DAERA has developed an updated Compliance Protocol to help businesses navigate the new procedures that have been in place since 1 January 2021.
The overall aim of the Compliance Protocol is the prevention or reduction of harm, caused by non-compliance with the statutory requirements for checks on SPS regulated goods. It explains how traders dealing with these goods will be expected to move towards full compliance with the EU Official Controls Regulation (OCR) over a period of time and details how stricter measures for dealing with non-compliant consignments will be phased in over this timeframe.
Compliance Protocol – FAQs
What are the new requirements for import of agri-food goods, plants and live animals, from Great Britain into Northern Ireland, in order to comply with EU law?
From 1 January 2021, in order to move agri-food goods, plants and live animals, into Northern Ireland (NI) from Great Britain (GB):
- You must do so via a Northern Ireland Point of Entry.
- You must give advance notice of the goods, including live animals, arriving at the NI Point of Entry from GB, by means of a Pre-notification, which must be completed at least 24 hours before the arrival of the consignment; this must be done via TRACES-NT (The EU’s Trade and Control Expert System – New Technology). Your registration must be approved before you can use TRACES-NT. Guidance for registering and getting started on TRACES-NT is available here.
Pre-notification is done by completing Part One of the relevant documentation online on TRACES-NT, which is usually the Common Health Entry Document (CHED). For more information on pre-notification please see Instructions for business pre-notifying the arrival of a consignment at a Northern Ireland Point of Entry and Important information required on CHED Part 1 for GB to NI Movements from 1st January 2021.
In order to comply with EU regulations, eligible goods and live animals are subjected to Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) checks at POEs, depending on the nature of the consignment: these are Documentary, Identity and Physical checks. In addition to SPS checks, consignments may also be subject to additional Marketing Standards checks.
The Northern Ireland Trader journey provides a summary of the general processes required for import of goods from GB into NI, excluding those retail goods that are moved under the Authorised Traders Scheme. Live animals NI consignee checklists can be found here.
Does the Compliance Protocol also cover catch certificate regulation requirements?
Yes. The Compliance Protocol highlights DAERA’s responsibilities, as the Central Competent Authority (CCA), with regard to the prevention, deterrence and elimination of Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) fishing activity in line with Regulation (EU) 1005/2008. This is achieved through monitoring and inspection of IUU catch certificates, at the Northern Ireland Points of Entry (PoE). DAERA’s role as the Central Competent Authority is also reflected in The Sea Fishing (Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated Fishing) Order (Northern Ireland) 2018.
What are the requirements for importing retail goods from Great Britain into Northern Ireland?
The UK Command Paper of December 2020, and the ‘Unilateral Declaration by the United Kingdom in the Joint Committee’, had stated that, for a period of three months, goods from certain Authorised Traders can avail of a three month grace period when moving certain goods and products, destined to the retail market, from Great Britain into Northern Ireland. The UK Government has subsequently announced the continuation of the Scheme for Authorised Movements to Northern Ireland (STAMNI) arrangements for Authorised Traders beyond 31 March 2021. The STAMNI arrangements will continue to be in place until at least 1 October 2021.
More information on the requirements and processes for movement of retail goods from GB to NI can be found at DAERA’s dedicated page Retail Goods, within the Detailed Guidance for Authorised Traders and on the DEFRA GB-NI Showcase Site.
What are the requirements for importing Prohibited & Restricted (P&R) chilled meat products from Great Britain into Northern Ireland?
The UK Command Paper of December 2020, and the ‘Unilateral Declaration by the United Kingdom in the Joint Committee’, has stated that, for a period of six months, some chilled meats, which are usually prevented or restricted from entering the EU from Third Countries, can continue to enter NI from GB under the conditions described here. These products will be prohibited to enter NI from GB from 1 July 2021. Details on these products are outlined in the Northern Ireland Protocol Command Paper.
More information on the requirements, documentation and processes for movement of P&R goods from GB to NI can be found at DAERA’s dedicated page Prohibitions and restrictions - Chilled meat products and within the Guidance for Authorised Traders Importing Prohibited & Restricted Chilled Meat Products to NI from GB as well as within the DEFRA GB-NI Showcase Site.
Where P&R goods are part of a retail consignment, supplied by an Authorised Traders, please refer to Q&A above and to the Detailed Guidance for Authorised Traders.
Where can I find more information on Marketing Standards checks, required under EU law, for foodstuff imported into NI from GB?
For more information and Q&As, visit DAERA’s Marketing Standards page.
Where can I find more information on Pet Travel requirements and pathway to full compliance for movement of pet dogs, cats and ferrets from GB to NI?
For more information on pet travel requirements visit DAERA’s Travelling with pets page.
Northern Ireland Protocol
The Northern Ireland Protocol sets out the legal framework for Northern Ireland’s exit from the EU and provides that, post transition, while the whole of the UK will leave the Customs Union, Northern Ireland will continue to align with EU Regulations on goods and customs.
Under the Protocol, Northern Ireland will, in effect, be required to maintain regulatory alignment with the EU on the application of Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) measures. Following the end of the transition period, EU food law, including marketing standards, will also continue to apply to all food produced and marketed in Northern Ireland.
DAERA and the Food Standards Agency in Northern Ireland (FSA NI) are the central competent authorities (CCAs) for the regulation of imports that will be subject to SPS checks in Northern Ireland under the relevant EU legislation and, as such, fulfil a legislative and policy making role and are responsible for designating competent authorities to perform official controls that verify that imports entering Northern Ireland comply with the requirements of EU law.
At the end of the transition period on 31 December 2020, Northern Ireland will apply SPS and other EU measures such as Marketing Standards and IUU Catch Certificates that meet the requirements set out in the Protocol.