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More efforts needed to keep Ulster trade flowing, says Logistics UK

[ February 23, 2021   //   ]

The Northern Ireland Protocol that governs movement of goods between Great Britain and the province needs further work, Logistics UK told UK government and EU representatives at a round table meeting on 18 February.

Policy manager for Northern Ireland Seamus Leheny told the gathering, chaired by Michael Gove and European Commission vice president Maroš Šefčovič that several formalities under the are causing difficulties to logistics businesses.

Logistics UK said that while the round table opened a vital new dialogue between the business community and EU-UK governments but there is much work still to be done to smooth trade flows – industry needs to be given clarity, certainty and simplifications in the weeks and months ahead.

Logistics UK laid wants to see the development of a Retail Movement Scheme to govern the transportation of agri-food goods, plants and animals between GB and NI. Sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) checks must be proportionate to the low risk these items present to health to prevent any unnecessary administration and delays.

It also wants a Trusted Trader status for parcel operators to reduce administrative burdens on placed on business to consumer consignments.

To enable the successful delivery of these schemes, the grace periods currently in place under the Protocol must be extended sufficiently to enable longer term simplifications to be agreed and implemented.

Leheny said: “Both the UK and EU government representatives expressed their commitment to reaching pragmatic solutions and I look forward to meeting again on a quarterly basis to ensure the Protocol is best serving the business community.”

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