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- Background
- Impact for Departments

Last updated : 7 Jan 21 (Includes where goods transported as Merchandise in Baggage)


At the end of the transition period, the Northern Ireland Protocol will take effect.  The Protocol is an agreement between the EU & the UK which aims to avoid a hard border between Northern Ireland and Ireland.

The Protocol means that Northern Ireland is simultaneously in both the UK and EU’s VAT system for goods, including goods moving to, from and within Northern Ireland. UK VAT rules related to transactions in services will apply across the whole of the UK.

The application of the Protocol will involve some changes for sales and movements of goods that involve Northern Ireland.  This could be purchases and sales but also moving the University’s own goods e.g. collections & equipment for field trips and research.

For goods, it will be important to make the distinction between UK (Great Britain and Northern Ireland), GB and NI. Some of the rules are still to be determined, as part of the UK/EU negotiations.  Further details from HMRC can be found HERE

Impact for Departments

  • For movements of goods from GB to NI, there are potentially customs declarations to be made plus payment of custom duties and import VAT. This includes where goods transported as Merchandise in Baggage
  • Not only does this relate to purchases and sales but also moving the University’s own goods e.g. collections and equipment for field trips and research.
  • To enable this, the University has applied for an XI EORI number (a special NI identification number) and registered with the Trader Support Service.

Please email the University Tax Team for assistance within any sales/purchases or movements of goods involving Northern Ireland.

Highlights points regarding change in NI trade after transition period



Please see our CORONAVIRUS/COVID-19 Assistance pages for help with areas of Finance during the current situation.

UFS issued communications and the University website also contain information on this topic

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