EU Exit: Key steps for authorised traders moving goods and products from GB into NI during three-month grace period


From 1 January until 31 March 2021, authorised traders will be able to take advantage of a three-month grace period to adapt their systems when moving certain goods and products from Great Britain into Northern Ireland, for sale in NI.

Authorised traders are supermarkets and their trusted suppliers. The UK government will not discriminate against smaller suppliers or between different companies in recognising traders as authorised for the purpose of this grace period.

The grace period will only cover certain goods - products of animal origin (POAO), composite products, food and feed not of animal origin, and plants and plant products.

Apply to be listed as an authorised trader
The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) is compiling a list of authorised traders who can benefit from the three-month grace period. If you move qualifying goods from Great Britain to Northern Ireland, you should assess whether your business can be added to the list.

Defra’s authorised trader list that will be sent to the European Commission. Food products arriving in NI from GB will be subject to EU processes.

Find out more on how to apply to be included on the list of authorised traders.

Steps that authorised traders must follow
If you are registered on the Defra list of authorised traders, during this period, eligible businesses moving goods and products to NI must:

  1. Ensure they are registered on TRACES NT (the EU’s TRAde Control and Expert System)
  2. Complete a simplified official certificate covering these goods and products (at freight unit level)
  3. Apply a commercial seal to the freight unit
  4. Upload the simplified certificate to TRACES NT
  5. Pre-notify Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) 24 hours before entering Northern Ireland, using TRACES NT
  6. Notify DAERA when the goods have reached their final destination.