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NI⇒GB: When do I need to make an export declaration?

(S,P) There are only a few situations when export declarations are required to move goods from Northern Ireland to Great Britain, argues Arne Mielken of Customs Manager Ltd


Trade between Northern Ireland and Great Britain is subject to special arrangements. There is UK legislation allowing for Northern Ireland -> Great Britain Trade to be "unfettered" and with the minimum of requirements. However, there are instances where such trade does require a customs declaration.

Will export declarations be needed for goods exported from Northern Ireland to Great Britain?

According to the Ireland / Northern Ireland Protocol, EU customs rules and procedures will continue to apply in Northern Ireland. Only Great Britain is no longer subject to EU customs law since 1 January 2021.

EU view: Export Declarations in principle

Customs formalities are therefore required for movements of goods between Northern Ireland and Great Britain, to the same extent as apply for the movements of goods to/from any EU Member State to a non-EU country. However, for certain goods, the requirements, including data or export declarations, can be provided to customs authorities using alternative means, notably ferries. While facilitating their delivery, the information stemming from these requirements must be equivalent to export declarations.

UK: No Export Declarations necessary

The agreement reached the Joint Committee confirms that exit declarations will not be

required for internal UK movements from Northern Ireland to Great Britain. This delivers on the commitments the UK Government has made and will ensure a seamless flow of goods from Northern Ireland to its most critical market in Great Britain. There are some limited exceptions where standard export procedures for NI goods will


These are where the goods are:

  • Placed under a customs special procedure in Northern Ireland;

  • in an authorised temporary storage facility; or

  • On a list of 14 Prohibitions and Restrictions which apply for movements from Northern Ireland to Great Britain.

For goods that start their journey in the EU and come to Great Britain via Northern Ireland, traders will need to comply with customs export requirements in their home Member State.

You do not need to declare most goods

You do not need to declare most goods when they move from Northern Ireland to Great Britain. You may need to declare goods you store temporarily, certain restricted goods and if you’re using ‘special procedures’

You may also need to declare:

  • controlled goods or goods you pay duty on, such as alcohol and tobacco

  • goods you’re moving under common transit


December 2021

Trading and moving goods in and out of Northern Ireland from 1 January 2021 - GOV.UK
Download PDF • 207KB

Jan 2021

Trading and moving goods in and out of N
Download • 207KB

While you are here, you may be interested in

Press Release EU: Brexit: Withdrawal Agreement to be fully operational on 1 January 2021:


Statement from the Joint Committee

New UK law: How to turn a GB product into an NI product without paying customs duty!?!

Time to get serious about Northern Ireland Trade!

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