Apply to the UK Internal Market Scheme (UKIMS)

What is the UK Internal Market Scheme (UKIMS)?

The new UK Internal Market Scheme is an enhanced and expanded trusted trader scheme which will replace the existing UK Trader Scheme. The UK Internal Market Scheme will continue to enable registered traders to move goods from Great Britain (GB) to Northern Ireland (NI) in line with existing 'not at risk' arrangements.

The UK Internal Market Scheme is now open for registration. If you want to join the UK Internal Market Scheme, you will need to apply online. Once you’re authorised, you will be able to declare your goods ‘not at risk’ if they are brought into NI for sale or final use by end consumers in the UK. Businesses who are authorised under the UK Trader Scheme will receive direct communication from HMRC to apply for the new UK Internal Market Scheme and supply some additional information.

How is the UK Internal Market Scheme different to the UK Trader Scheme?

The Windsor Framework significantly expands the number of businesses eligible to move goods as ‘not at risk’ of entering the EU through three important changes:

  • All businesses throughout the United Kingdom will now be eligible - moving away from the previous restrictions that required a physical premise in Northern Ireland.
  • It will increase the turnover threshold below which companies involved in processing can move goods, under the scheme, which they can show stay in Northern Ireland - quadrupled from the current £500,000 limit up to £2m. Check the additional requirements for goods subject to processing here.
  • Even if businesses are above that threshold, they will be eligible to move goods under the scheme if those goods are for use in the animal feed, healthcare, construction, and not-for-profit sectors. They will be able to do this even as intermediaries or if they sell on the eventual product to one subsequent entity in the supply chain. Inputs into food production will continue to benefit from inclusion in the ‘not at risk’ definition.

From 30 September 2024, it will also make sure that ‘not at risk’ movements are freed of unnecessary paperwork, checks and duties. Only existing commercial information will be needed.

 

Do I still need to apply for the UK Internal Market Scheme if I'm UK Trader Scheme authorised?

From 30 September 2023, the new UK Internal Market Scheme (UKIMS) replaced the existing UK Trader Scheme (UKTS). UKIMS enables registered traders to continue to move goods in line with existing ‘not at risk’ arrangements. From October 2024, this will also ensure that ‘not at risk’ movements are freed of unnecessary paperwork, checks and duties, with only ordinary commercial information required. As the scope and benefits of the scheme have been expanded, HMRC require UKTS authorisation holders to provide additional information to complete their enrolment onto the new scheme.

HMRC had set an advisory deadline of 31 July 2023 for UKTS traders to register for the new scheme, so that HMRC could prioritise traders’ enrolment onto UKIMS by 30 September 2023. Although that deadline has now passed, HMRC will still process registrations as quickly as possible, and traders are advised to complete this registration as soon as they can.

If the new authorisation was not processed by 30 September 2023 then, if eligible, any duties can be claimed back via the Duty Reimbursement Scheme or by claiming a Customs Duty waiver. Once traders are authorised, they can continue to declare goods ‘not at risk’ under the UK Internal Market Scheme.

 

Why is it important to apply for the UK Internal Market Scheme?

The UK Internal Market Scheme will continue to enable registered traders to move goods in line with existing 'not at risk' arrangements.

Once the Windsor Framework is fully delivered, the UK Internal Market Scheme will provide access to the new ‘Green Lane’ which means that goods moving from GB to NI will be freed of unnecessary paperwork, checks and duties, with only ordinary commercial information required.

If you are already authorised under the UK Trader Scheme, your authorisation will remain valid to declare goods as ‘not at risk’ for goods movements that take place before 30 September 2023.

 

How to apply for the UK Internal Market Scheme

To assist you with the application process, we have compiled a set of essential tips for you to take into account when completing your application.

People with significant control

  • Please provide the details of all the people with significant control of the business, such as Directors, Board Members and Business Owners, on your application.
  • Ensure you add the details of all the company directors as listed on Companies House. If there are company directors listed on Companies House but you don’t name them on your application form, this will delay your application.
  • You will also need to provide details of the people responsible for the movement of the goods – this could be an employee, including any direct representatives, in charge of your administration, or people acting in their own name on your behalf, in relation to the movement of goods under this scheme.

Records, systems, controls and evidence

  • You need to make sure that you are providing as much information as possible to answer these questions fully and show how you will meet the conditions of the scheme.
  • You should give the name of the specific software package you use to keep your records, such as accounting or logistics software, or provide some further explanation if you have a traditional or physical filing system in place.
  • Describe how you use your software or system and give specific details on how you can track goods from import to final sale or use by end consumers in the UK (e.g., logistics systems or stock control processes)
  • Clearly state the procedures you have in place to protect physical and digital information from unauthorised access, destruction, and data loss. (e.g., how do you backup your information? How do you recover any data if you lose it?)

Additional requirements for processing

  • If you move goods that will be subject to processing, you should provide as much information as possible, for example, explaining the types of goods that you will be moving, and providing details of the supply chain and your role in the supply chain.

If your form is incomplete or you don’t provide full answers, this will cause delays to your application.

Remember:

If you do not have the right information or documents to hand, you can always save and return to the form later.

To support you further, we have also produced this step-by-step video guide on the UK Internal Market application form. This video provides an example walkthrough that helps breakdown the different information that is required for you to complete this process successfully.

Note: This video recording is accurate at the time of recording, however please refer to the written guidance on NICTA for the most up to date information.

You can find more information about requirement, eligibility criteria and how to apply for the UK Internal Market Scheme authorisation on GOV.UK.

When you receive your UKIMS authorisation letter, please remember to upload a copy to your TSS profile under ‘Document Records’. This is an essential step you need to complete as TSS are required to validate your authorisation to allow you to declare goods ‘not at risk’.

If you need further information or support completing your UK Internal Market Scheme authorisation and you are already registered with Trader Support Service please contact the TSS Contact Centre who can support you with this process.

If you are not registered with the TSS, please visit our Registration page.

UK Internal Market Scheme (UKIMS) Frequently Asked Questions

Welcome to the Northern Ireland Customs & Trade Academy (NICTA) FAQ section dedicated to UKIMS. Whether you are a new or returning visitor seeking clarification, here you will find answers to the most common queries that are closely associated with the UKIMS. We will continue to update this section to reflect any changes in the information provided, or to extend the range of answers available based on any new frequently asked questions we receive. Please browse the list below to locate the information you require.

The UK Internal Market Scheme – Benefits and Changes

This third webinar on the UK internal Market Scheme (UKIMS) covers the following topics:

  • What is UKIMS
  • The benefits of UKIMS
  • How to use UKIMS
  • Case Studies/Scenarios
  • Summary of CDS Changes

UK Internal Market Scheme (UKIMS) Webinar 2

Delivered September 2023

This second webinar on the UK internal Market Scheme (UKIMS) covers the following topics:

  • The benefits of UKIMS
  • How to use UKIMS
  • Upcoming changes and key dates
  • How to avoid common mistakes when filling out a UKIMS application

UK Internal Market Scheme (UKIMS) introductory webinar

The purpose of this session was to build understanding of the new UK Internal Market Scheme; to explore the benefits of UKIMS; and to discuss the eligibility criteria that will apply. This webinar also explains the key dates you should be aware of, and the upcoming changes you should expect.

Note: This video recording is accurate at the time of recording, however please refer to the written guidance on NICTA for the most up to date information.

Step by Step guide: UK Internal Market Scheme (UKIMS) Application Form

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