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NI: UK Internal Market Scheme (Northern Ireland)

Maximize Tax Benefits: A Guide to Applying for the UK Internal Market Scheme (UKIMS)

Discover how the UK Internal Market Scheme (UKIMS) can revolutionize your customs & tax strategy in Northern Ireland.

Table of Contents

1. Executive Summary

2. Introduction

3. Background

4. Main Points

- What is UKIMS?

- Benefits of UKIMS

- Importance of Applying for UKIMS

5. Conclusions

6. Actionable Recommendations

Executive Summary

The UK Internal Market Scheme (UKIMS) offers a strategic advantage to traders operating in Northern Ireland, providing opportunities to streamline tax procedures and benefit from favorable market conditions. This guide elucidates the significance of UKIMS, its benefits, and practical insights to optimize customs & duty benefits in Northern Ireland.


The landscape of trade in Northern Ireland is evolving, marked by the introduction of the UK Internal Market Scheme (UKIMS). Designed to facilitate seamless movement of goods and maximize tax benefits, UKIMS holds immense potential for businesses across various sectors. Understanding its intricacies and implications is paramount for traders aiming to harness its advantages effectively.


The inception of the Windsor Framework has catalyzed significant changes in Northern Ireland's trading dynamics, particularly through the UKIMS. These alterations broaden eligibility criteria and enhance turnover thresholds, rendering more businesses eligible to operate under favorable customs & tax conditions. Such amendments underscore the importance of staying abreast of regulatory shifts to capitalize on emerging opportunities.

Main Points

1. Understanding UKIMS: The UK Internal Market Scheme simplifies the movement of goods by enabling traders to declare them as 'not at risk,' thereby minimizing tax liabilities. Businesses authorized under UKIMS can navigate the market with ease, benefiting from reduced duties and streamlined processes.

2. Benefits of UKIMS: Authorized traders gain access to a host of advantages, including exemption from duties on goods entering Northern Ireland from GB and enhanced market accessibility. Moreover, the forthcoming 'Green Lane' under the Windsor Framework promises expedited trade processes, further augmenting the scheme's appeal.

3. Importance of Applying for UKIMS: Timely application for UKIMS is imperative for traders seeking to capitalize on its benefits. By adhering to application guidelines and furnishing requisite information, businesses can expedite the authorization process and position themselves favorably in the market.


How can my business register for the UK Internal Market Scheme (UKIMS) entail?

Registration for the UK Internal Market Scheme is presently underway. Interested parties can submit their applications online to participate in the scheme. At Customs Manager Ltd. we have helped many companies successfully apply for UKIMS.

What is the benefit of being registered under the UK Internal Market Scheme (UKIMS)?

Upon approval, participants gain the privilege to classify their merchandise as 'not at risk' upon entry into Northern Ireland, destined for sale or utilization by consumers within the UK.

The UK Internal Market Scheme will persist in facilitating registered traders to transport goods in adherence to the prevailing 'not at risk' protocols.

What is the treatment for "Goods not at risk"?

Goods that are 'not at risk':

  • will not be charged duty when entering Northern Ireland from free circulation in GB (England, Scotland, and Wales).

  • will be charged UK duty if brought into NI from outside the European Union (EU) and the United Kingdom (UK).

  •  will be charged UK duty if brought into NI from GB and the goods were not in free circulation in GB.

Who can apply?

All UK-based businesses can apply, with an annual turnover threshold (for businesses engaged in processing goods) up to £2 million.

What happens when I get my UKIMS authorisation?

If you have UKIMS authorization, you will also have access to the Windsor Framework green lane, which will open in September 2024, for goods moving from GB into NI. Goods moving through the green lane will not be subject to the same processes as other goods entering NI. They only need to submit a simplified dataset based on commercial information.

What is the meaning of the ‘Green Lane’?

This signifies that commodities transitioning from GB to NI will be relieved of superfluous paperwork, inspections, and levies, necessitating solely standard commercial data.

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.

Valuable guidance for UK Internal Market Scheme applications

Ownership & Person Responsbile

When completing your application, ensure you furnish comprehensive details, particularly concerning individuals wielding significant control within your business, such as Directors, Board Members, and Business Owners. It's imperative to include all company directors listed on Companies House to prevent processing delays. Additionally, provide information about individuals responsible for goods movement, be it employees or direct representatives overseeing administrative tasks or managing goods under the scheme.

Ensure meticulous documentation and systems

Thoroughly address all application questions, showcasing how you intend to meet scheme requirements. Specify the software package utilized for record-keeping, whether it's an accounting software or logistics system. Alternatively, if you employ a physical filing system, provide detailed insights into its functioning. Articulate your processes for tracking goods from import to final sale or utilization by UK consumers, encompassing logistics systems or stock control procedures. Clearly delineate protocols for safeguarding physical and digital information against unauthorized access, destruction, or data loss, elucidating backup and recovery measures.

Address additional processing requirements

If your business engages in processing goods, furnish detailed information regarding the types of goods involved, supply chain specifics, and your role therein. Comprehensive disclosure of such details enhances the application's robustness and expedites processing.

To avoid delays in application processing, ensure all sections in the application form are completed comprehensively. Incomplete or insufficiently answered sections may impede the application's progress.

Moving goods to the EU

If you're contemplating whether you can apply for UKIMS while also conducting goods movements into the EU, the answer is affirmative. However, certain considerations are essential to bear in mind:

  • For goods imported into Northern Ireland (NI) and Great Britain (GB), they can be designated as 'not at risk' if intended for sale or utilization by end consumers in NI (or England, Wales, and Scotland for movements from GB). Nonetheless, it's crucial to retain requisite supporting evidence for each consignment transported into NI.

  • Conversely, if your goods are destined for the EU or other global destinations, your UKIMS authorization cannot be utilized to classify them as 'not at risk.' Consequently, such 'at risk' goods will be subject to applicable EU duties.

If You Cannot confirm that the goods are "not at risk"

To utilize the 'green lane' with your UKIMS authorization for goods movement, it's imperative to confirm during transit that your goods are deemed 'not at risk.'

Failure to ascertain the destination of your goods at the time of movement and inability to confirm their 'not at risk' status preclude eligibility for the green lane.

However, for goods ineligible under UKIMS, traders can access the newly introduced Duty Reimbursement Scheme. This scheme offers comprehensive coverage, allowing traders to benefit if they can demonstrate that the goods in question did not ultimately enter the EU.

Moreover, all businesses already have access to the existing Customs Duty Waiver Scheme, further facilitating trade operations.

Indirect Representative

Are you wondering what an indirect customs representative is? If you're filling out an application form, you'll be asked if you're a trader who is established or has a fixed place of business in Northern Ireland (NI). If you meet the relevant criteria set out in the GOV.UK guidance, you can apply as a business that is established or has a fixed place of business in NI.

However, if you don't meet these criteria, you can still apply as a business that is established in other parts of the UK. But in this case, you'll need to have an indirect customs representative in NI to meet the scheme's establishment criteria.

If you're registered with the Trader Support Service (TSS), you can use the TSS as your indirect customs representative for goods movements into NI. If you choose to use the TSS as your indirect customs representative, you'll be asked to provide your TSS customer account number.


The UK Internal Market Scheme heralds a new era of customs & duty optimization and trade facilitation in Northern Ireland. Embracing its principles empowers businesses to navigate regulatory complexities with confidence and maximize tax efficiencies. As the scheme continues to evolve, proactive engagement and strategic planning will be pivotal in unlocking its full potential.

Actionable Recommendations:

1. Complete Application Thoroughly: Provide comprehensive details, including individuals with significant control and robust record-keeping systems, to expedite the authorization process. We can support you, please get in touch.

2. Stay Informed: Keep abreast of regulatory updates and Windsor Framework developments to adapt your strategy accordingly and capitalize on emerging opportunities.

3. Leverage Green Lane Access: Prepare for the forthcoming Green Lane initiative to streamline trade processes and minimize administrative burdens, enhancing operational efficiency.

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