The Government and the EU have agreed the Windsor Framework. This includes future changes to the current arrangements for sending parcels from Great Britain to Northern Ireland.

Guidance for businesses sending parcels to Northern Ireland from the rest of the UK from 30 September 2024

Following the introduction of the Windsor Framework, some changes to arrangements for parcels moving from Great Britain to Northern Ireland will take effect from 30 September 2024. Until then, traders should refer to the existing guidance for parcel movements from Great Britain to Northern Ireland including for parcels containing SPS goods.

The arrangements for parcels moving directly from Great Britain to Northern Ireland will depend on the type of movement:

  1. Business to consumer (B2C): Goods sent by a business in Great Britain to a private individual residing in Northern Ireland for personal use.
  2. Consumer to business (C2B): Goods sent by a private individual in Great Britain to a business in Northern Ireland (a customer returning an item to a business).
  3. Consumer to consumer (C2C): Goods of a non-commercial nature sent by a private individual in Great Britain to a private individual residing in Northern Ireland for personal use.
  4. Business to business (B2B): Goods sent by a business in Great Britain to a business in Northern Ireland.

Under the Windsor Framework, different information requirements are applied depending on which type of movement is being made. How this information is provided may vary dependent on your carrier and the distribution channel they use. A carrier is defined for the purpose of this guidance as the operator who will move your parcel from Great Britain to Northern Ireland.

When you are sending a parcel to Northern Ireland in the course of your business, you will need to inform the carrier whether your parcel is destined for a consumer or a business. Where you have identified that the goods you are sending in the course of your business are for a consumer, the B2C arrangements will apply. Where you have identified that the goods are destined for a business based on your knowledge of the recipient (for example, where goods are purchased using a business account), your carrier will need to use the B2B arrangements. When consumers send parcels directly to consumers in Northern Ireland via a carrier, the C2C arrangements will apply.

Business to consumer and consumer to business parcel movements

UK businesses sending parcels to consumers for personal use in Northern Ireland (or consumers sending parcels) do not need to be registered in any scheme in order to use the arrangements set out in this section. Nor do consumers sending parcels need to be registered in any scheme. The arrangements set out will apply automatically where the carrier is informed that a parcel is destined for a consumer or sent by a consumer to a business.

For parcels going to or from a consumer from Great Britain to Northern Ireland you do not need to provide a declaration or a commodity code, rather you should provide your carrier with a goods description as part of the usual process of exchanging information with them.

A goods description should be provided to your carrier for each different item sent for business to consumer and consumer to business parcels, alongside other standard commercial information which businesses typically provide to carriers, such as the weight of the parcel. The goods description should be a brief plain English description of the item in the parcel. For example, it may include the type of product such as ‘shampoo’, ‘plastic cups’ or ‘iPhone’. You should avoid generic terms that do not allow the good to be identified such as ‘goods’, ‘gifts’, ‘samples’ or ‘parts’.

There will be no customs declarations, tariffs, prenotification or presentation of goods to customs authorities when parcels are sent by or to consumers.

Business to business parcel movements

Business to business movements destined for Northern Ireland will move in line with the processes in place for freight from 30 September 2024.

To move goods that are not considered ‘at risk’ of entering the EU within the UK internal market system, either you (the sending business) or the receiving business will need to be authorised under the new UK Internal Market Scheme (UKIMS) and meet the criteria for moving goods under this scheme. You will need to provide the carrier with your UK Internal Market Scheme number when sending parcels from Great Britain to Northern Ireland. If you are a trader sending or receiving business to business parcel movements between Great Britain and Northern Ireland, you can now apply for authorisation for the UK Internal Market Scheme. Find out more about the UK Internal Market Scheme (UKIMS) and how to get authorised.

Where business to business movements take place within the UK internal market system, a simplified dataset, as set out below, should be provided to your carrier prior to moving the goods, based on ordinary commercial information that businesses typically already hold. In some cases, such as for controlled goods, additional fields or information may be required due to the specific risk profile of the goods, or to ensure the movement can be accurately processed.

You do not need to provide a commodity code for movements within the UK internal market system as your carrier will be able to provide this based on a goods description which you provide for each item sent. The goods description should be a brief plain English description of the item in the parcel. For example, it may include the type of product such as ‘shampoo’, ‘plastic cups’ or ‘iPhone’. You should avoid generic terms that do not allow the good to be identified such as ‘goods’, ‘gifts’, ‘samples’ or ‘parts’.

Goods that are not moved within UKIMS will have to undertake the processes required for movements into the EU which are set out in prior guidance. Find out more about Moving parcels from Great Britain to Northern Ireland under the Windsor Framework from 30 September 2024.

Controls

For parcels sent by or to private individuals and for movements within the UK internal market system, there will be checks only as conducted by UK authorities and required as part of a risk-based or intelligence-led approach, to manage the risk of criminality, abuse of the scheme, smuggling and disease risks.

 

 

Internal market dataset for business to business parcel movements within the UK internal market system:

 

Data provided by the business to their carrier or intermediary

Data item Example
Exporter J. Bloggs Wholesale + EORI
Importer J. Doe Retail Ltd + EORI
Value £40
Country origin United Kingdom
Gross mass 5kg
Description of goods Shampoo
UKIMS number J. Doe Retail Ltd

#123456789

 

Data provided by the carrier or other intermediary

Data item Example
Declarant​ The carrier/other intermediary​
Representative​ The carrier/other intermediary​
Country of destination​ Northern Ireland (by default)​
Region of destination​ Northern Ireland (by default)​
Previous document​ 22XI09101234567892​
Additional reference​ 22XI09109876543212​
Goods item number​ 1, 2, 3
Local reference number​ DEC000000000022225​
Commodity code (6 digits)​ Provided by carrier based on goods description provided ​
Location of goods​ Belfast Port​
Transport document (reference number)​

Road Consignment Note number #12345678​

Packaging​ Parcel​

 

Examples of additional data that may be required for controlled goods or to identify and process the declaration

Data item Example
Supplementary units 50,000 cigarettes
Supporting document Code: Y900 signifying declared goods are non-CITES.

 

Moving Parcels from Great Britain to Northern Ireland- Guidance

This page provides further detail on the new arrangements for parcels, which will be in place from the end of September 2024. This guidance sets out further operational information on the relevant legal obligations that apply, which are set out in the relevant legal texts (these are set out on a dedicated page). In addition to this guidance, intensive work between Government and the parcel industry continues in relation to the detailed design of the requirements for authorised carriers.

Under the Windsor Framework, the arrangements for sending parcels from Great Britain (England, Scotland and Wales) to Northern Ireland will depend on whether they are sent to or from a private individual or a business.

Private individuals in Northern Ireland will be able to receive parcels sent by direct transport from friends, family or businesses in Great Britain as smoothly as they do now. There will be no customs declarations, tariffs, or presentation of goods to customs authorities when parcels are sent from another part of the UK to a private individual residing in Northern Ireland for personal use. Carriers will be required to submit data on the parcel movements to HMRC.

Parcels sent between businesses will be treated in line with equivalent freight movements and will be able to move using the ‘green lane’ simplifications if they are eligible.

There will be no routine checks or controls applied to parcels sent by or to private individuals or moved in the green lane, with interventions only on the basis of a risk-based, intelligence-led approach.

These changes will take effect on 30 September 2024. Until then, traders should refer to the existing guidance for parcel movements from Great Britain to Northern Ireland including for parcels containing SPS goods.

Types of movement

The arrangements for parcels moving from Great Britain to Northern Ireland by direct transport will depend on the type of movement being made:

  • Business to consumer (B2C): Goods sent by a business in Great Britain to a private individual residing in Northern Ireland for personal
  • Consumer to business (C2B): Goods sent by a private individual in Great Britain to a business in Northern Ireland (for example, a customer returning an item to a shop).
  • Consumer to consumer (C2C): Goods sent by a private individual in Great Britain to a private individual residing in Northern Ireland for personal
  • Business to business (B2B): Goods sent by a business in Great Britain to a business in Northern Ireland.

Business to consumer (B2C) and consumer to business (C2B) parcel movements

If you are a business in Great Britain sending a parcel by direct transport to a private individual residing in Northern Ireland for personal use, or a private individual in Great Britain sending goods to a business in Northern Ireland (for example, a customer returning an item), you do not need to complete a customs declaration to move your goods. Data already routinely available to carriers, with some additions, will form the basis of these requirements. The sending business will not face any registration requirements.

In order to send your goods, if you are the sending GB business (or the NI receiving business in the case of a C2B movement) the carrier, for instance your fast parcel operator, will collect standard information required for parcel movements such as the name and address of the recipient and content of the parcel. See ‘authorised carriers’ section for more detail.

Your goods must satisfy the following criteria:

  • Be moved by an authorised carrier.
  • Comply with weight limits: the package must not exceed 31.5kg if it contains more than one item, or 100 kg if it contains a single item.
  • Not be a very limited range of goods subject to specific domestic or international law restrictions, such as the Russia sanctions regime.

If your goods do not meet these criteria, they should be sent under the B2B arrangements outlined below.

Consumer to consumer (C2C) parcel movements

If you are a private individual in Great Britain sending a parcel of a non-commercial nature by direct transport to a private individual in Northern Ireland, you do not need to complete a customs declaration to move your goods.

In order to send these goods, carriers will collect standard information required for parcel movements (e.g. from data provided when postage is purchased) such as the name and address of the recipient and content of the parcel.

The goods must satisfy the following criteria:

  • Be moved by a carrier responsible for providing the required data to HMRC
  • Comply with weight limits: the package must not exceed 31.5kg
  • Not be a very limited range of goods subject to specific domestic or international law restrictions, such as the Russia sanctions regime.

If your goods do not meet these criteria, they should be sent under the B2B arrangements outlined below.

Authorised carriers

Authorised carriers will be able to send consumer parcels (B2C, C2B and C2C) without needing to meet international customs requirements such as relevant declarations, tariffs, and presentation of goods to customs.

The authorisation process will be launched with sufficient time for carriers to become authorised ahead of the new arrangements taking effect from 30 September 2024.

Criteria for authorisation

If you are a carrier, you must meet the following criteria to be authorised:

  • You must be established in the UK and, if you are not established in Northern Ireland, you must have an indirect customs representative established in Northern Ireland.
  • You must not have committed any serious or repeated infringements of legislative or regulatory requirements within the three years prior to your application.
  • You must have a high level of control of your operations, including through a system to manage commercial and transport records.
  • You must be able to comply with the obligations on authorised carriers set out below.

Obligations of authorised carriers

Carriers under the new authorisation will need to ensure that parcels are subject to the correct requirements and to provide data to HMRC to help manage the risk of smuggling.

If you are an authorised carrier your responsibilities will include:

  • Establishing whether parcels that you are moving are being sent by or to a consumer.
  • Determining whether the parcel should follow the B2C/C2B or C2C arrangements using information from the sender of the parcel.
  • Collecting and providing data on the parcel movements to HMRC based on commercial information you receive from the sender collected when shipment/postage is purchased (e.g. details of the sender and recipients details, information on the content of the parcel including a description of the goods).
    • For movements between consumers, carriers should provide the data on the movement to HMRC no later than the day after delivery.
    • For movements between a business and a consumer, carriers should provide the data on the movement prior to the delivery being completed.
    • The data requirements are set out in annex I.
  • You will also be required to work closely with HMRC to combat attempts to use the arrangements for consumer parcels for smuggling. HMRC will work with carriers in preparation for tackling this risk.

Business to business (B2B) parcel movements

If you are a trader making business to business parcel movements between Great Britain and Northern Ireland, these will be in line with the same “green and red” lane process in place for freight from 30 September 2024. This means that, to use the green lane process, you will need to be authorised under the new UK Internal Market Scheme (UKIMS) and meet the criteria for moving goods under this scheme. Either the sending or receiving business can be authorised under the UK Internal Market Scheme. Find out more about the UK Internal Market Scheme (UKIMS) and how to get authorised.

If you’re authorised as a business for the UK Internal Market Scheme (UKIMS), you will be able to declare your goods ‘not at risk’ if they are brought by direct transport into Northern Ireland from Great Britain and are for sale or final use by end consumers in the UK. This will mean that you will not have to pay any duty on your goods, and you will also be able to benefit from the reduced data requirements of the green lane.

If you move goods that are for commercial processing into Northern Ireland and you want to declare these goods as ‘not at risk’, you will need to meet additional requirements.

If you send B2B goods that are not eligible for the green lane – for example, if they are for onward sale in the EU – your goods will move in the red lane. You (or the recipient of the goods) will have to complete a full customs declaration.

You will be able to move goods under the UK Internal Market Scheme (UKIMS) once you are authorised, although you can continue to follow the arrangements set out in the existing guidance until 30 September 2024. Therefore, there are no immediate steps that businesses need to take to apply for authorisation for the UK Internal Market Scheme (UKIMS) at present. HMRC will engage with businesses that move B2B parcels in due course, with engagement expected to begin in October 2023. You can find further information about the Windsor Framework green lane process.

Any businesses exclusively sending parcels to consumers will not need to be registered for the UK Internal Market Scheme (UKIMS). They will instead be able to send goods through an authorised carrier by providing them with commercial information as outlined above.

Annex I: C2C, B2C and C2B Data Requirements

The authorised carrier will provide data to HMRC on the parcel movements based on the information they have received about the movement from the sender.

For consumer to consumer movements, carriers will submit the data based on information about the parcel that they have received from the sender when shipping/postage was purchased:

C2C – Data to be submitted by the carrier based on information held by the carrier:

  • Carrier name
  • Date of delivery

C2C – Data to be submitted by the carrier based information they have received from the sender:

  • Name and address of sender in Great Britain
  • Name and address of recipient in Northern Ireland
  • Place of delivery in Northern Ireland (if different from the address of the recipient)
  • Description of goods in parcel
  • Number of items
  • Gross weight
  • Value (where known)

For business to consumer/consumer to business movements, authorised carriers will submit the following data:

B2C/C2B – Data to be submitted by the carrier based on information held by the carrier:

  • Parcel reference tracking number
  • Carrier authorisation reference
  • Carrier name
  • Destination
    • Northern Ireland by default
  • 6 digit commodity code
    • To be generated by the authorised carrier based on the goods description, HMRC is working with carriers to support them in producing these commodity codes
  • Representative name
    • Required if a carrier is using a representative
  • Transport document
    • Reference number for transport document, where available
  • Supporting documents
    • Reference number for documents produced in support of the movement e.g. certificates/licences where relevant

For business to consumer movements (and consumer to business movements), authorised carriers will also submit the following data requirements based on information provided by the sender:

B2C/C2B – Data to be submitted by the carrier based on information they have received from the sender:

  • Number of the item in parcel (sequential number of the items contained in each parcel, e.g. 1,2,3)
  • Name and address of sender in Great Britain
  • Name and address of recipient in Northern Ireland
  • Total value of goods in the parcel (amount invoiced)
  • Place of delivery (if different from the address of the recipient)
  • Gross weight of parcel
  • Goods description of each item
  • Returned goods indicator (only relevant where goods are being returned from a consumer to a business)

 

How can we help?