Internal Market Scheme

On 30 September 2023, the UK Trader Scheme will be replaced by the Internal Market Scheme. This new scheme aims to facilitate the movement of goods from Great Britain to Northern Ireland while ensuring they do not pose a risk of being redirected to the EU. With a focus on reducing paperwork, checks, and duties, the government has introduced a “green lane” concept under the Windsor Framework, specifically designed for traders involved in transporting goods headed for Northern Ireland.

To access the benefits of the green lane, traders need to be authorised under the new UK internal market scheme (UKIMS). Authorised traders under can declare their goods as “not at risk” when bringing them into Northern Ireland for sale or final use by end consumers in the UK. This declaration means that these goods do not pose a risk of onward movement to the EU. Consequently, duty charges will not be applicable if such goods enter Northern Ireland from free circulation in Great Britain.

However, it is important to note that if “not at risk” goods enter Northern Ireland from outside the UK and EU, or if they were not in free circulation in Great Britain before entering Northern Ireland, duty charges will still apply.

One of the key advantages of using the green lane is the simplified process it offers. Traders only need to submit a simplified dataset based on commercial information, unlike the more extensive processes involved with other goods entering Northern Ireland.

It’s worth mentioning that “at risk” goods are not eligible for the green lane and will be subject to applicable EU duties.

Internal Market scheme

To take advantage of the green lane starting from 30 September 2023, traders must apply for a UKIMS authorisation. The application portal is currently open, and until the implementation of the Internal Market Scheme, traders can continue using the UK Trader Scheme for goods moving before the specified date.

To qualify for UKIMS authorisation, traders must meet the following criteria:

  1. Be established in the UK.
  2. Fulfill all compliance requirements.
  3. Meet all records, systems, controls, and evidence requirements.

Traders who transport goods into Northern Ireland for processing will be subject to additional requirements.

Upon approval of the trader’s application by HMRC, a letter containing the UKIMS authorisation number will be issued. This authorisation enables traders to declare goods as “not at risk.” Traders can seek assistance from the trader support service to help with making these declarations.

Certain goods cannot be declared as “not at risk.” This includes goods undergoing commercial processing that fail to meet the additional requirements for such a declaration. These goods will automatically be categorised as “at risk,” making them subject to EU duties.

For goods brought into Northern Ireland from Great Britain, the applicable EU duty must be zero in order for them to be treated as “not at risk.” If the goods undergo processing and the trader does not meet the additional requirements, they will not be considered “not at risk.”

Effective from 30 June 2023, the government will introduce a duty reimbursement scheme, enabling traders to reclaim EU customs duties paid on goods that were not sold or used within the EU. To be eligible for reimbursement, traders must provide the necessary evidence, and this scheme covers relevant duties paid from 1 January 2021 onwards.

Furthermore, traders transporting “at risk” goods into Northern Ireland may be eligible to claim a waiver for customs duty charges. Starting from 1 January 2024, the customs duty waiver scheme will be expanded to allow for up to €275,000 (approximately £235,000) of customs duty to be waived.

Given the complexity of these regulations, it is advisable for traders moving goods into Northern Ireland to seek professional advice. Traders currently using the UK Trader Scheme should consider applying for UKIMS authorisation at the earliest opportunity. Additionally, they should explore the potential benefits of the duty reimbursement and customs duty waiver schemes.

For more information on your specific circumstances and how the content of this article affects you, get in touch today.