In February 2023, the UK and EU negotiated an agreement that expanded upon the Northern Ireland protocol, named the ‘Windsor Framework.’ Essentially, this new framework reduces the number of checks for goods travelling between the UK and Northern Ireland, with the designation of red and green lanes.
The green lane transmits goods from Britain to Northern Ireland, and the red lane transmits goods that are likely to move to the EU. Red lane goods will be subject to the same number of checks as usual, but green lane goods will reap the benefit of simplified paperwork and easier travel! No more customs declarations for parcels or EU VAT regulations for alcoholic drinks and immovable goods in the green lane; less VAT means greater consumer interest in purchasing these goods, too.
But, the question remains: how could UK businesses take advantage of the Windsor Framework? We have the answer, below.
Become a Trusted Trader
First and foremost, to take complete advantage of green lane perks, UK businesses must be accepted as Trusted Traders. This programme exists under the new United Kingdom Internal Market Scheme to ease the complexities of transferring goods between both countries.
Fortunately, a large number of UK businesses can apply to be a Trusted Trader, no matter your industry of choice. Another advantageous factor of becoming a Trusted Trader under the new Windsor Framework is that physical premises in Northern Ireland are not required. You can sell and exchange goods of all kinds from afar.
Reduce the red tape
For UK businesses, taking advantage of the Windsor Framework circulates around reducing the red tape for the transmission of valuable goods. Healthy trade is the backbone of any successful business, but this can be crippled by yards of complex paperwork, VAT charges, customs declarations, and more.
UK businesses that are able to shift goods through the green lane no longer have to complete a “supplementary declaration,” and the Trader Support system is being upheld by the UK government. This greatly reduces the difficulty of completing trade paperwork.
And, even identity checks, which involve a visual inspection of the seals on lorry trailers, will be reduced from 100% to 5% by 2025, removing barriers to the smooth trade of food, drink, and merchandise that UK businesses previously had to cross.
Attract a new customer demographic
Before the Windsor Framework, the Northern Ireland Protocol dissuaded UK businesses from supplying a diverse range of products to consumers in Northern Ireland; the hassle and cost of transport, not to mention the banning of certain foodstuffs and the disruption to medical supplies, was simply deemed ‘too much’ by many.
Now, UK businesses like that of Sarah Hards’ haulage company AM Logistics, as quoted by the BBC, even believe that the Windsor Framework “almost takes us back to pre-Brexit times.”
New customers, based in Northern Ireland, await an influx of UK products, sent just for them. With the reduced obstacles to online ordering, UK businesses must press their advantage and direct their advertisement to this fresh, keen customer demographic.
It’s extremely important for businesses to enhance their communication technology. An Omnichannel Contact Centre from Gamma is the perfect contact centre solution for businesses looking to expand their user base throughout Northern Ireland, designed for UK businesses to communicate with widespread potential customers in an immediate, secure, and convenient way.
Taking advantage of the parameters of the Windsor Framework is essential for UK business’s continued success. Don’t wait to better your business, when the new frontier of Northern Ireland awaits.