UK proposes customs ‘sites’ on both sides of NI border

A proposal has been put forward by the UK which would see a number of customs posts established on both sides of the Northern Irish border.

The proposal, revealed by RTÉ News last night, Monday, September 30, would apparently see custom points set up approximately five to 10 miles “back” from the border.

According to RTÉ News, UK negotiators submitted four “non-papers” during recent technical discussions with EU officials in Brussels, in efforts to replace the Brexit backstop.

The proposals apparently call for both the EU and UK to create “customs clearance sites”; the UK also proposed that products moving from such sites north of the border would be monitored using GPS en route to a southern site.

The products would be monitored by authorities through data from tracking devices or mobile phone data, the news agency adds. Up to 10 sites could apparently be established on either side of the border, according to the proposals.

RTÉ News reports that, under such proposals, traders would have a choice of either a straightforward customs declaration which would need to be lodged and cleared in both the UK and EU, or a “transit” system.

Under the transit system, the exporter becomes a registered “consigner” at base, and the importer becomes a registered “consignee”.

A financial institution bond would be required to guarantee that the relevant customs duty, excise and VAT have been paid, under the proposals.