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GB-NI Trade – is supply chain disruption over?



Supermarkets, retail, and food bosses have told MPs that the worst of supply chain disruption from the Northern Ireland Protocol is over.


Late finalisation of new trade rules and procedures have been blamed for much of the disruption to supply chains, and the lack of food on Northern Irish supermarket shelves.

However, Andrew Opie, director of the British Retail Consortium, has warned that supply chains are not out of the woods yet as there is a significant shortage of qualified vets to sign Export Health Certificates.


HMRC introduced a three-month grace period exempting trade of products of animal origin destined for supermarkets from full export health certification requirements. A second grace period was bought in for fresh meat products going into Northern Ireland.


However, the food industry is calling for a further extension of any easements.


Whilst supermarkets, retail and food businesses are confident disruptions are coming to an end, the reality is that sole traders and SMEs have also been facing disruption. Some have even taken the decision to stop sending goods to Northern Ireland over a lack of understanding of the new rules, which for an SME or sole trader can have a huge impact on their cash flow.


Is your business facing issues when trading via Northern Ireland or under the new rules in general?


The Chamber can help companies in several ways:

  • Join our next free webinar which will be touching on NI/GB Border Arrangements - 15th Feb

  • Check our Brexit Hub as we have compiled key guidance on NI Protocol, as well as the New UK Border controls and other key topics.

  • Let us know what challenges your business is facing and how they are impacting you. Our lobbying and policy work is an important instrument at our members’ disposal to ensure your voices are heard and taken into account by local and central government.

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