Moving goods to or from Northern Ireland

All Irish Sea movements from GB to Northern Ireland will move under a pre-lodgement model. This will mean that all consignments must have completed a Safety & Security declaration alongside an Import declaration before it can be shipped from GB to NI. 

The pre-lodgement model is when both the importer and exporter has completed the customs formalities along with the haulier completing any safety and security declarations and pre-lodgement processes prior to arriving at the port of departure.  

The pre-lodgement will ensure that delays at terminals are minimised as loads will clear customs during the crossing. Some goods will still be subject to routine and random checks following discharge. These checks may be related to customs but will primarily be related to Sanitary & Phytosanitary (SPS) controls that involves the movement of products of plant or animal origin. 


Register for the Trader Support Service 
The Trader Support Service (TSS) will provide free training and support for businesses for customs processes that will arise for goods moving between GB and NI. The Trader Support Service can provide support in registering for an EORI number, understanding Incoterms and in making declarations for goods moving from GB to NI. Even if you are not sure whether you will buy from/sell to GB in the next year, it is worth registering just in case. 

Guidance available here.


Trader Journey Overview for GB-NI trade 

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. An overview of the data requirements to keep goods moving between GB and NI and the role of GVMS in doing that can be found here.


Get an EORI number 
From 1 January 2021 you’ll need an EORI number that starts with XI to: 

  • move goods between Northern Ireland and non-EU countries;
  • make a declaration in Northern Ireland;
  • get a customs decision in Northern Ireland .

To get an EORI number that starts with XI, you must already have an EORI number that starts with GB. 

If you do not have one, apply as soon as possible, you can apply here.

If you already have an EORI number that starts with GB and HMRC thinks you need one that starts with XI, they’ll automatically send you one in mid-December 2020. 


Find out the commodity code for goods you buy or sell

If you buy from/sell to GB, you will need to know the commodity codes for the goods you purchase and sell. For goods you purchase, you should speak to your supplier, they may be able to tell you the code. You can also check the code using the Trade tariff  here.

You should check the tariffs applicable under the EU Common External Tariffs and UK Global Tariff (UKGT). 


Assess your exposure to changes 

Use Invest NI’s EU Exit Resilience Tool to assess where you will need to make changes. The tool is free and available to all businesses. 

EU Exit Resilience Tool is designed to enable your business take a view on where your strengths lie, where you may be vulnerable following the UK’s exit from the EU and what action you may need to take. 

You will be able to score your business readiness against the areas most likely to be impacted by EU Exit post the transition period and COVID-19 crisis. The tool will help you understand your business’ current and future needs, create contingency plans and take key actions to prepare for the future. 

It will take you around 15 minutes to complete the tool and there are 28 questions split across seven areas that are critical to your business’ sustainability and growth. 

The Invest NI EU Exit Resilience Tool can be found here.

HMRC guidance presentation on Haulier Readiness for the Northern Ireland Protocol: 

Guidance on what hauliers and traders must to prepare and ensure good continue to move efficiently can be found Here 

This includes details on: 

  • Entry Summary Declaration  
  • Goods declarations 
  • Ports and Supply Chains 
  • Movement of goods from GB to NI Pre-lodgement model 
  • Movement of goods from NI – GB 
  • Movement of goods from NI – GB Pre-lodgement model
  • Movement of goods from Northern Ireland to Republic of Ireland/EU 
  • Grants 


Business requirements for Safety & Security – GB and NI 

Under the agreed terms of the Northern Ireland Protocol, Safety and Security requirements will be required for goods entering NI from GB. These will be required for a consignment before it is permitted to depart from a GB port to NI. 

To find out more about this requirement and advice on how they are administered please click Here 


Keeping Northern Ireland and Great Britain Trading 

This document identifies the key priorities to keep Northern Ireland and Great Britain’s supply chains and trade moving as efficiently as possible. It includes key statistics on trade and freight for Northern Ireland with Great Britain and the Republic of Ireland. It also includes our key asks from government in 2020 to ensure continuity of trade. The paper can be found Here 


Moving goods to Republic of Ireland from Great Britain 

For details on procedures for shipping goods via RoRo ex GB to the Republic of Ireland then click Here