider in the supply chain who fulfils these. Different rules apply to cosmetics and medical devices, on which guidance will follow soon.

Guidance on regulating medical devices from 1 January 2021.

Importing into Northern Ireland from non-EU/EEA countries

If you are placing goods on the Northern Ireland market from outside the UK or EU/EEA, you can self-declare that these goods meet relevant rules and apply the relevant EU conformity mark, usually the CE mark. If your goods require third-party conformity assessment, you can have your goods assessed:

  • by an EU or EEA notified body, requiring the relevant EU conformity mark, usually the CE mark
  • against EU requirements, by a UK-recognised conformity assessment body, requiring the relevant EU conformity mark, usually the CE mark and UK(NI) marking
  • against EU requirements by using an EU recognised conformity assessment body, listed on NANDO and based in Australia, New Zealand, Canada, USA, Japan, Switzerland, Turkey, South Korea or Israel (for the sectors covered by the relevant mutual recognition agreement)

12. Great Britain to Northern Ireland: highly specialised goods or goods subject to specific international obligations

For some highly specialised goods, or for goods falling within the very limited number of procedures relating to specific international obligations binding on the UK and the EU, there will be further requirements for registrations or authorisations through relevant systems to be placed on the Northern Ireland market, as set out below.

12.1 Chemicals

Businesses seeking to export chemicals to Northern Ireland at or above 1 tonne per year will need to ensure that the importer in Northern Ireland or the EU holds a registration under EU REACH, or appoint an Only Representative in Northern Ireland or the EU as registrant for the substance. Registration is a requirement on industry (manufacturers/importers) to collect and collate specified sets of information on the properties of those substances they manufacture or supply at or above 1 tonne per year. This information is used to perform an assessment of the hazards and risks that a substance may pose and how those risks can be managed. This information, and its assessment, is submitted to the European Chemicals Agency in Helsinki. Further information on registration can be found on the ECHA website. ECHA has also provided advice for companies on the implications of the UK’s withdrawal from the EU.

12.2 Plant Protection Products (PPPs)/Pesticides

PPPs must be authorised in Northern Ireland in order to be moved from Great Britain to Northern Ireland. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is responsible for issuing authorisations. All existing PPP authorisations will remain valid in Northern Ireland following the end of the transition period.

12.3 Fluorinated Gases – HFCs

Any business moving HFCs (the main type of fluorinated gas) from Great Britain into Northern Ireland will need to be registered on the EU Hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) Registry and have sufficient quota allocated or authorisations to cover the quantities moved. Movements have to be notified online.

12.4 Ozone Depleting Substances (ODS)

Any business moving ODS from Great Britain to Northern Ireland will need to be registered on the EU ODS Licensing System and have sufficient quota to cover the quantities moved. For feedstock, lab or process agents, an EU import licence will be required. The GB-based exporter will require an export licence from the Environment Agency. Apply for ozone-depleting substances (ODS) import and export licences.

12.5 Medical devices

Devices placed on the Northern Ireland market will need to be compliant with the EU Medical Devices Regulation (MDR) from 26 May 2021 and the in vitro Diagnostic Medical Devices Regulation (IVDR) from 26 May 2022. There will be new requirements to register certain devices with the MHRA and for most non-UK manufacturers to appoint a UK Responsible Person. Great Britain-based manufacturers will be required to have an Authorised Representative in Northern Ireland or the EU. Please see guidance on regulating medical devices from 1 January 2021 for further information.

12.6 Medicines

Guidance for UK wholesalers and manufacturers on how to import human medicines including unlicensed medicines, how to apply for a licence and how much it costs.

Guidance on importing licensed and medicines from the European Economic Area if certain checks are made by the ‘Responsible Person (import)’.

Guidance on what you need to do to supply authorised medicines from Great Britain to Northern Ireland.

12.7 Tobacco and e-cigarette products

These products will have to comply with the EU Tobacco Products Directive and packaging will need to feature the EU picture library.

To be sold in Northern Ireland, a notification will need to be made. Discussions with the EU are still on going on how this process will take place and further guidance will follow.

12.8 International trade in endangered species of wild fauna and flora (CITES)

The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) will be implemented through the EU Wildlife Trade Regulations (EUWTR) in Northern Ireland and the UK Wildlife Trade Regulations (UKWTR) in Great Britain. Movements of endangered species from GB to NI will need to meet entry/exit requirements as stipulated in these regulations.

Species covered are listed under one of four Annexes to the Wildlife Trade Regulations. The controls applying to a particular species are dictated by the Annex in which the species is listed.

Most listed specimens will need to be accompanied by a valid CITES document. Further details on applying for a permit and general guidance are available.

You will need to import or export CITES specimens through a CITES-designated Point of Entry/Exit (PoE).

Species listed under CITES may also be subject to SPS controls, such as those applying to live animals or plants and plant products.

12.9 Drugs Precursors

Import and export licenses will be required for Category 1 drug precursors chemicals. Access licence and registration application information for companies that deal in precursor chemicals. Licenses will be required for every shipment. Importers and exporters must register for a National Drugs Control System (NDS) account to apply for the licenses. A Pre-Export Notification may need to be sent to the EU for Category 1 precursors being shipped from Great Britain to Northern Ireland. This may require up to 15 days for the relevant authority to consider the notification.

12.10 Waste

Green (non-notifiable) waste being moved from Great Britain to Northern Ireland will need to be transported by an authorised haulier.

Amber (notifiable) waste being moved from Great Britain to Northern Ireland will need to be transported by an authorised haulier and be accompanied by a handler licence. A notification must be submitted to the relevant competent authority in Great Britain, and prior informed consent (PIC) is required to undertake the movement.

12.11 Chemicals subject to the PIC Regulation

Companies wishing to move chemicals subject to the PIC Regulation from Great Britain to Northern Ireland will need to notify HSE, the Designated National Authority (DNA) for Great Britain, at least 35 days before they intend to ship any listed chemical, whether by itself or in a mixture, for the first time in any calendar year. For those chemicals for which explicit consent is additionally required, the DNA will seek this on the company’s behalf. Further information can be found on HSE’s website.

12.12 Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs)

Prior Informed Consent (PIC) will be required for movements of POPs from Great Britain to Northern Ireland. Further information on PIC.

12.13 Mercury

The movement of commodity (elemental) mercury from Great Britain to Northern Ireland will require the consent of the relevant competent authority. The movement between Great Britain and Northern Ireland of certain products containing mercury listed in the relevant legislation made applicable in NI will be prohibited. Mercury waste being moved from Great Britain to Northern Ireland will require consent from the regulators before the waste can be moved. A notification form must be submitted to the relevant competent authority in Great Britain in advance of the planned waste movement.

12.14 Other goods

Guidance will be set out in due course for cosmetics, fertilisers, medicines, veterinary medicines and a number of additional medical products and radioisotopes, and for relevant transport products (as required).

 

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