Support service for Northern Ireland trade goes live

  • Businesses urged to sign up to new Trader Support Service with fewer than 100 days until end of Transition period
  • The free end-to-end service will support traders by submitting declarations on their behalf
  • Provides advice on steps traders need to take to prepare for upcoming changes to trade, as set out in the NI Protocol

The new Trader Support Service (TSS) is now live for business, providing education and guidance for traders moving goods under the Northern Ireland Protocol, including between Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

Tens of thousands of traders will start to receive emails and letters from today, with details on the launch of the TSS and its benefits for UK businesses.

The free-to-use digital service will help businesses and traders of all sizes to navigate the changes to the way goods move, once the Northern Ireland Protocol comes into effect on 1 January 2021.

Traders who sign up to the TSS will be guided through the new processes under the Northern Ireland Protocol, and can also use it to complete digital declarations.

The service will:

  • Provide a free end-to-end support package to manage import and safety and security declarations on behalf of traders.
  • Educate businesses on what the Protocol means for them, and the steps they need to take to comply with it. This will include online training sessions and webinars, with information being continually updated as we move closer to 1 January 2021.
  • Help to complete relevant declaration forms for all businesses moving goods into Northern Ireland under new processes in the Northern Ireland Protocol that start from 1 January 2021.

The Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, Michael Gove MP, said:

“The new free-to-use Trader Support Service, launching today, will provide crucial support and guidance to businesses moving goods under the NI Protocol.

“Backed by up to £200 million of UK Government funding, it reflects our deep commitment to support the Northern Ireland economy and protect the Belfast (Good Friday) Agreement.

“With little over three months to go until the end of the transition period, it is vital that traders sign up and take advantage of the scheme, so that they can continue to trade seamlessly and seize new opportunities on 1 January 2021.”

Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Brandon Lewis MP, said:

“Today’s launch of the Trader Support Service underlines the UK Government’s continued commitment to ensuring Northern Ireland’s businesses get the support they need as we approach the end of the Transition period.

“I urge traders to sign up to this free service to take advantage of import processes being dealt with on their behalf, to seek advice on what the NI Protocol means for their business and to understand what steps they need to take to prepare.”

Seamus Leheny, Policy Manager, Logistics UK, said:

“We are delighted to see the launch of the Trader Support Service, which should help NI business transition to new trading arrangements, protect continuity of trade and help ensure EU Exit is a success for the NI economy.”

The TSS will be delivered by a consortium led by Fujitsu, which was selected as the supplier following an open and transparent procurement process.

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