Apply for authorisation for the UK Trader Scheme if you bring goods into Northern Ireland

From 1 January 2021, if you bring goods into Northern Ireland from Great Britain or a country outside of the EU, you may be liable to pay EU customs duty.

If you intend to bring goods into Northern Ireland which you know are not ‘at risk’ of moving to the EU, then you can apply for authorisation under the UK Trader Scheme.

If your goods are not ‘at risk’ then you will 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.

Who can apply?

To apply you must be either:

  • established in Northern Ireland
  • established elsewhere in the UK and
    • your customs operations are carried out in the UK
    • you have a fixed place of business in Northern Ireland, for example, a branch or a store where goods are sold to, or provided for final use by, end-consumers
    • you have an indirect customs representative in Northern Ireland – such as the Trader Support Service

You must also:

  • have a good customs and tax compliance record
  • have no record of serious criminal offences related to your economic activity
  • have records, systems and controls in place that allow you to declare and evidence that goods are not ‘at risk’, for example, that the goods are sold to customers in Northern Ireland – these must be accessible at your business premises in Northern Ireland
  • be able to provide evidence on request from HMRC to confirm that your goods were correctly declared as not ‘at risk’
  • If you move goods into Northern Ireland to be processed, you’ll need to meet additional conditions to declare these goods not ‘at risk’.

Your compliance record will be based on the last 3 years prior to application. During that period, you must not have committed a serious infringement or repeated infringements of customs rules.

If you have been established for less than 3 years, then your compliance will be judged on the records and information available, including your involvement in previous businesses.