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Hauliers could be conducting fewer trips between the British mainland and Northern Ireland next year if a new survey by the Food and Drink Federation is anything to go by.

The survey was answered by fifty of the Food and Drink Federation’s members, including a number of suppliers producing household brands regularly purchased in British supermarkets.

According to the Guardian, slightly over 20% of the suppliers surveyed stated they were planning to “pause GB-NI deliveries to ensure we can be legally compliant with NI rules”. An additional 11.6% declared they intended to pause supplies “while we assess if it remains a viable market”. Finally, another 4.7% said they would reduce the volume of goods sold from Great Britain to Northern Ireland.

The results of the survey come roughly a month after supermarket chain Sainsbury’s admitted that they may reduce shipments to Northern Ireland.

The reason for the possible drop in deliveries is of course the Northern Ireland Protocol, which is a legally binding part of the withdrawal agreement signed between the UK and the EU.

As Trans.INFO guest author Robert Hardy explained back in September, the process of transporting goods from Britain to Northern Ireland is far from being frictionless. The 18 stages are as follows:

  • GB supplier raises commercial invoice and charges UK VAT as normal
  • No export declaration required
  • Export health certificate required if SPS goods
  • ENS entry safety & security declaration required 2 hours prior to arrival in NI
  • IPAFFS pre-notification of SPS goods required (this might ultimately be TRACES NT rather than IPAFFS, under discussion at the moment)
  • Import declaration to be pre-lodged, either full declaration or simplified.  Note this is on CDS not CHIEF
  • GVMS record to be created and populated with ENS and entry references.  GVMS creates GMR (goods movement reference)
  • Driver will need GMR at GB exit and NI arrival
  • SPS goods required to pass through BCP (Border Control Post) on arrival in NI.  All SPS goods, not just those deemed to be ‚at risk’.
  • Import entry arrived or finalised
  • Duty payable on goods ‚at risk’ of not remaining in NI.  The definition of ‚at risk’ to be confirmed by Joint Committee comprising UK and EU officials
  • If duty paid, reclaim submitted for goods remaining in NI.   Details to be confirmed.
  • Goods are free to move on the island of Ireland but will attract duty if moved to ROI or (ultimately) no duty if they remain in NI
  • ALL of the above applicable from 1st January 2021 unless shown otherwise

For more information on the process of moving goods to and from Great Britain and Northern Ireland, please consult Robert Hardy’s guides here and here.


Photo credit:  Gerald England / Geograph UK

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