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Update New UK Government rules for the imports of goods to Great Britain from the EU (including Ireland) took effect in January 2024. This impacts Irish exporters. Get more information on the UK Border Target Operating Model.

The United Kingdom left the European Union on 31 January 2020 after both sides concluded a Withdrawal Agreement to facilitate an orderly departure. The Withdrawal Agreement provided for a transition period, which ended on 31 December 2020.

The EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement was concluded on 30 December 2020 and provides for tariff-free, quota-free trade between the EU and the UK and for sectoral cooperation in a number of important areas.

As the UK is no longer part of the EU Single Market and Customs Union, new procedures apply for businesses moving goods to, from or through the UK, excluding Northern Ireland. The Protocol on Ireland / Northern Ireland, which forms part of the Withdrawal Agreement agreed between the EU and the UK in 2019, means that no new procedures apply to goods moving between Northern Ireland and Ireland or the other Member States of the European Union.

In February 2023 the EU and the UK reached agreement on the Windsor Framework, a new way forward on the Protocol on Northern Ireland. The Windsor Framework sets out joint solutions on customs, agri-food, medicines, VAT and excise, as well as new instruments to ensure that the people of Northern Ireland are better heard.

The UK Government announced in August 2023 its new approach to controlling imports of goods to Great Britain from the EU (including Ireland) in the UK Border Target Operating Model (TOM) which will apply from January 2024. The new UK controls will have implications for all Irish exporters to Great Britain, particularly agri-food exporters, including those using the UK Landbridge. It is vital that impacted businesses in Ireland speak to everyone in their supply chain including transport and logistics providers and customers in Great Britain to examine what adjustments will be needed to comply with the new UK requirements.

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