What is the UK Internal Market Scheme (UKIMS)?
As members will be aware, UKIMS will be the new authorisation to declare that goods moving into Northern Ireland from Great Britain or countries outside both the UK and EU are ‘not at risk’ of onward movement into the EU, in place of the current UK Trader Scheme (UKTS).
In autumn 2024, it will also provide access to the new customs green lane arrangements.
Who can apply to UKIMS?
All UK-established businesses, can register for the new UK Internal Market Scheme (UKIMS) if they move goods that meet the relevant criteria. A business does not need all of its goods movements to qualify as ‘not at risk’ in order to be eligible for authorisation under the scheme. There has been some confusion on this point, however, it has been stressed to NI Chamber that all relevant businesses should apply, including processors, as not all goods need to qualify as not at risk.
How do you apply to UKIMS?
Registration for UKIMS is now open and you can complete your registration from the guidance page at: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/apply-for-authorisation-for-the-uk-internal-market-scheme-if-you-bring-goods-into-northern-ireland. You will need to have a valid UKIMS authorisation by 30 September to move your goods into NI tariff free as UKTS authorisations will cease to be valid from that point.
What has changed?
All businesses established throughout the United Kingdom can apply for authorisation – moving away from the previous restrictions that required a physical premises in Northern Ireland.
Goods undergoing commercial processing
Although it is unclear how significant it will have in practice, the new UKIMS authorisation expands the criteria for businesses undertaking commercial processing, to move goods tariff free:
- The turnover threshold below which companies involved in processing (including manufacturing) can move goods, under UKIMS, provided they can show those goods stay in Northern Ireland (or England, Wales and Scotland in the case of movements from Great Britain), is now £2m.
- Manufacturers with a higher turnover can still move goods for processing under the scheme if they are for use in the animal feed, healthcare, construction, or not-for-profit sectors (if for use in NI). .
- Inputs into food production for sale to consumers across the UK will continue to benefit from inclusion in the ‘not at risk’ definition.
All other goods not for processing (machinery, office materials etc.) can benefit from the UKIMS arrangements if they remain in Northern Ireland (or wider UK in the case of movements from GB). There is no turnover limit for goods that will not be subject to processing.
Duty Reimbursement Scheme
Goods that are not eligible to move ‘not at risk’ under UKIMS but where a business can demonstrate their goods did not enter the EU Single Market may access the new Duty Reimbursement Scheme (DRS).
DRS launched on 30 June to claim back duty paid on ‘at risk’ goods by showing that the risk of onward movement to the EU has not materialised. https://www.gov.uk/guidance/apply-to-claim-a-repayment-or-remission-of-import-duty-on-at-risk-goods-brought-into-northern-ireland
Some members have raised questions over the evidentiary requirements and processes involved in the duty reimbursement scheme, if you have any questions to this end, please get in touch with Stuart Anderson through the contact details below.
Businesses can also continue to make use of the customs duty waiver scheme, subject to de minmis rules. Further reading is available here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/check-if-you-can-claim-a-waiver-for-goods-brought-into-northern-ireland
For more information, please contact:
Head of Public Affairs