Find out if you need to pay tariffs on the goods you bring to Northern Ireland because they are ‘at risk’ of onward movement to the EU.
New rules for January 2021
The UK has left the EU, and the transition period after Brexit comes to an end this year.
This page tells you what you’ll need to do from 1 January 2021. It will be updated if anything changes.
Check what else you need to do during the transition period.
From 1 January, you will need to make declarations and may need to pay any tariffs due when bringing goods into Northern Ireland from Great Britain or from countries outside of the EU. Whether you have to pay duty, and how much that duty is, will depend on where you are bringing the goods from and whether they are ‘at risk’ of onward movement to the EU.
If you intend to bring into Northern Ireland goods which you know are not ‘at risk’ of moving to the EU, then you’ll need to apply for an authorisation for the UK Trader Scheme.
If your goods are not ‘at risk’ then you’ll either pay:
- zero duty if moving goods into Northern Ireland from Great Britain
- UK duty if moving goods from a country outside the EU
If you do not have experience in customs or would like to find out more information, you can register with the Trader Support Service to support you with this process.
When goods are not ‘at risk’ of onward movement to the EU
The Government has reached an agreement in principle with the EU as to when goods moving into Northern Ireland are considered not ‘at risk’ of onward movement into the EU under the terms of the Protocol. This is set out in more detail in the Command Paper on The Northern Ireland Protocol and the full legal text is set out in a draft decision of the UK and EU withdrawal agreement joint committee.
Goods are not ‘at risk’ where either:
- the applicable UK tariff is equal to or higher than the applicable EU tariff – for movements into Northern Ireland from Great Britain, this covers goods where the EU tariff is zero
- goods are brought into Northern Ireland for sale to, or final use by, end consumers located in Northern Ireland or, for internal UK trade, elsewhere in the UK
Goods moved for sale to, or final use by, end consumers will be considered not ‘at risk’ when moved by businesses authorised under the UK Trader Scheme.
The UK Trader Scheme is not available where goods enter Northern Ireland from a country outside of the EU and the UK, and the differential between the UK and the EU tariff is 3% or more.
There are also specific rules that apply if your goods are entering Northern Ireland for processing.
If your goods are ‘at risk’ of going from Northern Ireland into the EU, then the EU tariff will apply.
Even if your goods are subject to the EU tariff when brought into Northern Ireland from Great Britain, you may be eligible to claim a waiver. Guidance will follow shortly.
Goods being brought into Northern Ireland for commercial processing
The Northern Ireland Protocol treats goods entering Northern Ireland for processing differently. If you are bringing goods into Northern Ireland for processing and your turnover is below £500,000 in your most recent financial year, you can apply through the UK Trader Scheme to be able to declare goods as not ‘at risk’ in line with the treatment of other goods.
You can also apply to the UK Trader Scheme for authorisation to be able to declare goods for processing as not ‘at risk’ if the goods you intend to bring into Northern Ireland are for certain purposes. These include goods for processing where the purpose is:
- food for sale to end consumers in the UK
- construction, direct health and care provision, and not for profit activities carried out by importers in Northern Ireland
- processing of animal feed for final use at premises located in Northern Ireland by the importer
Apply for authorisation to declare goods not ‘at risk
To declare your goods not ‘at risk’ from 1 January 2021, you must have applied for your UK Trader Scheme authorisation by 31 December 2020.
If you apply before the end of February 2021, then you will be granted a provisional authorisation while we process your application. During this time you may declare goods as not ‘at risk’.
Applications received after the end of February 2021 will be processed as normal. This can typically take up to a month, so you must ensure you apply one month before you plan to declare goods as not ‘at risk’.
To apply, you will need to:
- Complete the form on screen, by selecting ‘Start now’.
- Save the form onto your computer.
- Email the completed form to: firstname.lastname@example.org with the supporting documentation, quoting your EORI number in the subject of the email.
You should complete the application form and submit to HMRC with proof of permanent business establishment or document of establishment. You may also provide evidence of your record keeping to supplement the information provided in your application, but this is not mandatory.
We will not reply to queries to sent to this mailbox.
Further guidance will follow on what you need and how to apply. For support throughout this process you may register with the Trader Support Service.
If you have a known history of serious non-compliance or criminal offences relating to your economic activity, then you are not eligible for a provisional authorisation.