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No customs formalities between the EU and Northern Ireland

The Trade and Cooperation Agreement concluded on 24 December 2020 sets the current framework within which trade between the EU and Great Britain is conducted.

However, a derogation for Northern Ireland was already in place based on of the Ireland/Northern Ireland Protocol, which is an integral part of the withdrawal agreement (Agreement on the withdrawal of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland from the European Union and the European Atomic Energy Community, OJ L 29 of 31 January 2020).

In accordance with the Protocol, Northern Ireland follows the Customs Code of the Union (DWU) and the EU tariff system. The main reason is to avoid a difficult border between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland.

In accordance with the protocol, Northern Ireland follows the Customs Code of the Union (CDU) and the EU tariff system. The main reason is to avoid a hard border between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland.

Customs formalities

In practice, no customs formalities apply to trade between the Member States of the European Union and Northern Ireland. This arrangement also applies to e-commerce.

EORI and companies

The EORI numbers for Northern Ireland, identified by the prefix XI, can be used in the EU-27. Companies based in Northern Ireland can act as exporters or importers in the EU. Please note that supplies of services are not exempt .

Authorizations

Companies can apply for (EU) permits in Northern Ireland. HMRC, the British administration, is then responsible for delivery according to EU rules. An extension of a Belgian customs authorization with a place in Northern Ireland is also possible (e.g. a place of processing in an inward processing authorization).

Travel

Residents of Northern Ireland cannot benefit from the VAT recovery system.

Movement of goods between Great Britain and Northern Ireland

The exceptions for the movement of goods between Northern Ireland and Great Britain (read: the United Kingdom without the territory of Northern Ireland) are an internal matter supervised by the EU.