Digitalisation to Speed Up Customs Processes at the Irish Sea Border


When the transition period ends on December 31st of this year, there will be a closed border again between the United Kingdom and the European Union. Especially for Ireland and Northern Ireland, this will mean a lot of new procedures and checks.

New Customs Procedures in the Irish Sea

Companies trading between Northern Ireland and the United Kingdom there will need to have customs declarations for their goods starting January 1st 2021. A system has been put in place where the government will pay customs agents to take care of this: the Trader Support Service (TSS).

The BBC reports:

At an earlier stage in the Brexit process, Fujitsu had floated a concept called 'the drive-through border' which it said would use technology to reduce friction when goods crossed the Irish land border.

However, that was overtaken by political events when the UK government signed a deal with the EU meaning new checks and controls on goods entering Northern Ireland from the rest of the U.K.


Initially, traders will register with the service and receive advice on what Brexit will mean for their business and the next steps they should take.

They will be helped to understand what information they need to collect about the goods they will be importing.

TSS will then use this information to complete import declarations on behalf of importing companies.

It should help to prevent what would have been a significant new administrative burden for many firms.

However, it does not remove all the looming difficulties for GB-NI trade.

At the end of the Brexit transition period on 31 December, Northern Ireland will continue to follow EU rules on agricultural and manufactured goods, while the rest of the UK will not.

There is a lot to do about the border between the United Kingdom and Ireland. It’s an important subject, as there have been many struggles before.

Read the whole article here.

Why the Border With Northern Ireland is so Important

Last week Joe Biden tweeted about the Irish border. There have been rumours of Johnson wanting a hard border between Ireland and Northern Ireland. Biden tweeted:

We can’t allow the Good Friday Agreement that brought peace to Northern Ireland to become a casualty of Brexit.

The biggest fear is that an end to the Good Friday Agreement would mean a new spout of violence and conflict in Northern Ireland.

What is the Good Friday Agreement?

Wikipedia tells us:

The Good Friday Agreement (GFA), or Belfast Agreement ... is a pair of agreements signed on 10 April 1998 that ended most of the violence of the Troubles, a political conflict in Northern Ireland that had been ongoing since the 1960s. It served as a major development in the Northern Ireland peace process of the 1990s. Northern Ireland's present devolved system of government is based on the agreement. The agreement also created a number of institutions between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, and between the Republic of Ireland and the United Kingdom.

Read the full Wikipedia post here.

Digitalization and Customs

Digitalization is one of our main points of focus. We believe in the power and efficiency of digital processes to support customers with importing and exporting

With higher demands from customers and goods travelling faster around the world a solid digital organisation is key. As a customs broker, we embrace digitalisation and innovation. We strive to do our work better every day. We are constantly evaluating our processes to do our work as your customs partner even better and more digital, every day.