Some points about North Ireland, Windsor Framework and EU trade policy

The UK and the EU, on 27.02.2023, signed the “Windsor Framework” agreement which: will rule the status of Northern Irish borders after the Brexit, replaces the Protocol still in force, needs to be approved in the next meeting.

From a customs perspective, in a nutshell, it is possible to say that this “framework” covers two different flows of goods: towards the EU and goods destinated to be released  into Northern Ireland.

In particular:

  • Goods moved from Great Britain to Northern Ireland, for end use or consumption in Northern Ireland:
  1. GREEN LANE: Simplifications and fast controls for economic operators under the UK trusted trader scheme (UK Trader Scheme launched to support businesses moving goods from Great Britain to Northern Ireland – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk));
  • Goods destined for the EU or at risk of entering the EU Single Market:
  1. RED LANE: Still subject to full checks and control.

In Q&A published by the EU Commission on 27.02.2023 it is possible to read that:

  1. “…Goods destined for the EU, or at risk of entering the EU, will be subject to full customs and SPS controls to protect the integrity of the EU Single Market…” differently from “…Goods moved by trusted traders from Great Britain to Northern Ireland that are not at risk of entering the EU Single Market can benefit from these new arrangements…
  2. “…To benefit from these customs facilitations, traders must become trusted traders. To qualify as a trusted trader, traders must register with the relevant UK authority, fulfilling all relevant conditions, while also providing a detailed list of the products they usually transport…”.