In its Command Paper published on 21 July 2021, HM Government set out proposals for a new balance in how the Northern Ireland Protocol (NIP) should operate. A copy of the paper can be viewed here.

On Wednesday 13 October, the EU published its response to the Command Paper, setting out proposals for bespoke arrangements. The response can be viewed here.

UK Government officials are now working closely with their EU counterparts. Both sets of proposals will be discussed intensively to see if the gaps between the proposals can be bridged and a solution found which delivers the significant change needed.

What does this mean for traders?

  • None of the reported changes, or documents shared this week by either party on the NIP, have yet been agreed. Both the UK and EU have shared proposals with each other and discussions continue
  • Existing arrangements will continue for now
  • Traders should continue to meet the requirements of the NIP as currently being operated, Including a requirement for the ongoing submission of Supplementary declarations
  • Businesses in Great Britain without their own fixed address in NI can continue to be authorised for the UK Trader Scheme, provided they meet the scheme’s other existing requirements
  • The existing approach to post and parcels movements from GB to NI will continue
  • HM Government will ensure that reasonable notice is provided if the current approach changes, to enable businesses to make appropriate preparations