Deadline Fears for Moving Goods Between GB and NI

Industry-wide apprehensions on readiness dominated discussions about requirements to move goods between Great Britain and Northern Ireland post-Brexit.

ASM hosted a webinar on 1st September for members of the industry to discuss what they believe will be required to ensure the swift and frictionless movement of goods between Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

The key sticking point was that the Customs Declaration Service (CDS) must be fully operational by the rapidly approaching January 2021 deadline; not the UK Government’s previously quoted September 2021 deadline.

There were many grave concerns from attendees of the webinar,  about whether CDS will be operational in just four months and whether trade systems will be ready to integrate with it.

Issues surrounding training and education were raised as HMRC have still not published guidance on how to complete declarations for CDS, which are very different to their CHIEF equivalents.

Uncertainties also exist regarding the effectiveness and availability of the Goods Vehicle Movement Service (GVMS) - a key component of post-Brexit trade movements - as this is still in development and little is known as to how it will work.

Education on the system is essential as goods that will be entering Northern Ireland will require the correct customs paperwork to be filed electronically in advance of travel in order to get approval or else face being barred from entry ­– although no details have been provided about how that may be enforced.

There have been calls for more information about how the Northern Ireland protocol will work in practice to be made public as planning and design has largely been conducted in secrecy due to the UK Government’s Brexit negotiations, fuelling concerns that the systems will be designed with minimal input from end-users and planned by those with little-to-no industry experience regarding the transport of more complex goods.

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