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The UK left the European Union on 31st January 2020 after both sides had concluded a Withdrawal Agreement, including the Protocol on Ireland / Northern Ireland, to facilitate an orderly exit. The transition period provided for in the Withdrawal Agreement ended on 31 December 2020.  On account of the Protocol on Ireland / Northern Ireland, no new checks or controls apply to goods moving between Ireland (or the rest of the EU) and Northern Ireland in either direction.


The UK now lies outside the EU Single Market and the EU Customs Union. Its interaction with the EU is now governed, in the main, by the terms of the EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement, which was agreed just before Christmas 2020 and has since been formally ratified by the EU and the UK.


The EU-UK TCA provides for zero tariffs and zero quotas where the product specific rules of origin contained in the TCA are met. However, new customs arrangements have the potential to affect supply chains which have operated heretofore between Great Britain and Ireland within the internal market. Not all goods being imported from Great Britain, including EU origin goods, will be able to meet the requirements of the product specific rules, and in those cases tariffs will apply.  This has the potential to create re-orientation in market supply requiring identification and agreed administration prior to mitigating such effects. All imports from Great Britain, irrespective of their country of origin, will be subject to customs formalities and will need to comply with the rules set out in the Union Customs Code and Official Controls Regulation where the goods are subject to sanitary and phytosanitary requirements.


Government will continue to monitor the implementation and outworking of the new trading arrangements in place between the EU and the UK. A range of Government supports including advisory, upskilling and financial supports are available to assist businesses and traders in adapting to these new arrangements.


Upcoming training and one to one mentoring:



Business preparedness checklist:



Businesses should also:


Visit for information on available Government and EU Support programmes.

Avail of Brexit advice from your trade representative Body and/or the relevant state agencies to ensure you are not missing out on vital help available.