Hauliers not ready for new Windsor Framework custom checks, Logistics UK warns

Logistics UK is warning that businesses are not ready for new customs rules and checks on goods moving between Great Britain and Northern Ireland, which were launched yesterday (1 October) under the Windsor Framework.

The Windsor Framework was introduced earlier this year in a bid to iron out the border delays between Britain and Northern ireland and Eire, created by the Northern Ireland Protocol.

The new Windsor Framework rules aim to prevent border delays by introducing the green and red lane system which sees two sets of differing customs checks performed, according to where goods entering Northern Ireland from Great Britain are being sold.

Goods for sale in Northern Ireland will use the green lane and be subject to minimal checks, providing firms sign up to new Trusted Trader schemes.

Goods travelling further, for sale in the EU, including Ireland, will be subject to more comprehensive checks with more documentation required.

Food sold in Northern Ireland will apply UK food standards, putting an end to the so-called sausage wars, when fears arose of a possible ban of chilled meat products being sold in Northern Ireland due to EU standards applying instead of UK ones.

ID inspections on goods crossing the border will also be substantially reduced, from 100% of sealed lorries down to just 5% in 2025.

Plant products will now no longer need full EU customs certification to enter Northern Ireland either if they are not for sale outside the region.

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The Windsor Framework has already introduced the same VAT, alcohol duty and energy tax rules as the rest of the UK to Northern Ireland, which did not exist under the Protocol.

Northern Ireland Secretary Chris Heaton-Harris welcomed the move. he said: “The steak bake or infamous sausage roll will never again need to be accompanied by a signed certificate from a vet to move into NI from GB, removing a major irritant with the old arrangements.”

However Nichola Mallon, head of trade and devolved policy at Logistics UK, warned that the changes will involve “a huge learning process” for businesses adding that many not “fully ready”.

The government has announced a £50m support package to help businesses with the costs associated with producing new labels, along with an extension of the Movement Assistance Scheme, which waived fees associated with inspections and certificates required under the protocol.

DUP leader Sir Jeffrey Donaldson said the framework continues to pose problems. He said the DUP is still in discussions with the government on outstanding issues, adding: “We don’t believe that what’s there at the moment actually delivers what the prime minister said it would.”

Northern Ireland’s Republican parties argue the Framework offers Northern Ireland the opportunity to exploit business opportunities arising from its unique access to UK and EU markets.

Speaking at the NI investment summit last month, Sinn Fein vice president Michelle O’Neill, said “there is a tremendous opportunity here and we have to capitalise on access to both markets”.

The post Hauliers not ready for new Windsor Framework custom checks, Logistics UK warns appeared first on Motor Transport.

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