Common issues in logistics and supply chain in a post-Brexit world

October 19, 2021 - 12:00am

Common issues in logistics and supply chain in a post-Brexit world

Part 2: Shipping to Northern Ireland

Daniel Barry, North Star Logistics

This is the 2nd of 3 articles that we hope address some of the common supply chain and logistics issues that have arisen from Brexit and the Coronavirus pandemic from the businesses we have worked with in the UK.

At North Star we work with our clients, logistics leaders and business leaders of all enterprise sizes and have seen first-hand how these issues have impacted on business success. There is no magic wand or quick fix, but we believe a lot of the problems can be mitigated through knowledge and training.

Here we have worked with the Lancaster Chamber of Commerce to respond to a further selection of FAQ and statements taken from member businesses and is the second in a series of 3 articles on questions surrounding documentation, shipping and Northern Ireland and finally general logistics and supply chain issues.

1. Confusion over shipping to and from NI

Whilst NI is in the UK, in customs eyes the UK or “GB” it is a separate import/export region and requires any imports into NI from GB to be declared through the protocol, or the Trader scheme.

In a nutshell HMRC are looking for a declaration and process confirming that any imports into NI from GB are ‘not at risk’ of being sold onwards to Ireland (the EU) and therefore exempt from duty. If they are sold onwards as part of your custom chain, then you may be liable for duty. To prevent any fines to HMRC, it is assumed duty is liable unless you declare otherwise by using the trader scheme and have a process in place to prove they are not ‘funnelling’ through NI to EU.

Having recently assisted a medical textile company apply and achieve the trader scheme, we feel that this is an area in which we can give some solid assistance.

2. Experienced exporters suspend shipping to Europe due to delays, and therefore creating many unhappy customers.

We work with many experienced service providers but have yet to encounter any that have stopped arranging shipping or brokerage services to the EU or vice versa. If you have experienced this, we would be happy to put you in touch with more robust exporters. Rules often change across industries so a change like this should and has been an opportunity for a brokerage service, not a reason to stop.

3. The ongoing issues with transit continues, and delays with customs formalities remain in certain European markets.

Unfortunately, this is likely to remain for several reasons. Our advice to adapt accordingly and plan further ahead as measuring to a 48-hour service level when it can only now be achieved in 5 days only further provides you and clients frustration. Planning ahead will help mitigate cost and mitigate delays both expected and unexpected.

If you’d like further insight on the issues above, or have other questions, do drop me a line on or call me on +44 7984 685 913.

We’d be happy to share our knowledge which has come from dealing with both local and international supply chains, as well as from the logistics industry.