Northern Ireland ― moving goods between GB and NI

Produced by Tolley

The following Value Added Tax guidance note Produced by Tolley provides comprehensive and up to date tax information covering:

  • Northern Ireland ― moving goods between GB and NI
  • Are customs declarations required for goods moving between Great Britain and Northern Ireland?
  • Goods moving from Great Britain to Northern Ireland
  • Goods moving from Northern Ireland to Great Britain
  • What is the VAT status of goods moving between Great Britain and Northern Ireland?
  • What are the VAT accounting rules for goods moving between Great Britain and Northern Ireland?
  • Goods transported to Great Britain from an EU member state via Northern Ireland
  • Movements of own goods
  • Movements between VAT group members
  • Transfers of goods in other specific circumstances
  • More...

Northern Ireland ― moving goods between GB and NI

This guidance note looks at special arrangements that apply for movements of goods between Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

Further in-depth commentary on the law can be found in De Voil Indirect Tax Service V1.301 and V3.360.

Northern Ireland is given special status under the terms of the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement under the Protocol on Ireland / Northern Ireland as described in the Northern Ireland ― overview guidance note.

Are customs declarations required for goods moving between Great Britain and Northern Ireland?

In certain circumstances, customs declarations are required for goods moving between Great Britain and Northern Ireland. These requirements are explored at a high level below.

Goods moving from Great Britain to Northern Ireland

When goods move from Great Britain to Northern Ireland, there is no requirement for the goods to be declared when they leave Great Britain. However, an import declaration is required when the goods arrive in Northern Ireland.

In order to deal with the complexity arising out of this obligation (and other requirements), a Trader Support Service was launched. This service is free for traders to sign up to and is available to all traders. The service deals with formalities such as import declarations on behalf of traders.

Goods moving from Northern Ireland to Great Britain

With limited exceptions, customs declarations are not required when goods move from Northern Ireland to the rest of the UK.

As for goods moving from GB to NI, a Trader Support Service can be used to assist with formalities such as customs declarations where they are required.

What is the VAT status of goods moving between Great Britain and Northern Ireland?

From the EU perspective, the European Commission has suggested that when goods move between Great Britain and Northern Ireland, the position will be broadly as follows:

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