BMF - British Marine Federation

08/10/2020 | News release | Archived content

Brexit Business Readiness Article - Northern Ireland Protocol

Published on: 10 August 2020

The UK has left the EU, and the transition period comes to an end this year. Take action now to get ready for new rules from January 2021. This article highlights information issued by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and provides the latest information for businesses. All information on the UK Transition can be found at

Moving goods into, out of, or through Northern Ireland from 1 January 2021

The Northern Ireland Protocol will take effect from 1 January 2021. New guidance provides support for businesses engaging in new processes under the Northern Ireland Protocol. The guidance outlines that, under the Northern Ireland Protocol, the UK Government will ensure that:

  • Moving goods from Northern Ireland to Great Britain should take place as it does now - there will be no additional process, paperwork, or restrictions on Northern Ireland goods moving to Great Britain, delivering unfettered access
  • Changes for goods moving from Great Britain to Northern Ireland will be kept to an absolute minimum - with a new Trader Support Service, available to all traders at no cost, to be established to provide wraparound support, alongside guidance on the processes for food and agricultural products designed to uphold the longstanding status of the island of Ireland as a single epidemiological unit
  • Trade in goods between Northern Ireland and Ireland, and between Northern Ireland and EU Member States, will continue unaffected, with no change at the border, no new paperwork, and no tariffs or regulatory checks
  • For trade with the rest of the world, Northern Ireland will benefit from UK FTAs - ensuring the benefits of those agreements are felt right across the United Kingdom

If businesses are impacted by these changes, they may want to consider the Trader Support Service. It can help businesses if they:

  • move goods between Great Britain and Northern Ireland, or bring goods into Northern Ireland from outside the UK
  • act on behalf of someone to move goods between Great Britain and Northern Ireland, or bring goods into Northern Ireland from outside the UK
  • are based in Northern Ireland and receive goods from outside of Northern Ireland
  • send parcels between Great Britain and Northern Ireland, or bring parcels into Northern Ireland from outside the UK, using Royal Mail or an express operator

The Trader Support Service will be free to use and will guide businesses through any changes to the way goods move between Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and into Northern Ireland from outside the UK. Businesses can also use it to get declarations completed on their behalf. Businesses can register an interest in the Trader Support Service here.

All businesses will be affected by the UK leaving the EU, we urge all companies to sign up to get the latest government advice and guidance. Sign up here.