The UK government has published a document giving more details on how goods moving between Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK will be processed when its withdrawal agreement with the EU comes into effect in January.
The agreement was aimed at avoiding a hard border on the island of Ireland and comes into effect in January when the UK’s transition period runs out.
Government minister Michael Gove (pictured) was in Belfast today (7 August) to announce funding of up to £200 million for a new Trader Support Service to help businesses to deal with the new paperwork involved in importing goods into Northern Ireland.
The document says businesses and individuals will be able to move goods from Northern Ireland into the rest of the UK on the same basis as now. But there will be some new arrangements for goods movements into Northern Ireland from Britain.
Food and agricultural products will be subject to specified processes, in order to maintain the island of Ireland’s status as a single epidemiological unit, while avoiding a hard border.
As the agreement involves UK authorities applying EU customs rules to goods entering Northern Ireland, the document also outlines new administrative processes for traders.
These include new electronic import declaration requirements, and safety and security information, for goods entering Northern Ireland from Britain. “These are needed to make sure that tariffs are not paid on trade within the UK and that goods going to Ireland pay tariffs when they should,” the paper says.
The EU’s top negotiator Michael Barnier recently gave a downbeat view on the prospects of a wider Brexit deal, but Gove told reporters he believed there would be a successful outcome.