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EU Exit - Information about EU Exit

The UK officially left the European Union on 31 January 2020 and was then in a transition period which ended on 31 December 2020. In January 2021 a new relationship with the EU began and the NI Protocol came into force. The Windsor Framework has replaced the NI Protocol from February 2023.    

Windsor Framework

The Windsor Framework, agreed by the Prime Minister and European Commission President, replaces the old Northern Ireland Protocol, providing a new legal and UK constitutional framework.

Further details about the Windsor Framework, what it could mean for you and your business, along with any changes to legislation are available at GOV.UK

General information

General advice on your rights and settlement following the EU Exit is available on the NI Direct and UK GOV.UK websites. 


EU Exit Support and Advice for Small Businesses (SME)

The UK Government, Invest NI and InterTradeIreland offer advice and support for small businesses following the EU Exit:

UK Government

The UK Gov website provides advice and support as well as major announcements in order to make sure your business is prepared following the EU Exit. A number of government departments and agencies are providing help for businesses, in the form of information, advice and vouchers.

The UK Government also created an online Brexit readiness tool, as well as guides to importing and exporting.

Trader Support Service 

The Government has established a free-to-use Trader Support Service to support businesses and traders of all sizes to navigate the changes to the way goods move under the Northern Ireland Protocol. The Trader Support Service:

  • Will help if you move goods between Great Britain and Northern Ireland, or bring goods into Northern Ireland from outside the UK
  • Will guide you through any changes to the way goods move between Great Britain and Northern Ireland
  • Can complete declarations on your behalf

More information is available at Trader Support Service

Invest Northern Ireland 

Invest Northern Ireland via the NI Business info website can provide EU Exit help, advice and support for your business. Invest NI work with businesses of all sizes and are committed to helping your business grow by finding the right combination of support across all the key areas of your operations.


InterTradeIreland have a dedicated Cross Border Trade Hub which includes information on trade in goods and servicesfocusing on customsVATregulation and cross-border employment. The service will continually develop and is supported by a dedicated team to help businesses understand the new rules and trading requirements.  

More information is available at InterTradeIreland

Changes for Agri-Food Goods

The Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA)

The Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) provide information and support for businesses and individuals in relation to:

  • Moving products of animal origin and animal by-products
  • Moving fish and fishery products
  • Moving plants and plant products
  • Moving live animals including fish and balai
  • Pet travel
  • Moving SPS and other regulated goods as an authorised trader
  • Protocol compliance
  • Chemicals, water and waste

More information and guidance are available at DAERA

The Food Standards Agency 

If your business deals in food, or animal feed, it is your responsibility to make sure it is safe. Information is provided at the Food Standards Agency

Food Labelling Changes

Leaving the EU will mean changes to how we labelthe food we produce or bring into Northern Ireland. Updated guidance on food and drink labelling changes which includes labelling requirements with respect to the Northern Ireland market from 1 January 2021 can be found here.

More recently, guidance has been issued on the labelling requirements for certain products moving from GB to NI under the Retail Movement Scheme and information. This can be found here

The updates to the guidance clarify the position from 1 January 2021 regarding;

  • Food Business Operator address - to be a Northern Ireland or EU business address or address of importer
  • ‘Origin indications’ for goods produced in Northern Ireland, where indication of a Member state is required, is to be labelled as ‘origin UK(NI)’
  • The application of ID marks on products of animal origin; (FSA Guidance)

Businesses will need time to adapt to these new labelling rules, including on FBO name and address requirements and the use of the UK(NI) as an indication of origin. Labelling queries can be emailed to your Environmental Health Officer on ehealth@nmandd.org

Living and working in Northern Ireland

Information regarding people living and working in Northern Ireland is available at NI Direct

Support for Vulnerable Migrants
Newry, Mourne and Down Ethnic Minority Support provides a free and confidential service for NMD ethnic minority residents and is accessible via email at ethnicsupport@nmandd.org