Declare goods using the UK Trader Scheme if you bring goods into Northern Ireland

How to declare goods you bring into Northern Ireland 'not at risk’ of moving to the EU using the UK Trader Scheme.

You can no longer apply for authorisation under the UK Trader Scheme. You must register for the UK Internal Market Scheme.

You can still use your UK Trader Scheme authorisation on supplementary declarations for goods movements that took place on or before 29 September 2023.

‘At risk’ goods will be charged the applicable EU duty. ‘Not at risk’ goods will be charged either:

  • no duty if entering Northern Ireland from free circulation in Great Britain (England, Scotland, and Wales)
  • UK duty if entering Northern Ireland from outside of both the EU and the UK
  • UK duty if entering Northern Ireland from Great Britain and the good was not in free circulation in Great Britain

If you need more information or support completing your UK Internal Market Scheme authorisation, you can register with the Trader Support Service to support you with this process. The Trader Support Service will also guide you through any changes due to the implementation of the Windsor Framework.

The customs compliance requirements

You must have:

  • a good customs and tax compliance record
  • no record of serious criminal offences related to your economic activity

Your record is based on the 3 years prior to application, or on all available information including your involvement in any previous businesses. You must have no record of any serious or repeated infringements of customs rules.

Records, systems, controls and evidence requirements

You will need to give details of the records, systems and controls you have in place that allow you to accurately declare that goods are ‘not at risk’.

When you apply for authorisation, you should give details of:

  • the systems and processes to track goods from import to end-use — such as logistics systems or stock control processes
  • documented procedures and administrative systems to determine whether goods are ‘not at risk’
  • internal controls and processes that ensure goods are correctly declared ‘not at risk’
  • commercial or transport records — such as delivery records or inventory systems which confirm end use of the goods

The records you tell us about will be specific and appropriate to your business and they’ll need to show:

  • where you source goods from
  • how and where they’ll be used or sold

If you’re a small or medium sized business you do not need complex systems, but they must be appropriate to the size, nature and complexity of the business.

For example, if you are:

  • a large business, you may tell us about the logistical software that you have which tracks goods from import to end use
  • a small or medium-sized business, you may instead tell us about the internal processes or procedures you have in place which allow you to document the goods you import and evidence they are ‘not at risk’, like purchase and sales records

You must keep evidence that your goods are ‘not at risk’ (for example, sales receipts) for 5 years. We may visit you to check your records. You must be able to provide access to a customs officer to check the records, systems and controls you have told us about, and evidence to confirm each declaration.

Additional requirements for processing

You can declare goods not at risk using your UK Trader scheme authorisation to meet your additional processing requirements. 

Published 15 December 2020
Last updated 9 June 2023 + show all updates
  1. You can no longer apply for authorisation under the UK Trader Scheme. You must register for the UK Internal Market Scheme.

  2. The government and the EU have agreed the Windsor Framework. You should continue to use this guidance for now. It will be updated in due course, giving you time to prepare for any new changes.

  3. While the UK and EU are discussing the Northern Ireland Protocol, you should continue to use the temporary arrangements.

  4. The page has been updated with additional guidance on the authorisation criteria for the UK Trader Scheme, including the establishment conditions.

  5. Information about authorisation requirements has been updated.

  6. First published.