BREXIT: New scheme will allow businesses to reclaim tariffs

As published on: bbc.co.uk, Friday 9th June, 2023.

A long-awaited post-Brexit scheme allowing Northern Ireland businesses to reclaim tariffs on certain goods will begin operating at the end of this month.

Tariffs are a form of trade tax paid by importers of goods and have been applied to goods classified as 'at risk' of moving into the European Union (EU) via Northern Ireland.

But there has been no way for traders to be reimbursed if they could subsequently prove the goods did not enter the EU.

The government says a reimbursement scheme is now possible due the Windsor Framework, the revised deal for NI agreed by the UK and EU earlier this year.

Tariffs will be repaid where traders are able to provide evidence that goods were sold or used in Northern Ireland, moved elsewhere within the UK or exported outside of the UK or EU.

Full guidance on the evidence traders will be required to submit will be published at a later date but is likely to include things such as sales invoices and export declarations.

The government has said the scheme is "an important part of delivering on the commitment in the Windsor Framework to support Northern Ireland's place in the United Kingdom customs territory".

The government has also published new information and guidance on how the Windsor Framework will operate for businesses.

The framework modified the 2019 Northern Ireland Protocol which kept Northern Ireland inside the EU's single market for goods.

That arrangement keeps the Irish land border open but has meant products arriving into Northern Ireland from the rest of the UK are subject to checks and controls.

The new deal should reduce the frictions on GB-to-NI trade, primarily by expanding a trusted trader scheme and introducing a system of green lanes and red lanes. at Northern Ireland ports.

Checks and controls on GB food products entering Northern Ireland were some of the biggest practical difficulties with the original protocol deal.

A more detailed timetable for the implementation of new labelling arrangements has also been issued.

"Not for EU" labelling will be required on British food products sold throughout the UK as a result of the Windsor Framework.

Under the Windsor Framework, UK public health and safety standards will apply for all retail food and drink sold in the UK internal market.

That means UK traders who send food for sale in Northern Ireland will face no routine checks and minimal paperwork.

On the other hand the introduction of "Not for EU" labels on GB food products give a level of assurance to the EU that products will not wrongly enter its single market.


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