ICAEW.com works better with JavaScript enabled.


UK Internal Market Scheme replaces UK Trader Scheme from September


Published: 12 Jun 2023 Update History

The Internal Market Scheme will replace the UK Trader Scheme on 30 September 2023. It will allow traders moving goods to Northern Ireland from Great Britain to demonstrate that the goods are not at risk of moving to the EU.

When the Windsor Framework was announced in February 2023, it promised a new ‘green lane’ for traders moving goods destined for Northern Ireland. The green lane would free such traders of “unnecessary paperwork, checks and duties using only ordinary commercial information”.  

The government has now provided more information regarding the green lane, which will be accessible to traders authorised under the new UK internal market scheme (UKIMS). Traders authorised for the UKIMS will be able to declare their goods ‘not at risk’ if brought into Northern Ireland for sale or final use by end consumers in the UK. 

‘Not at risk’ goods are goods not at risk of onward movement to the EU. Duty will not be charged on such goods if they enter Northern Ireland from free circulation in Great Britain.  

However, ‘not at risk’ goods will still be charged duty if entering Northern Ireland from outside the UK and EU. Duty will also be charged if the goods enter Northern Ireland from Great Britain if they were not in free circulation in Great Britain. 

Goods moving through the green lane won’t be subject to the same processes that apply to other goods entering Northern Ireland. The trader will only need to submit a simplified dataset, based on commercial information. 

‘At risk’ goods will not be able to use the green lane. They will be charged the applicable EU duty. 


Traders must apply for a UKIMS authorisation to be ready to make use of the green lane from 30 September 2023 onwards. The portal for making applications is open. Traders can continue to use the UK Trader Scheme for goods moving before that date. 

To apply for the UKIMS authorisation, traders must: 

  • be established in the UK;
  • meet all compliance requirements; and
  • meet all records, systems, controls and evidence requirements. 

Traders who move goods into Northern Ireland to be processed will be subject to additional requirements

Once HMRC has approved a trader’s application, it will send them a letter with its UKIMS authorisation number. The trader will then be able to declare goods ‘not at risk’. Traders can use the trader support service to help make these declarations. 

‘Not at risk’ goods 

Some goods cannot be declared ‘not at risk’. This includes goods subject to commercial processing where the additional requirements to declare these goods ‘not at risk’ are not met. These goods will be automatically ‘at risk’. This means EU duty will be payable. 

Goods brought into Northern Ireland that are not automatically ‘at risk’ can be declared ‘not at risk’ when they are either: 

Goods brought into Northern Ireland from Great Britain will be treated as ‘not at risk’ if the applicable EU duty is zero. If the goods are subject to processing and the trader does not meet the additional requirements, this won’t be the case. 

Duty reimbursement scheme 

From 30 June 2023, the government is also introducing a scheme to reimburse the payment of EU customs duties paid on goods moved into Northern Ireland that were not sold or used in the EU. The scheme will enable the repayment of any such duties where the necessary evidence is provided. The scheme will provide reimbursement for relevant duties paid from 1 January 2021 onwards. 

Customs duty waiver scheme 

Traders that move ‘at risk’ goods into Northern Ireland may be able to claim a waiver for customs duty which might otherwise be charged.  From 1 January 2024, the customs duty waiver scheme will be expanded to allow up to €275,000 (c. £235,000) of customs duty to be waived. 

Next steps 

These rules are complex, and traders should seek professional advice if moving goods into Northern Ireland.  

Traders currently using the UK Trader Scheme should consider applying for UKIMS authorisation as soon as possible. Consideration should also be given to the possible use of the duty reimbursement and customs duty waiver schemes. 

Further reading 

The Tax Faculty

ICAEW's Tax Faculty is recognised internationally as a leading authority and source of expertise on taxation. The faculty is the voice of tax for ICAEW, responsible for all submissions to the tax authorities. Join the Faculty for expert guidance and support enabling you to provide the best advice on tax to your clients or business.

More support on tax

ICAEW's Tax Faculty provides technical guidance and practical support on tax practice and policy. You can sign up to the Tax Faculty's free enewsletter (TAXwire) which provides weekly updates on developments in tax.

Sign up for TAXwireJoin the Tax Faculty

More from the Tax Faculty

Latest news
Making tax digital image

Stay up to date with the latest developments in tax by signing up to the Tax Faculty's weekly e-newsletter

Practical guidance

Comprehensive support for Tax practitioners each month from the Tax Faculty and expert contributors.

Technical support
Tax Faculty image

Expert advice from the Tax Faculty's technical managers on all the developments in tax policy and practice.