In December 2020 the UK and the EU reached agreement on the terms of their future relationship. Following the end of the transition period on 31 December 2020, there have been changes in how the UK trades with the EU, and in relation to the movement of goods between Great Britain and Northern Ireland:
- the EU has begun treating the UK as a third country and has implemented full controls on goods passing between the UK and the EU;
- and the UK plans to introduce full import controls on goods moving from the EU to the UK in phases from October 2021 to March 2022.
In addition, grace periods on the movement of certain goods between Great Britain and Northern Ireland are currently planned to expire in October 2021, which will bring about further changes.
This will be our sixth report on the UK Border and preparedness for the UK exiting the EU. This report will examine the government’s progress in managing the border and implementing the Northern Ireland Protocol since the end of the transition period, and the impact of the new border arrangements on businesses and industry sectors. It will also examine how government is managing future risks in these areas, particularly in relation to introducing full import controls.