Register now for UKIMS if you trade with Northern Ireland

David Rae

The UK Internal Market Scheme (UKIMS) goes live in September 2023.

Any business which trades goods between Northern Ireland and Britain will be familiar with the UK Trader Scheme. This scheme is being replaced by the new UK Internal Market Scheme (UKIMS) and businesses will need to register soon to continue moving goods.

This is part of the Windsor Framework which was announced in February to replace the post Brexit Northern Ireland Protocol. 

This will only affect goods moving from Great Britain to Northern Ireland. Any goods coming over from Northern Ireland will not be subject to customs.

What is the UKIMS?

UKIMS will support business moving goods between Britain and Northern Ireland and ensure that tariffs are not paid on goods which have been declared ‘not at risk’ by authorized traders.

There will be a newly created “green lane” where British goods can move freely between the two countries and businesses will need to be registered with UKIMS to use this. This will come into force in October 2024.

When do you need to register for UKIMS by?

All British businesses that trade with Northern Ireland should register for the UK Internal Market Scheme (UKIMS) preferably by the end of July 2023

The UKIMS system is due to go live by 30th September 2023 so it is recommended to leave HMRC enough time to process registrations before then.

Businesses already registered with UKTS will not be automatically transferred over to the new system, they will need to apply.

To register please visit the British government site here.


What is the difference between UKTS and TSS?

The UK trader scheme or UKTS is the set of rules which governs trending between Britain and Northern Ireland. The Trader Support Service or TSS is designed to support businesses with a portal which offers information, advice and updates on Northern Irish trade.

Many businesses may be confused between UKTS and TSS as they receive a TSS number when they registered for UKTS.

What does the term “at risk” mean?

If goods which are considered at risk it is not because they are hazardous or restricted. The “risk” is that the goods might travel from Northern Ireland onto the Republic of Ireland and then potentially move freely within the EU without having import duties paid.

Your business may now be eligible for the UKIMS

There are a few significant changes to the scheme criteria which means that a greater number of British businesses will be able to register.

Previously British businesses required a physical premise in Northern Ireland to be eligible for registration but this is no longer the case.

The criteria is that both the company’s customs operations are carried out in the UK and that the customs, commercial and transport records are available within the UK. There also needs to be an indirect customs representative in Northern Ireland.

Additionally, the maximum turnover threshold for eligible businesses has increased from £500k to £2m.

Any products which are in specific sectors such as healthcare, food, animal feed, construction or not for profit are exempt from the £2m cap. This throws open the door to more businesses who sell goods in those areas.

With the old scheme British businesses would only be able to sell to end users in Northern Ireland. Now they can sell to any entity as long as it is in the sectors of healthcare, animal feed, construction or not for profit.

Do you need to know more?

For more information, support and guidance there is an introductory webinar which can be found here.

If you would like to move goods to Northern Ireland we can help! Our Accelerate UK solution has vehicles moving daily and all supported by our hands-on expert team. Get in touch for more information.

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