How to move goods from GB to NI via Ireland


From 1 January 2021, hauliers moving goods from Great Britain to Northern Ireland via the Republic of Ireland, eg using the Holyhead to Dublin route, can do so in two ways:

  • transit
  • export to the Republic of Ireland (ROI)

It will not be possible to move goods from GB to NI via ROI without following one of these two processes. These are legal requirements as part of the UK’s international obligations.

In each of these cases, as the goods are now travelling via ROI, the haulier must complete the processes and requirements for either transit or export to Ireland.

Traders of agricultural, food or other perishable goods may also wish to move goods via ROI, and will need to engage with these processes.

Alternatively, you may also wish to consider moving goods directly from GB to NI.

The two options for moving goods from GB to NI via the Republic of Ireland

Option Description Duty payable
Transit Using common or Union Transit, goods move through Ireland under duty suspension, completing import declarations only in NI.

No tariffs if goods are not ‘at risk’.

EU tariffs payable if goods are ‘at risk’ (zero under the UK-EU Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement (CFTA) subject to trade remedies and the Rebalancing Mechanism).

Export to Ireland Goods can be exported to ROI using the standard processes for exports to the EU. Once goods have cleared customs in Ireland, they can then be freely moved to NI. EU tariffs payable on all goods (zero under the UK-EU CFTA subject to trade remedies and Rebalancing Mechanism.

The Northern Ireland Customs & Trade Academy has more detail on the processes and implications, including:

  • additional declarations and authorisations required to move goods using transit procedures
  • the standard export procedures to the EU for moving goods from GB to NI by exporting to ROI
  • how transit can be used to move goods from NI to GB via ROI

Find out more about the options for moving goods from GB to NI via Ireland.