People moving to Northern Ireland from Great Britain could have to use a customs declaration for their possessions under new post-Brexit rules.
The UK Government has advised that anyone using a removal company or another person to move their own personal belongings will need them to register for the goods vehicle movement system.
However, anyone personally moving their belongings will not need a declaration and can avoid filling out a safety and security declaration at their point of entry.
Moving companies and those moving other people’s possessions will need to make a customs declaration and may also need to make a safety and security declaration.
Those businesses affected and can sign up for the Trader Support Service. It guides people through the new customs declaration process. There are no limits on people wishing to move from Great Britain to Northern Ireland and vice-versa.
The changes have come about as part of the Northern Ireland Protocol which treats Northern Ireland differently from the rest of the UK under post-Brexit rules, creating a trade border in the Irish Sea.
A number of leading unionist politicians have called for the Government to invoke Article 16 of the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement and suspend the protocol.
Since the end of the Brexit transition period a number of companies have reported difficulties transporting goods from Great Britain to Northern Ireland.
There have been reports of empty shelves at supermarkets across Northern Ireland.
The UUP have tabled an Assembly recall petition in an attempt to get the Executive to take action around the issues resulting from the protocol.
In response to the call Alliance MP Dr Stephen Farry said “beware those offering populist, simplistic solutions. Article 16 doesn’t offer a remedy. No major business organisation is calling for this”.
“Problems re poor preperation on GB side can be fixed with better info. With genuine structural problems, only route is for UK EU to find solutions together,” the North Down MP wrote on social media.
The UUP MLA Roy Beggs, who tabled the recall petition, said the Irish Sea border “is causing horrendous difficulties for hauliers and this is being seen in shops and businesses across Northern Ireland. It is damaging the Northern Ireland economy and the situation is escalating”.
“The UK Government needs to act before we face further serious disruptions to the economy in Northern Ireland. I have therefore tabled a petition to recall the Northern Ireland Assembly calling on the First and deputy First Ministers to ask the UK Government to intervene and relax the rules on trade flows between Great Britain and Northern Ireland,” the East Antrim representative said.
“I would call on other parties to sign this motion. Each have vowed to protect Northern Ireland’s best interests and the Assembly can send a strong message by speaking with one voice. This is too urgent an issue to wait until the Assembly returns.”
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