Trade with Northern Ireland

Trade with Northern Ireland, from and to the UK and the EU, is dealt with under the Protocol on Ireland and Northern Ireland agreed as part of the original Withdrawal Agreement, not under the deal struck in December.  The terms agreed reflect the desire to avoid a “hard” border on the island of Ireland.

From 1 January 2021, goods entering Northern Ireland from the mainland Great Britain have been classified as “imports”.  They therefore need to comply with EU product rules and are subject to the checks and controls outlined below (see What to expect at the borders below), although there is some flexibility aimed at limiting disruption to trade between Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK, for example in the areas of export declarations and the supply of certain food products to supermarkets.  UK traders can register for the Government’s free Trader Support Service.

Rules relating to VAT arrangements for trade in Northern Ireland have become more complex and businesses trading here will need to give particular consideration to this.