This article looks at the UK Internal Market Scheme and will explain under what circumstances businesses can use the scheme, as well as how to register.
As part of the Windsor Framework the UK government has announced the creation of the UK Internal Market Scheme. This scheme is now operational and has replaced the UK Trader Scheme. It is designed to enable businesses who import goods into Northern Ireland which meet all applicable requirements to be able to declare them as being "Not At Risk".
What are the eligibility requirements?
To be eligible for the UK Internal Market Scheme businesses who are based in or have a fixed place of establishment in Northern Ireland must:
- Apply using an XI EORI number.
- Have human and technical resources based in Northern Ireland.
- Customs and transport records accessible within Northern Ireland.
- Goods sold to or provided for final use to consumers in the UK.
How do I apply?
Register for the UK Internal Market Scheme by visiting this guidance on GOV.UK about how to apply for authorisation for the UK Internal Market Scheme if you bring goods into Northern Ireland.
What information will be required to complete an application?
Businesses looking to apply for the UK Internal Market Scheme will need the following information:
- EORI number.
- The details of your business, its directors, premises the people in charge of the business and the people responsible for the movement of goods under this scheme.
- Company number/Unique Taxpayer Reference.
- Date of incorporation or date you commenced trading.
- Document of establishment or proof of your permanent business address.
- Annual turnover for the most recent complete accounting period.
- VAT registration number if applicable.
- Trader Support Service number if applicable.
- Estimated number of "not at risk" annual declarations.
- Details of your customs representative, if you use one.
- UK Trader Scheme authorisation number, if you’re already authorised under this scheme.
- Details of goods imported and any processing requirements.
- Details of relevant internal processes and procedures documents.
Is there any more guidance on completing an application?
The Northern Ireland Customs and Trade Academy have a helpful video providing a step-by-step guide on how to complete a UK Internal Market Scheme application.
What if I’m already registered for the UK Trader Scheme
If you previously registered for the UK Trader Scheme you will need to register for UK Internal Market Scheme if you wish to continue declaring goods as "Not At Risk". Your UK Trader Scheme registration is no longer valid.
How does the UK Internal Market Scheme differ from the UK Trader Scheme?
Under the UK internal Market Scheme there will be some changes for businesses who move goods which are subject to commercial processing. Under the UK Internal Market Scheme businesses with a turnover of up to £2 million will be able to declare goods as "Not at Risk" even if these goods are subject to commercial processing.
My business is based in Ireland. Can I use the UK Internal Market Scheme?
To be able to use the UK internal Market Scheme a business will need to be established in either Northern Ireland or another part of the UK. Therefore, if a business is solely established in Ireland, they will not be eligible to use the UK Internal Market Scheme.
If a business is based in Ireland has a fixed place of business within Northern Ireland, they may be able to avail of the UK Internal Market Scheme providing they can illustrate that:
- Human and technical resources are permanently located in Northern Ireland.
- Their goods are sold or provided for final use within the UK.
- Customs, transport, and commercial records are accessible within Northern Ireland.
I’m registered for the UK Internal Market Scheme. Do I still need to complete customs declarations?
All businesses importing goods into Northern Ireland, regardless of whether they are registered for the UK Internal Market Scheme, will continue to need to complete customs declarations on goods entering Northern Ireland from GB.
From 30 September 2024 businesses who are registered for the UK Internal Market Scheme, and who can demonstrate that a goods import meets all the necessary requirements, will be able to move goods via the new green lane and will therefore no longer be required to complete customs declarations.
I move goods for commercial processing, but my turnover is more than £2 million. Are there any exceptions to the revenue threshold?
There are several exceptions to the £2 million revenue threshold these include:
- Food for sale to end consumers in the UK.
- Construction, when goods form part of a permanent structure in Northern Ireland.
- Direct provision of health or care services in Northern Ireland.
- For use in Not-for-Profit Activities in Northern Ireland.
- Final use of animal feed on premises in Northern Ireland.
With each of the above exceptions there is a requirement that the goods must either be used directly by the importer or one subsequent entity.
Do you need help with your application?
If you require further assistance with your application to the UK Internal Market Scheme, please use the chatbot where, subject to eligibility, you may be able to receive specialist consultancy advice from an approved InterTradeIreland service provider.
Simply click the chat icon at the bottom right to get started.
Article prepared for the Cross-Border Trade Hub.
Article reviewed: October 2023