Anyone trading with or from Northern Ireland since Brexit will be aware of the increased difficulties and effective border down the Irish Sea. It’s an issue which has been a constant bone of contention, especially with Northern Ireland politicians, leading to the collapse of the Stormont Assembly after the DUP withdrew.
Rishi Sunak, the UK Prime Minister and Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission announced the so-called Windsor Framework on 27th February, hailed as the solution to the issues and a victory for common sense. But what does it mean for international trade? Will it actually improve the situation for UK-NI traders without closing the border between NI and the EU?
One of the key wins is the Green Lane/Red Lane idea where goods from the rest of the UK destined for Northern Ireland will follow a Green Lane, with a separate Red Lane for goods destined for or at risk of ending up in the EU. It has been publicised as if the Green Lane will have virtually no paperwork and movement of goods to NI will be like before Brexit.
As ever the devil is in the detail. There will in fact still be paperwork requirements for traders, albeit at a significantly reduced level. There will still be around 25 datapoints required. This is not being called a Customs Declaration, but some would argue in effect that is what it will be. Goods in the Green Lane will not be subject to systematic checks, though the facility for spot checks is there.
Parcels will not be subject to full customs declarations but from 2024 the parcel operators will be required to share data with the EU to manage smuggling risks.
Current bans on certain products like chilled sausages entering Northern Ireland as a result of EU law will be lifted, meaning anything available in UK supermarkets will once again be available in Northern Ireland. New labelling arrangements will come into force for some goods. UK VAT and Excise Duties will once again apply in Northern Ireland for alcoholic drinks for immediate consumption.
Northern Ireland retailers will have to qualify as trusted traders to benefit from the reduced paperwork, however. Rishi Sunak explains:
“It means food retailers like supermarkets, restaurants and wholesalers will no longer need hundreds of certificates for every lorry,” Sunak said. “If food is available on supermarket shelves in Great Britain, then it will be available on supermarket shelves in Northern Ireland.”
Personal, online shopping and business-to-business parcels sent from Britain into Northern Ireland “will have to complete no customs paperwork”, he said.
Download now: Checklist for exporting from the EU to the UK post-Brexit
Bans on seed potatoes and 11 types of native UK trees will also be lifted. Medicines approved in the UK will automatically be available in Northern Ireland. This is a major boost for pharmaceutical companies in the UK and the NHS.
Goods moving from NI to the rest of the UK will not require paperwork.
On the face of it, this is a good agreement for Northern Ireland, keeping its foot in both the UK and EU with it seems the minimum of bureaucracy. Yet could all be about to implode?
A key element of the framework is the so-called Stormont Break, designed to give the Northern Ireland Assembly a say on how EU laws are applied in Northern Ireland. It can effectively put a brake on new laws being implemented.
Read more: New Northern Ireland framework could unlock US trade deal
The DUP has indicated that it will oppose this element of the framework in a House of Commons vote on 22nd March 2023. If they do, then the future of the overall agreement could be in doubt. The bill will still pass on Wednesday as it has Labour support, but ultimately the DUP must be convinced in order to restart the power-sharing executive in Northern Ireland which has failed to sit for over a year.
Watch this space!
I was at a conference this week all about marketing and how to expand your business. There were some truly inspirational and interesting speakers, from TV Dragons, major company CEOs, through to a performance psychologist and marketing experts.
One theme that came out time and again was the importance of planning and taking the time to work on your business, not in your business. Creating the breathing space to really focus on where you want to go and what you need to do to get there. Yet at the same time remaining agile enough to react to ever-changing market conditions. Who would have predicted a global pandemic or war in Ukraine with all their human and economic consequences?
It struck me that this is exactly the support we offer our clients on their export journey. We help them to focus on taking the right decisions; not to rush in before they are export ready, before understanding customs and compliance requirements, before evaluating their target markets and the true potential they offer, before thoroughly researching the right routes to market and local channel partners.
When confronted with the day-to-day challenges of running your business, the pressure to meet growth targets, or replace declining markets, it can be difficult to focus on making informed decisions. There is a tendency to rush in.
This is where Go Exporting can help you. We take the strain by doing the important groundwork, providing accurate information to allow you to make the right decisions on your international strategy.
With over 30 years’ experience in helping businesses just like yours to profitably expand into international markets, we have developed a range of cost-effective services which support you in the right areas along that journey.
- EXPORT READINESS ASSESSMENTS
- CUSTOMS & COMPLIANCE
- MANAGING THE BREXIT TRANSITION
- IDENTIFY & PRIORITISE MARKETS
- EXPORT STRATEGY
- FINDING DISTRIBUTORS & PARTNERS
- IDENTIFYING POTENTIAL CUSTOMERS
- INTERNATIONAL DIGITAL MARKETING
These are just some examples of how we can help. Every customer is different, however, so we are flexible and work with you to achieve your objectives.
Take time out to work on your business, not in your business.
For the month of October, we are offering a limited number of FREE 30-minute consultations with our CEO Mike Wilson to discuss any aspects of your international journey you would like to raise. He will provide advice and answer your direct questions. There’s absolutely no obligation and no hard sell…. in fact, no sell at all! This is a special benefit offered to our customers and newsletter subscribers.
BOOK YOUR FREE CONSULTATION TODAY
Limited slots available!
Season’s greetings everyone!
Thank you for following Go Exporting in 2021 and for all your support. We hope you have found our content useful for your export journey this year. Look out for more interesting articles, tips and export guides next year.
To all our clients, thank you for your valued custom this year. It has been a pleasure working with you, to help you to profitably expand into international markets and manage the Brexit transit.
We look forward to working with you all in 2022.
At last! A voice for independent international trade & customs experts!
Launched this month is a new Society of Independent International Trade And Customs Experts – SIITACE.
This represents a new, fresh approach to looking after the interests and values of this vital independent sector. Specifically offering real help to the International Trade Community through our founding members specialist knowledge and experience covering all aspects of overseas trade including promotion & market entry; business support; international sales and marketing; customs; tax & vat; warehousing; trade finance; and logistics.
“I am proud to be a founder member of SIITACE. The opportunity to work and share ideas with fellow independent trade advisors is sure to be a great bonus to us individually and as a sector. It provides the ability to speak as one voice to influence government policy on exports and provide expert support to UK businesses in their drive to expand internationally following the exit from the EU”
Who runs SITTACE?
SIITACE is a Community Interest Company established to encourage collaboration and best practice within the international trade and customs disciplines. Our directors and founding members have many years of real-life experience in global trade and customs. We seek to attract a membership from all aspects of overseas trade beginning with experts in business support, sales and marketing, customs, tax & VAT, and logistics but growing in the direction our membership decides. It’s your society so, for that reason as we grow, it will take the shape needed to fulfil the business needs of international traders, importers and exporters.
Freedom to offer impartial support and advice
As a non-public sector organisation, not tasked to achieve government targets, we have the freedom to offer impartial support and advice to our members and to the wider international trade community.
Become a member….
Our members have access to the knowledge and experience of fellow members from all areas of the international trade spectrum. We are here to help and support each other.
Benefits of membership include:
- Support of like-minded professionals
- Access to our knowledge bank of resources
- Opportunity to contribute to debate and discussion on how we can work together to improve the provision of international trade advice within the private sector.
We are delighted to let you know that Go Exporting has been selected by Enterprise Nation as one of the Top 5 Export Consultants and Top 50 advisors of any category in the UK.
This success is down to you, our valued customers and subscribers. We thank you.
The vote is now open to select the No. 1 Export Consultant out of the 5 shortlisted. Would you be able to spare a couple of minutes of your time to vote for us via this link?
Being voted your No. 1 would be a great honour and help us deliver even more expert exporter content. We are planning a Lunch & Learn Session on Rules of Origin, participating in a round table discussion on the impact of Brexit with customs experts from Deloitte and will host a series of free webinars in early 2022 for example.
Thank you for your vote and continued support!