Northern Ireland

Navigating the Northern Ireland Protocol

Northern Ireland Port

A Unique Position for Cross-Border Trade

Although part of the UK, Northern Ireland’s physical location contiguous to the Republic of Ireland puts it in a unique position for trade. There is no more complicated customs situation than in Northern Ireland, being in the UK customs territory and in the EU Single Market for goods at the same time. We strive to keep you up to date on this situation and the benefits available for traders in Northern Ireland.

CAS is a centralised, collaborative platform designed to automate regional and worldwide customs declarations quickly and accurately, future-proofing your customs compliance. A CAS subscription combined with our Managed Customs Services for declarations is about half the cost of collaborating with customs brokers. Do you want to save costs while increasing efficiency?  

Automated filing-truck

Automated Filing

C4T automates the filing of import, export, and transit declarations from end to end with our zero-touch customs management solution, CAS.

Integrations, web, technology


  • GVMS
  • NCTS
  • ICS NI
Port Community Systems

Port Community Systems

  • Compass

Agrifood imports from GB to NI: grace period extended

The grace period for imports of some fresh products of animal origin (meat, fish, eggs, and dairy products) from Great Britain to Northern Ireland has been extended indefinitely. On October 1, 2021, the British government was expected to introduce customs enforcement on parcels moving from Great Britain into Northern Ireland, new charges on some agri-food products taking that route, and increased health checks on food products as well as checks on pets arriving in Northern Ireland from the rest of the UK. All of these changes have been delayed as the UK and EU continue deliberations on protocol.

Movement Assistance Scheme: Help for agrifoods goods entering Northern Ireland from Great Britain

Until the end of 2023, traders moving agrifood goods from GB to NI are eligible for government support and subsidies to cover certification costs and inspections. In July of 2021, the scheme was extended to include: 

  • the Plant Health Exports Audited Trader Scheme (PHEATS) 

  • exporters in Great Britain who move organics solely to Northern Ireland, and Northern Irish importers who face new costs to receive these goods from Great Britain 

  • scrapies testing for sheep exports

  • sample testing and certification required for individual seed lots

HMRC has provided detailed documentation on which costs are covered for traders. 

Using the UK Trader Scheme in Northern Ireland

Previously, the UK trader scheme required NI traders to have an XI EORI number, which required evidence of a permanent business established in Northern Ireland or indirect representation that carried restrictions. HMRC has issued an easement to application requirements so NI traders can now apply for the UK trader scheme using their GB EORI if they don’t have an XI and don’t require one for any other purpose.

Pre-notification for Sanitary and Phytosanitary goods entering Northern Ireland

Under the Northern Ireland Protocol (NIP), Northern Ireland remains in the same Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) zone as the EU.

Imports of Animals and Animal Products

SPS goods arriving via a Northern Ireland port of entry must be pre-notified in TRACES NT at least 24 hours in advance. This involves completing Part 1 of a Common Health Entry Document (CHED) as well as providing any relevant documentation. This includes export health certificates (EHCs) for the movement of live animals and animal products. Northern Ireland’s Department of Agriculture, Environment, and Rural Affairs (DAERA) has provided detailed instructions on pre-notification and document requirements.

Imports of Plants and Plant Products

Businesses moving plants from GB to NI must be registered with DAERA Forest Service Plant Health. Imports of plants and controlled plant products must be pre-notified to DAERA via TRACES no less than one working day in advance of arrival (four working hours if arriving by air).  This involves completing Part 1 of the Common Health Entry Document (CHED-PP). Copies of the accompanying phytosanitary certificate must also be uploaded.

DAERA has published guidance on how to register for TRACES NT. C4T’s Managed Customs Services can support SPS requirements via TRACES, IPAFFS, and other country-specific agrifood portals. 

Points of Entry

All agri-food goods, plants, and animals entering Northern Ireland from all third countries, including GB, must do so via a Northern Ireland Point of Entry (POE) which has been approved by the European Union.

DAERA has designated the following as POEs for the purposes of SPS checks:

  • Belfast Port;
  • Larne Harbour;
  • Warrenpoint Port;
  • Foyle Port; and
  • Belfast International Airport.

Further details on the POEs, their inspection facilities, and the category of goods that may be inspected at each of these facilities is available at Points of Entry listings.

Safety and Security exemptions for Northern Ireland

Safety and security (S&S) regulations mandate pre-arrival information for all consignments entering the UK, including EU countries as of 1 July 2022. However, exemptions apply for most consignments from NI: 

  • No Entry Summary (ENS) declaration is needed for goods entering the rest of the UK from NI. 
  • No export declarations or Exit Summary (EXS) declarations need to be submitted for goods leaving NI to the rest of the UK.  

The only exceptions to these arrangements between the UK and NI will be for goods falling within the limited number of procedures relating to specific international obligations binding the UK and the EU, for example, obligations on the movement of endangered species or situations where traders want to use Special Procedures


While a customs declaration is not required for NI trade with the EU, under the Northern Ireland Protocol, there is a requirement to collect trade statistics for goods moving between NI and the EU. Therefore, the requirement remains for Intrastat reporting for UK VAT-registered businesses which exceed the reporting thresholds.

What is required in terms of trade tariffs and duty measures for at-risk movements to Northern Ireland?

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Faster Filing for Imports, Exports, and Transit

With one single message, CAS simultaneously files an export declaration from the country of departure and an import declaration in the country of destination, combined with transit to ensure frictionless border crossing. In the background, our Legal Content team keeps CAS up to date with all the latest legislation for each country so you can rest assured your shipments will clear customs with the proper documentation.  

Leverage Special Procedures to Save on Customs Duty and VAT

The CAS Special Procedures module supports transit along with other cost-saving Special Procedures, including Customs warehousing (CWH), Inward Processing (IP), Outward Processing (OP), End Use, Temporary Storage, and Temporary Admission. This value-added module integrates with the CAS Declarations module to produce the declarations and inventory reporting necessary to claim customs duty and VAT savings allowed through Special Procedures. 

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