A database system designed to bring together five named databases used by UK customs and agreed during the Brexit trade talks is now due for implementation. The database will enable the sharing of data on the movement of goods from the rest of the UK to Northern Ireland, and help to reduce the risk of goods that don’t meet EU standards by use of CE Marking, entering the EU market via the Island of Ireland where the lack of a border between Northern Ireland and Southern Ireland has been a long term stumbling block in the Brexit negotiations.
The system will provide equipment and facilities to EU officials, as well as real time data to help form a detailed picture of movement of products over the Irish Sea. EU officials will be able to digitally check any consignment for what is being transported, where it is going and the company transporting it.
The database will give EU officials access to specific types of data.
Firstly, a requirement is to be able to tap into customs information for any specific consignment moving through a NI port.
Secondly, continuous access both in real-time and remotely to five named databases. These databases are the customs declaration service, import control system for NI, the goods vehicle movement services, the new computerised transit system for NI and the freight targeting system.
The system may not solve some of the arguments revolving around the NI protocol, namely why companies moving goods between the rest of the UK and Northern Ireland should have to fill out any paperwork at all as it is not a requirement for companies moving goods around other parts of the UK. This particular argument has been held up as a reason for the breakdown of the devolved Northern Ireland government operating out of Stormont. However, despite this, it is being haled as progress and may help to elevate the tensions that currently exist between the UK and the EU.
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