A green/red lane system for the movement of goods and “not for EU” labels are among key measures of the Windsor Framework coming into effect for Northern Ireland on Sunday.
Goods coming into the region which are travelling to the Republic of Ireland or elsewhere in the EU will use the conceptual “red lane”, which includes customs declarations and some checks.
Goods to be sold in Northern Ireland will use a notional “green lane” with minimal paperwork and no checks.
Companies that use the green lane will be signed up to a trusted trader scheme.
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 has said the vast majority of Northern Ireland’s economic life remains “umbilically connected to the rest of the UK”, with most of the economy untouched by anything in the Windsor Framework, adding that concerns over the supply of human medicines have been addressed.
Sunday’s changes are designed to cut paperwork and red tape for many traders.
Mr Heaton-Harris wrote in the News Letter on Saturday: “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.”
Consumers may notice some changes in Northern Ireland and parts of the UK with the introduction of “not for EU” labels and other information in stores on some products, to prevent these from being sold in Ireland.
These labels on meat and dairy will apply in stores in Great Britain next year.
Stuart Anderson, head of public affairs for Northern Ireland Chamber of Commerce and Industry said: “A significant amount of work has been undertaken in a short time to get us to this implementation phase, particularly by those involved in the retail supply chain.
“These are new processes being applied to what are often high-volume and complex movements.
“But business has worked hard to ensure we get off to the best possible start.
“This is new for everyone involved.
“Continued engagement and a solutions-focused approach with government will be important to help businesses adapt and deal with any issues as and when they arise.”
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