Posted: Tue 22nd Dec 2020
Small businesses supplying plants, products of animal origin and other goods are being encouraged to self-certify for a three month grace period for new Brexit rules on moving products from Great Britain to Northern Ireland.
At the end of the UK's EU exit transition period on 31 December, Northern Ireland (NI) will remain in the EU single market. As a result, new processes for moving products from Great Britain to Northern Ireland will come into force.
To help businesses deal with the new rules, the government says they will not be introduced until 1 April. The three month grace period covers products of animal origin (POAO), composite products, food and feed not of animal origin, and plants and plant products.
The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs said it is compiling a list of businesses that can take advantage of the delayed rules. They apply to 'authorised traders' which are supermarkets and their trusted suppliers.
In a statement, Defra said: "The UK government will not discriminate against smaller suppliers or between different companies in recognising traders as authorised for the purpose of this grace period."
The statement added: "a trusted supplier is one that independently moves its end product from GB to NI, for sale in NI. For example, a meat pie manufacturer that moves its own products from GB to NI, which delivers its products directly to a store for sale solely within NI would be in scope.
"However, where a meat pie producer delivers products to a supermarket distribution centre in GB, which is then moved by the supermarket to NI, the producer would not qualify (but would not need to - the supermarket would be the authorised trader for that movement into Northern Ireland)."
Although Defra is drawing up a list of authorised traders, suppliers can also self-identify by completing the authorised traders form. The form must be completed in full and include:
company affiliation (if a supplier)
head office address
Northern Ireland distribution address (if relevant)
The form must be sent to email@example.com by 5pm on 28 December 2020.
You can also email the same address if you have any questions about your eligibility. The emailed response will either confirm that your business is included on the authorised traders list and provide a unique registration number or contain a rejection letter with reasoning and steps to resolution. Businesses can challenge rejections via email until 28 December 2020.
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