Customs: Northern Ireland

Treasury written question – answered on 1st September 2020.

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Photo of Louise Haigh Louise Haigh Shadow Secretary of State for Northern Ireland

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what estimate HMRC has made of the number of traders in Great Britain that will make customs declarations for trade with Northern Ireland for the first time as a result of the Northern Ireland protocol arrangements.

Photo of Jesse Norman Jesse Norman The Financial Secretary to the Treasury

Declaration volumes will depend on how businesses choose to operate, and HMRC are engaging with industry to understand their operating models.

The Government’s Command Paper sets out that trade from Northern Ireland to the rest of the UK should take place as it does now. There should be no additional processes, paperwork or restrictions on Northern Ireland goods arriving in the rest of the UK. There will be unfettered access, as provided for by the Protocol.

The Government has also been clear that there will be no export or exit declarations for goods leaving the rest of the UK for Northern Ireland

For traders importing into Northern Ireland the Government has announced a major package of investment to help traders engaging in new processes under the Protocol. At the centre of this package is a new, free-to-use Trader Support Service (TSS) - an end-to-end support service which will educate traders on what the Protocol means for them and complete import and safety and security declarations on their behalf.

The TSS will be backed by funding of up to £200m, enabling businesses of all sizes who move goods between Great Britain and Northern Ireland or import goods into Northern Ireland from the Rest of the World to draw on the support it provides.

The Government has been actively engaging with businesses and has committed to giving businesses the information and support needed to be ready to make changes at the end of the transition period.

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