Guidance

Customs procedures for moving goods between Ireland and Northern Ireland in a no-deal Brexit

Find out the customs processes you’ll need to follow if you move goods between Ireland and Northern Ireland.

This guidance was withdrawn on

EU rules continue to apply to the movement of goods and trade between February and December 2020. Check the current rules for importing goods from EU countries.

Goods moving between Ireland and Northern Ireland will face different procedures compared to other UK-EU trade.

This guidance only covers the UK government’s temporary approach for moving goods between Ireland and Northern Ireland. You will also need to consider any advice issued by the Irish government on their requirements for goods moving into or out of Ireland.

Moving goods between Ireland and Northern Ireland

For most movements of goods across the land, air and sea borders between Ireland and Northern Ireland, you will need to:

You will not need to:

  • get a customs agent or an Economic Operator Registration and Identification (EORI) number
  • pay Customs Duty or make import or export declarations to HMRC

You should also consider advice issued by the Irish government about their requirements for goods moving into or out of Ireland.

Moving goods between Ireland, Northern Ireland and Great Britain

There will be no new requirements or checks on goods moving between Northern Ireland and Great Britain.

If you move goods from Ireland to Great Britain and the goods go through Northern Ireland, you do not have to pay Customs Duty.

However, if you move goods through Ireland and Northern Ireland with the purpose of avoiding Customs Duty, you will have to pay the UK’s tariff, whether the goods are from Ireland or outside Ireland.

Moving goods between Northern Ireland and another country

The new procedures will not apply to goods moving between Northern Ireland and any other EU member state or third country.

Find out more about importing or exporting to EU countries other than Ireland.

Moving controlled and licensed goods between Ireland and Northern Ireland

You need to make declarations if you are exporting or importing controlled or licensed goods between Northern Ireland and Ireland. This includes goods that are subject to Excise Duty (such as alcohol, tobacco and certain oils).

Find out more about import prohibitions and restrictions.

DEFRA have also published guidance if you’re importing and exporting plant and plant products. These goods will still be exempt from Customs Duty, but you’ll need to make a declaration to HMRC if you import or export goods between Ireland and Northern Ireland.

Processes will also be put in place if you wish to declare goods into transit or special procedures. Use of these procedures is voluntary.

You can use transitional simplified procedures to simplify your declarations to HMRC for controlled and licenced goods, including goods subject to Excise Duty.

Moving goods under transit procedures

If you move goods into Northern Ireland from Ireland by sea, you will be able to complete an Office of Transit check when you enter Northern Ireland at Belfast Port. There are no UK Offices of Transit at the Irish land border.

You do not have to use transit procedures to move goods from Northern Ireland if the final destination is elsewhere in the UK.

Find out more about moving goods under transit procedures to or from the UK.

Published 29 March 2019
Last updated 7 October 2019 + show all updates
  1. Information about moving controlled and licensed goods, transitional simplified procedures and moving goods under transit have been added.

  2. First published.

Transition period

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