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31st December 2020

Concerns about long-term solution for parcels moving between GB and NI

Following the publication of temporary guidance for parcels moving between Great Britain (GB) and Northern Ireland (NI) from 1 January 2021, The Consumer Council has said it remains concerned about the long-term solution for NI consumers and businesses.

Guidance, published today (31 December 2020), on parcels moving between GB and NI says there will be a three month grace period for online orders and all consumer parcels from GB. However, NI businesses receiving a parcel with goods valued over £135 will have to submit a declaration through The Trader Support Service within three months.

Kellin McCloskey, Head of Postal Services at The Consumer Council, said: “Whilst this new guidance provides some level of reassurance for consumers particularly during the pandemic, it points to added administration for many businesses ordering supplies over £135.  It also does not provide the added certainty for online retailers to continue to supply to NI consumers in the long-term.

“The Consumer Council remain concerned that any long term solution which involves customs declarations and checks will impact on NI consumers in terms of additional cost, or a reduction in the number of retailers selling to NI.

“We will continue to work with UK Government to reinforce this issue.”

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