The international delivery expert ParcelHero has welcomed the new ‘Windsor Framework’ NI Protocol deal, saying it will end checks and most red-tape on goods for sale or being delivered to Northern Ireland.
However, it warns that any further delays in greenlighting the deal to create a green ‘Express’ Lane for British goods staying in Northern Ireland threatens the UK economy and weakens chances for further EU post-Brexit deals.
ParcelHero’s Head of Consumer Research, David Jinks M.I.L.T., says: ‘This agreement in principle means British goods destined for Northern Ireland will go through a Green Lane, without unnecessary checks and paperwork, while products destined for the Republic of Ireland (ROI) will receive closer examination in the Red Lane. That seems an eminently sensible solution.
‘It’s particularly pleasing that the new deal ends, once and for all, the threat that parcels sent from GB retailers and suppliers to NI customers would require a customs declaration. It also ends the threat of Customs paperwork for individuals sending parcels from the rest of the UK to friends and family in NI. So far this particularly contentious part of the original Protocol agreement has not been enforced, due to an extended “grace period”. It’s good to see that this requirement has now been officially dropped.
We further welcome the Prime Minister’s statement that: “burdensome Customs bureaucracy will be scrapped” and that the deal will ensure the smooth flowing trade within the UK and remove “any sense of a border in the Irish Sea”.
‘However, we fear that the UK-EU deal could still end up in the Red Lane, leaving British businesses still unable to sign off their 2023 sales campaigns for Northern Ireland. Prime Minister Rishi Sunak now must get the deal past those Brexiters in his Government ideologically opposed to any continuing role for the European Court of Justice (ECJ), and the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), which objects to any deal imposing restrictions between Britain and Northern Ireland.
‘The time has come for politicians to put aside ideology in favour of getting trade moving. Continuing uncertainty and bureaucracy are creating huge headaches for retailers simply wishing to continue trading in this vital part of the UK market, and for exporters hoping for wider UK-EU trading reforms.
‘Hopefully, unionists will welcome the news that UK VAT rules and taxes on goods and alcohol will continue to match those of the rest of the UK, and that access to UK medicines will be guaranteed. The new “Stormont Brake” will give the Northern Ireland Government the opportunity to put the emergency brakes on any new EU goods rules it disagrees with.
‘Even without unnecessary bureaucracy, sending goods overseas – even the short span of the Irish Sea – can be difficult. International shippers can reduce their costs by keeping in mind that a carrier will charge on weight or volume, whichever is the greater. That applies to goods flown into Northern Ireland or arriving by sea, as well as goods shipped to the EU and further afield.
‘This size-based weight is termed volumetric measurement. The problem is that different companies use different divisors to set this rate. And some apply a different volumetric formula for their express service compared to their economy service. To cut through this confusion, ParcelHero’s new volumetric tool not only calculates the typical volumetric weight but, if you enter the specific carrier and service you are thinking of booking, it will calculate the exact volumetric weight you will be billed for.