NI Chamber comments on Trader Support Service announcement

7th Aug 2020

Commenting on the Trader Support Service announcement, Ann McGregor, Chief Executive of Northern Ireland Chamber of Commerce and Industry (NI Chamber); said:

“The package announced by the UK government will be welcomed by businesses in Northern Ireland, as a free service for any NI business who would like to bring in goods from Great Britain or the rest of the world. There is however more to be done including resolving SPS issues, VAT and legislating to protect Northern Ireland’s position in the UK’s internal market. Also, although there may be no cost in terms of money for firms, it will still cost them significantly in terms of time – filling in paperwork and providing instructions to intermediaries for example.

“At NI Chamber, the team facilitates trade documentation and provides customs training, and we are concerned, from a practical perspective, how companies will be able to deal with the preparation involved in the timeline now available. What the UK government is proposing is a challenge and completing it in a few months is an even bigger challenge, particularly as HMRC don’t have the IT system that they’re proposing widely tested yet.

“Despite these most recent details, the fact remains that businesses still do not have enough time or information to prepare as they now await further details on the border operating model which is urgently required.”