EU exit - local trade advice and support organisations

Guide

The UK has left the EU and new rules came into force on 1 January 2021.

There are several sources of advice to help businesses in Northern Ireland adapt to these changes as well as plan for any future changes.

Invest Northern Ireland

The Invest Northern Ireland EU Exit information resource aims to help businesses reduce the potential risks and maximise opportunities available.
 
The online service offers advice and support through information guides, as well as, tools, case studies and online tutorials. It highlights the support available from Invest NI to help local businesses plan ahead.

Invest NI's EU Exit resilience tool is designed to enable businesses to take a view on where their strengths lie, where they may be vulnerable following the UK’s exit from the EU and what action they may need to take.

Businesses will be able to score their business readiness against the areas most likely to be impacted by the EU Exit and COVID-19 crisis. The tool will help businesses understand their current and future needs, create contingency plans and take key actions to prepare for the future.

Invest NI has a series of detailed EU Exit video tutorials on actions businesses need to take now, including:

  • Strategic Sourcing and Supply Chain
  • Trader Support Service
  • Commodity Code quick guide
  • Incoterms
  • VAT
  • Data
  • People movement and immigration

Invest NI has a list of frequently asked questions on EU exit. You can also submit a question if the answer to your query is not available online -  EU Exit frequently asked questions.

You can also contact Invest NI using their online enquiry form.

InterTradeIreland

InterTradeIreland's Brexit Advisory Service provides a range of free services to help local businesses deal with the changes now that the UK has left the EU. There is guidance to help businesses with future planning as well as highlighting upcoming events that businesses can attend to gain further insight.

InterTradeIreland also offers a voucher to help businesses navigate their way through future changes:

  • Brexit: Planning Voucher - 100 per cent financial support up to £2000/€2250 (inclusive of VAT) towards professional advice in relation to Brexit matters. This support can help your business get advice on specific issues such as the movement of labour, goods, services and currency management. 

Get more advice at IntertradeIreland: Brexit 2020.

Northern Ireland Chamber of Commerce and Industry

The NI Chamber International Hub provides export and customs documentation, workshops, training and international trade advice.

Customs

Support and advice on customs processes for moving goods between GB and NI (including transit through Ireland) is available.

The Trader Support Service should be the first port of call for customs advice for GB – NI trade. This service is free and open to all businesses.

Businesses can also seek help through the ‘Submit an enquiry’ function on the website or by calling the Trader Support Service contact centre 0800 060 8888 (07:30-22:30)

HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) can also be contacted on queries regarding customs between GB and NI. Support is available through submission of questions online, webchat and phone - imports and exports: general HMRC enquiries.

Regulation of manufactured goods

Detailed guidance is available on regulatory processes, such as labelling and CE marking requirements, for businesses which place goods on the market in GB, NI or the EU.

Placing manufactured goods on the market in Great Britain from 1 January 2021.

Placing manufactured goods on the market in Northern Ireland from 1 January 2021.

Placing manufactured goods on the EU market from 1 January 2021.

If you require further assistance with goods regulation issues, BEIS has a contact function. You can email goodsregulation@beis.gov.uk or call the Office of Product Safety and Standards on 0121 345 1201.

Chemicals

Detailed guidance is available for businesses involved in the import or export of chemicals, on how responsibilities and processes may change from the end of the transition period. These are summarised in a checklist - see EU Exit: Chemicals - steps to take if you import from Great Britain to Northern Ireland.

Invest Northern Ireland has a series of webinars on chemicals.

If you require further information or technical assistance or advice please contact the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) UK Helpdesk.

Agri-food goods

Detailed information relating to the movement of agri-food goods, as well as links to further assistance, is available from the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA)

For matters which are not devolved to NI, or relate to GB to NI trade, you can contact Defra.

Food Standards Agency
Health and ID marks; Labelling; Import information relating to high-risk food and feed not of animal origin (HRFNAO).

FSA general helpline number 0330 332 7149 

FSA in NI number  028 9041 7700. (Hours: Mon-Fri 09.00-17.00)

Services

The Market Access Policy Simulator (MAPS) tool gives businesses who are exporting or importing services from the Republic of Ireland information about the potential regulatory barriers they may experience following the UK’s exit from the EU.

Data

If you require assistance with matters relating to the movement of data between the EU, including Ireland and the UK, the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has information - see Data Protection at the end of the transition period.

If you require further assistance, the ICO has a contact number 0303 123 1113 and a live chat function.

Consumer issues

ConsumerLine
You can use this service to make a complaint against a trader, report fraud or ask about your consumer rights.

Consumer Council NI
The Consumer Council can offer export advice on consumer-related EU Exit issues in relation to travel, parcels, energy and water, accessible through their website - see EU Exit: Important Consumer Advice.

Councils
If the matter relates to an issue within the scope of local district councils, please find contact details below:

District Council

Email Address

Phone Number

Antrim & Newtownabbey

envhealth@antrimandnewtownabbey.gov.uk

028 9446 3113 (Antrim)

028 9034 0000 (N’abbey)

Ards & North Down

fsaincoming@ardsandnorthdown.gov.uk

0300 013 3333

Armagh Banbridge & Craigavon

foodsafety@armaghbanbridgecraigavon.gov.uk

0300 0300 900

Belfast

environmentalhealthservice@belfastcity.gov.uk

028 9032 0202

Belfast Port Health

porthealth@belfastcity.gov.uk

 

Causeway Coast & Glens

food@causewaycoastandglens.gov.uk

028 7034 7034

Derry & Strabane

food@derrystrabane.com

028 7125 3253

Fermanagh & Omagh

fs@fermanaghomagh.com

0300 303 1777

Lisburn & Castlereagh

ehealth@lisburncastlereagh.gov.uk

028 9250 9250

Mid & East Antrim

food@midandeastantrim.gov.uk

0300 124 5000

Mid Ulster

foodsafety@midulstercouncil.org

0300 013 2132

Newry, Mourne & Down

food@nmandd.org

0300 013 2233