Northern Ireland Trade Support Service goes live

The government is urging businesses to sign up to the new free-to-use Trader Support Service with fewer than 100 days until end of Transition period

The new Trader Support Service is now live for business, providing education and guidance for traders moving goods under the Northern Ireland Protocol, including between Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

Tens of thousands of traders will start to receive emails and letters from today (28 September 2020), with details on the launch of the Trader Support Service and its benefits for UK businesses.

The free-to-use digital service will help businesses and traders of all sizes to navigate the changes to the way goods move once the Northern Ireland Protocol comes into effect on 1 January 2021.

Traders who sign up to the Trader Support Service will be guided through the new processes under the Northern Ireland Protocol and can also use it to complete digital declarations.

The service will:

  • provide a free end-to-end support package to manage import and safety and security declarations on behalf of traders;
  • educate businesses on what the protocol means for them, and the steps they need to take to comply with it. This will include online training sessions and webinars, with information being continually updated as we move closer to 1 January 2021; and
  • be available to businesses moving goods into Northern Ireland under new processes in the Northern Ireland Protocol that start from 1 January 2021.

The Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, Michael Gove MP, said: ‘The new free-to-use Trader Support Service will provide crucial support and guidance to businesses moving goods under the Northern Ireland Protocol.

‘Backed by up to £200m of UK government funding, it reflects our deep commitment to support the Northern Ireland economy and protect the Belfast (Good Friday) Agreement.

‘With little over three months to go until the end of the transition period, it is vital that traders sign up and take advantage of the scheme, so that they can continue to trade seamlessly and seize new opportunities on 1 January 2021.

Traders choosing to sign up for Trader Support Service can do so at GOV.UK. They will receive full guidance and support on the next steps to take ahead of January 1, 2021.

Letters have been sent to VAT-registered businesses in Northern Ireland to explain changes to the way goods will move between Great Britain and Northern Ireland when the Northern Ireland Protocol comes into force on 1 January 2021.

They explain what businesses need to do to prepare, including registering for the Trader Support Service, a free service available to businesses of all sizes.

Useful links:

Letter to VAT-registered businesses in Northern Ireland that do not trade with the EU and/or the rest of the world (September 2020)

Letter to VAT-registered businesses in Northern Ireland who trade with the EU and/or the rest of the world (September 2020)

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