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Further grace period for NI trade welcome but…

[ September 7, 2021   //   ]

ParcelHero welcomes further grace period for checks on goods entering Northern Ireland as EU-UK negotiations reach stalemate.
ParcelHero has welcomed the UK government’s decision to further extend the grace period for checks on goods entering Northern Ireland. The broker points out that, unlike the first time the UK extended the grace period in March, the EU will not launch legal proceedings, at least for the time being.
However, it warns, the move “simply kicks tough decisions into the long grass”.
New checks and documentation requirements had been due to come into force on 1 October, as part of the much-delayed full implementation of the Northern Ireland Protocol but, with no new agreement in sight, the UK has shelved the new measures once again.
ParcelHero said that new documentation and checks on parcels and home deliveries would lead to a return to the chaos of January when companies such as John Lewis stopped home deliveries to their Northern Ireland customers entirely.
However, ParcelHero’s head of consumer research, David Jinks said: “This battle may have been won, but the sausage war is far from over. The UK Government has effectively reached a “standstill” arrangement with the EU, freezing the next stage of Protocol measures and pausing the current legal actions between the EU and UK.
“UK retailers and manufacturers had been fearing new bans on chilled meats and vastly increased red tape for many goods sent from Great Britain to Northern Ireland. The new rules would have been a nightmare for parcels and home deliveries. Private individuals and retailers alike would have been forced to complete comprehensive Customs documentation, potentially having to supply proof of origin of the items and even their individual components.”
However, the Government had admitted that the new delays were in order to provide space for potential further discussions.