Border staff in Northern Ireland to resume checks on goods arriving from Britain

Wed 10 Feb 2021
Posted by: William Barns-Graham
Trade News

Staff conducting checks on goods entering Northern Ireland from Great Britain returned to work today (10 February) after a week’s absence due to threats to their safety.

They will resume checks on controlled goods including products of animal origin.

Under the rules of the Northern Ireland Protocol, these goods legally require health certification to be completed and border inspections on entry into the region.

Full assessment

Larne and Belfast port staff responsible for conducting border inspections were told to stay away from work by the local council and the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs following threatening graffiti and reports of “sinister behaviour”.

A full threat assessment by police has since allowed staff to start returning for a “phased restart” of border checks, the FT reports.

Impact

A survey by Manufacturing NI, reported in the BBC, has found that more than a quarter of firms in the region have felt a “significant negative impact” on their business as a result of the new NI Protocol trade rules. 

However, the majority of firms said they now feel as though they are on top of the new requirements or expect them to ease.