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UK Trade with EU: Northern Ireland

Question for Cabinet Office

UIN HL14774, tabled on 12 April 2021

To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Protocol on Ireland/Northern Ireland, whether EU officials at Derry City Airport will check (1) goods arriving from Great Britain, and (2) goods arriving from the Republic of Ireland.

Answered on

26 April 2021

There will be no port or airport at which EU officials will be conducting checks on goods moved between Great Britain and Northern Ireland. Under Article 12(2) of the Northern Ireland Protocol, the role of EU officials’ is limited to the right to be present during the activity of UK authorities relating to the implementation and application of EU law under the Protocol, and activities relating to the implementation and application of Article 5 of the Protocol, relating to the movement of goods. All procedures under the Protocol will be carried out by UK authorities. The 17 December 2020 Joint Committee Decision on Article 12 reflects these arrangements.

In practice, this could include EU officials being present at any ports or airports in Northern Ireland where UK authorities are undertaking activities within the scope of Article 12. This would include, for example, Belfast Port, Larne Harbour, Warrenpoint Port, Foyle Port and Belfast International Airport, all of which have been designated as Points of Entry for SPS goods. However, it will be for the EU to decide upon how they propose to allocate those officials present in Northern Ireland, in line with the relevant requirements of the December Joint Committee Decision.

Answered by

Cabinet Office