News article

Brexit: Moving excise goods from Ireland to Northern Ireland

8 October 2019

This guidance was withdrawn on 31 January 2020. EU rules continue to apply to the movement of goods and trade between 1 February and 31 December 2020, while the UK and EU negotiate new arrangements. For current information, read a step-by-step guide to importing.

How to import excise goods from Ireland to Northern Ireland in a no-deal Brexit

HMRC have released guidance on importing excise goods from Ireland to Northern Ireland if there is a no-deal Brexit. 

Goods dispatched before Brexit
Goods sent before Brexit that are still in transit after the UK has left the EU will continue to move under the procedures that applied at the time they were sent, until they arrive at their delivery address in Northern Ireland.

You will not have to complete a UK import declaration, but you must have the following evidence to confirm the goods were dispatched before the UK left the EU:

  • the Administrative Reference Code number of the electronic administrative document for Excise Duty-suspended goods
  • a HM4 or Simplified Accompanying Administrative Document for Excise Duty paid goods

You must approve and return copy 3 of the Simplified Accompanying Administrative Document to the Irish business if they request it. Copy 1 should stay with the dispatching business and copy 2 should be held by the UK receiving company.

How to import after Brexit
You must tell HMRC if you import excise goods from Ireland to Northern Ireland after the UK leaves the EU by making an import declaration using the Customs Handling of Import and Export Freight (CHIEF) system.

You can use CHIEF to submit a:

  • full declaration before you import the goods
  • declaration using transitional simplified procedures for controlled goods

Find out more about making declarations using transitional simplified procedures.

Moving Excise Duty-suspended goods to an excise warehouse in the UK
As well as making an import declaration, you’ll need to use the Excise Movement and Control System (EMCS) to move Excise Duty-suspended goods from the place they enter Northern Ireland if they’re being delivered to a UK excise warehouse.

You must confirm arrival of the goods using CHIEF and enter them onto the EMCS as soon as possible, and no later than the end of the next working day after the goods arrive in Northern Ireland.

The Excise Duty point will be the date when the goods physically arrived in Northern Ireland.

You must enter the excise movement guarantee reference number on the import declaration, and declare the following as ‘Additional Information statements’ at item level:

  • GRNTR – excise movement guarantee reference number
  • GEN45 – excise ID of the receiving excise warehouse

Physical checks of the goods will not be made at the border.

Declaring Excise Duty-suspended goods to excise warehousing, or moving them within the UK
You should still use EMCS to make Excise Duty-suspended movements within the UK.

Get help and more information
If you have problems making import declarations between Ireland and Northern Ireland you should either:

Find out more about:

For information on exporting to Ireland, see Brexit: Moving excise goods from Northern Ireland to Ireland.