Update on trade with Northern Ireland - The Windsor Framework
Posted on 25th April 2023 at 15:29
The implementation of the Northern Ireland Protocol in January 2021 following Brexit quickly became a source of political as well as economic challenge, with difficulties in the movement of goods between Northern Ireland (NI) and Great Britain (GB) amplified by continuing political struggles in NI. A new agreement between the European Commission and UK government has resulted in an amendment to the original Protocol, named the Windsor Framework, which seeks to address a number of these challenges.
The Windsor Framework was agreed in principle between Brussels and Westminster in February 2023 and whilst specific details as to how the new Framework will be implemented are still to be confirmed, there have been a few early indications given in the new guidance.
As it stands, all goods shipping from GB to NI are subject to a full suite of checks, no matter the destination on the island of Ireland, the key benefits being the provision for free movement of goods between NI and the Republic of Ireland (ROI), as NI remains in the European Union's single market, without customs checks, tariffs or additional paperwork.
However, under the new Windsor Framework, there will effectively be two lanes for goods shipping from GB to NI -
'Green Lane' for goods shipping exclusively into NI with no intention of shipping into ROI. Such goods will not be subjected to EU laws, checks and controls. The need for certificates for certain food types will be removed, alongside a range of red tape measures.
'Red Lane' for goods continuing their journey through NI but imported into ROI. These goods will be subject to full checks on import to NI.
Goods which were banned, such as seed potatoes and sausages, can be freely shipped once more, and plants and seeds intended for sale in garden centres will be free to move as part of the EU internal market. These were key sticking points within the original Northern Ireland Protocol, and so will be gladly welcomed by producers in GB.
There can be no doubt that for NI businesses to return to having full, unconditional and unfettered access to their most important trade market of GB will be hugely positive. The team of European specialists at Boast International are watching the developments with great interest and will be joining webinars to understand how the new processes will be implemented. It is an area which will be hugely beneficial to our customers so will be ready to assist in time for the change in legislation.
Please contact our European specialists to see how we can assist with shipping goods between Great Britain and Northern Ireland going forwards!
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