The EU has published its proposals for simplifying some aspects of the Northern Ireland Protocol.

My sources day that it is a serious attempt to open up the dialogue around the application of the protocol.

The proposals were in broad terms communicated abd shared with the UK government.

They include a plan for ensuring the continued supply of medicines from Great Britain to Northern Ireland.

You can read the article here: Brexit: EU publishes proposals to simplify NI Protocol

The UK government says the plans do not go far enough.

Source: BBCNews

At the June 2021 WCO Council Session a revised edition of the SAFE Framework of Standards was adopted.

The SAFE Framework of Standards from the World Customs Organization (WCO) was first adopted in 2005 and it is the leading instrument for standardizarion of international trade

The new version includes provisions to strengthen co-operation between Customs and Other Government Agencies; promote smart security devices to optimize Customs control and effectively monitor the movement of goods in a real-time basis; and develop regional Customs AEO.

WCO states: ’Against the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic, to bolster the resilience and recovery of global supply chains, the “AEO Implementation and Validation Guidance” was developed by upgrading the three current documents “AEO Implementation Guidance”, “AEO Template” and “Customs AEO Validator Guide”. The new Guidance brings together the best practices, knowledge and lessons learned from Members in order to simplify the AEO implementation process and align the AEO requirements with Customs validation processes. It also introduces a suggested approach to virtual re-validations and the use of modern technologies to support business continuity and to ensure the resilience of the AEO programmes during a pandemic’.

Also, a new review cycle has commenced, which will see the next iteration of SAFE being published in June 2024.

You can find the new version of the SAFE Framework of Standards, here: WCO SAFE 2021

Prime Minister Boris Johnson spoke with the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen yesterday.

They discussed the UK’s Command Paper on the Northern Ireland Protocol published yesterday.

According to GOV.COM the Prime Minister set out that the way the Protocol was currently operating was unsustainable. Solutions could not be found through the existing mechanisms of the Protocol. That was why UK Government has set out proposals for significant changes to it.

He urged the EU to look at those proposals seriously and work with the UK on them. There is a huge opportunity to find reasonable, practical solutions to the difficulties facing people and businesses in Northern Ireland, and thereby to put the relationship between the UK and the EU on a better footing. They agreed to remain in touch.