The UK and the European Union (EU) agreed a new set of trading arrangements in The Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA) on 24 December 2020.
The EU and the UK formed two separate markets which created the need for new checks at borders, such as safety checks and customs declarations.
The Northern Ireland (NI) Protocol was designed to prevent physical checks along the border between NI (in the UK) and the Republic of Ireland (in the EU), following Brexit.
As a result of the NI Protocol, NI has in effect remained inside the EU’s single market for goods. Goods from NI can flow to EU countries without custom checks, tariffs or new paperwork.
Since the NI Protocol came into force at the start of 2021 it has prompted disagreements between the UK and EU. The trade in goods between GB and NI has been disrupted due to the creation of a customs border in the Irish Sea that didn’t previously exist.
The UK government has been calling for the protocol to be rewritten.
The movement of food products from GB to NI has been the biggest practical challenge of the sea border. Food products entering NI from GB need to be professionally certified and are subject to new checks and controls at ports.
In March, the UK delayed introducing some new border processes in respect of imported goods from the EU. The UK government also delayed implementing checks between GB and NI. The EU was not consulted about the delays and did not agree to the failure to start checks agreed under the NI Protocol. The EU started legal proceedings against the UK.
The UK is now proposing to phase in new Irish Sea border checks on food products in four stages from October. The details are contained in a NI Protocol roadmap shared with the EU.
Phase one in October will cover fresh meat products and phase two at the end of January 2022 will cover dairy products, plants and wine.
Phases three and four should cover fruit and vegetable marketing standards, pet food, organics and composite products. No dates are given for the implementation of phases three and four.
The UK said it proposes to issue guidance by the end of this month on the long-term arrangements for business-to-consumer parcel deliveries from GB to NI.
If you would like advice regarding the changes to importing and/or exporting to/from the EU, please contact us at Tudor International Freight, on 0333 1234 747 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
About Us - Tudor International Freight
Established in Horsforth, Leeds, back in 1991, we are a logistics company who are experts in road, air and sea freight. We transport goods to most major cities, towns and suburbs across all 6 continents. We go over and above to ensure that our client’s products, goods and cargo are transported around the world safely and successfully. We are a family business, who are still based in Horsforth, Leeds, West Yorkshire.