Now that the prospect of leaving the European Union is a reality, Business First spoke with David Knox of Pinnacle Growth Group to set out some key facts about what Brexit means for businesses trading here with Great Britain and the European Union.
Northern Ireland can benefit from any Trade Deals negotiated by the United Kingdom with the rest of the world meaning lower tariffs applied to the purchase and sale of goods with the rest of the world nations, thereby making imports cheaper and Northern Ireland exports more competitive.
A significant percentage of Northern Ireland’s trade relates to the movement of goods with the rest of the United Kingdom. Ensuring that no tariffs are applied to movement of these goods means that additional supply chain costs can be avoided and that Northern Ireland exports to the rest of the United Kingdom can continue to be competitive. Northern Ireland businesses can trade with Great Britain without having tariffs or quotas imposed on goods.
Northern Ireland businesses can trade with the Republic of Ireland and the European Union without having tariffs or quotas imposed on goods and there are no additional costs or duties when trading goods with European Union member states. This is a benefit that almost all non-European Union countries do not enjoy and helps to ensure that additional supply chain costs are minimised for Northern Ireland businesses.
Unlike businesses in Great Britain, Northern Ireland can continue to trade with the Republic of Ireland and the European Union without the need to complete customs declarations so there is an opportunity for Northern Ireland businesses to promote themselves to the European Union market as having fewer administrative requirements to trade when compared to their counterparts in Great Britain.
Northern Ireland businesses can continue to sell goods to the Great Britain market with minimal additional paperwork unlike businesses in the European Union. There is an opportunity for Northern Ireland businesses to promote themselves to the Great Britain market as having fewer administrative requirements to trade when compared to their European Union counterparts.
Customs on Imports
Businesses importing from Great Britain need to complete customs declarations. This change has resulted in additional administration needing to be undertaken when importing goods into Northern Ireland from Great Britain.
VAT rules continue to apply to the vast majority of goods on Northern Ireland to Great Britain movements and on goods moving between Great Britain and Northern Ireland, ensuring that no additional costs are incurred when trading with Great Britain.
Under the Northern Ireland Protocol, Northern Ireland can continue to align with the European Union VAT rules for goods. This means that goods dispatched to a European Union member state continues to be zero-rated, thereby ensuring that no additional costs are borne on Northern Ireland to European Union trade.
Under the Common Travel Area, Irish citizens can continue to move and work freely in the United Kingdom. Businesses in Northern Ireland continue to have access to the Republic of Ireland talent pool and can continue to recruit staff from the Republic of Ireland.
Businesses wishing to recruit European Union nationals need to register with the Home Office as a sponsor. European Union applicants also need to demonstrate that they meet a range of new criteria as outlined in the United Kingdom’s new points based immigration system.
Mutual Recognition of Qualifications
The European Union Mutual Recognition of Qualifications Directive no longer applies to the United Kingdom and there is no immediate reciprocal recognition of professional qualifications between European Economic Area states and the United Kingdom. There is no more automatic recognition for professionals working in certain industries. The exact requirements will vary depending on the qualification and the European Union country in which any work will be undertaken.
Although the United Kingdom and the European Union have agreed on a minimum level of environmental, social and labour standards, the United Kingdom departing from European Union frameworks which agree and maintain minimum standards on goods means that there is scope for regulatory divergence over time between the two jurisdictions.
Northern Ireland businesses must demonstrate compliance with both the United Kingdom and European Union frameworks for product standards in order to be able to sell into each market. This includes ensuring that products are appropriately labelled.
There is a new requirement on the movement of live animals, products of animal origin, plants and plant products from Great Britain to Northern Ireland. Specific certificates are required on the movement of products into Northern Ireland from Great Britain, depending on the animal or product being imported.
Similar to product standards, the United Kingdom (including Northern Ireland) has departed from the European Union GDPR framework, essentially creating a data border on the island of Ireland. Northern Ireland service organisations, or those which hold information relating to customers in both the United Kingdom and the European Union must ensure that they are compliant with both frameworks.
If you are concerned about the challenges your business is facing or if you would like advice on how to navigate new opportunities for your business, Pinnacle Growth Group can provide you with practical advice, training and handle the paperwork associated with helping your business to continue to trade smoothly between the jurisdictions. Contact David by email at [email protected] for an initial free consultation.
For further information on Pinnacle Growth Group, please visit https://pinnaclegrowth.group/,