Northern Ireland Protocol – Update from the Office of Product Safety and Standards

As you will have no doubt seen in recent news, the Government has announced it will introduce legislation to fix the Northern Ireland Protocol, which will act as a safeguard should the UK be unable to agree proposals with the EU through negotiations.

The legislation being introduced would remove customs processes for goods moving within the United Kingdom. It will allow businesses to choose to follow either UK or EU regulations under a dual regulatory approach,  removing barriers to goods made to UK standards from being sold in Northern Ireland and cutting the processes that drive up costs and disincentives businesses. The legislation will fix issues so that people in Northern Ireland can benefit from the same tax and spend policies as everyone else in the UK. The UK has also made clear that goods which are destined for the EU will continue to undergo full processes applied under EU law as they do now and apply safeguards to avoid non-compliant products entering the EU Single Market.

You do not need to take any action now as we will continue to operate within current “standstill” arrangements, meaning you can move goods in exactly the same way as you do today, including existing grace periods and easements. Furthermore, you can continue to trade frictionlessly across the island of Ireland. The UK Government will be working closely with businesses as the new arrangements are developed and will communicate how any changes will work well before any changes come into effect.