Guidance has been published by the Construction Leadership Council on the movement of goods and materials into and between Great Britain and Northern Ireland. following the end of the Brexit transition period. In this article, we will be focusing on the post-Brexit movement of materials, which of course will heavily affect this industry. Below is a quick overview of some key legislation, but make sure to thoroughly read and understand all official government documentation for the full details.
Customs Regime-Importing Goods and Materials
The British Government has declared that when the UK leaves the transition period with the European Union, it will also leave the EU Customs Union, beginning its custom regime as an independent trading state. Note that this is applicable if the deal is or is not secured with the European Union. The UK will establish its own customs territory. This will mean that UK businesses who import goods will need to prepare to comply with the new customs rules, active 1st January 2021. A business would now need to make customs declarations on goods imported from the EU.
Trade-in Goods and Materials Between GB and NI
If no deal is secured between the UK and the EU, the movement of goods and materials will be governed by the NI Protocol within the Withdrawal Agreement. This protocol was designed to ensure the continued flow of goods and materials between GB and NI and NI and the ROI, at the same time as respecting both the UK’s internal market and the EU’s Single Market. The UK Government has promised that GB and NI will have ‘unfettered access’ which essentially means that there will be no additional process or paperwork, that is with no restrictions on NI goods arriving in GB. This will indicate there being no tariffs or quotas between goods leaving NI and arriving in GB. Also, there will be no tariffs levied on goods entering NI and remaining within the UK customs territory, only goods entering Ireland or at a clear and substantial risk of doing so will face tariffs.
There will be some limited additional process on goods entering NI, however, the Government plans to deal with this “flexibly and discreetly”-and there will be no new physical infrastructure. The Protocol does mean that UK authorities will apply EU customs rules to goods entering NI, including a new regulatory process for traders such as new electronic import declaration requirements and safety and security information for goods entering NI from GB. There will however be no export declaration, exit declaration or customs and regulatory clearance for any goods. We are expecting further information to be confirmed by the UK Government between now and the expiration of the transition period. For now, the UK Government has launched the ‘Trader Support Service’ to help guide businesses through the process. This is free and the TSS can complete declarations on your business’ behalf.
Trade-In Goods and Materials Between NI and ROI
The order avoids the need for a hard border and any new customs infrastructure between NI and ROIG, with the government stating there will be no large change for the movement of goods between NI and the EU. NI will proceed to be able to trade freely with the EU Single Market and any approvals or certifications secured by NI businesses to place goods on the EU market will be recognised when placing the same goods on the GB market. Businesses will continue to need to provide Intrastat declarations for these types of movements into 2021 and going forward after that date.