With Brexit talks on any future UK/EU trade deal hanging in the balance, the HMRC has launched a UK Trader Scheme (UKTS) to support businesses moving goods from Great Britain to Northern Ireland from the start of next year
The aim of the scheme is to help ensure businesses do not pay tariffs on the movement of goods into Northern Ireland from Great Britain where those goods remain in the UK’s customs territory.
From 1 January 2021, tariffs will only be due on goods moving into Northern Ireland from Great Britain where they are destined for the EU, or where there is uncertainty or a genuine risk of onward movement.
From this week, businesses can apply for a UKTS authorisation, allowing them to self-declare goods not ‘at risk’ of moving on to the EU after entering Northern Ireland.
This means they will not be subject to EU duties on goods being sold to or used by consumers after entering Northern Ireland from Great Britain, regardless of the outcome of the UK-EU free trade agreement negotiations.
Businesses who do not sign up could have to pay tariffs on their goods, unless they are eligible to claim a waiver.
The scheme is open to traders of all sizes and across all industries who operate under the Northern Ireland Protocol (NIP).
Traders who want to declare goods not ‘at risk’ from 1 January 2021 will need to apply for authorisation by 31 December. Traders will be granted a provisional authorisation for a period of up to four months whilst HMRC processes their applications.
Those applying to HMRC for UKTS authorisation must meet some basic requirements and show that they are able to accurately declare and evidence whether goods are ‘at risk’ or not.
The government has provided £200m in funding for the Trader Support Service (TSS) which offers education and guidance on ‘at risk’ goods for NI and GB businesses.