A crack down on late payment culture and understanding custom changes in Northern Ireland - Wright Vigar
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The Government are set to crack down on late payments

In an attempt to support small business owners, the government has bolstered up its Prompt Payment Code and plans to strengthen the hand of the Small Business Commissioner to crack down on delayed invoices.

From 1 July 2021, there will be a new requirement introduced to the Prompt Payment Code meaning signatories have to pay 95% of invoices from small businesses (those with less than 50 employees) within 30 days. The target for larger businesses will remain 95% of invoices within 60 days.

Finance directors, CEOs or businesses owners of small business, must now take responsibility by personally signing the code and acknowledging that under its terms, suppliers can charge interest on late invoices and that breaches will be investigated by administrators of the code.

In addition to these measures, the government as also looking to reinforce the powers of the Small Business Commissioner to ensure larger companies pay their smaller suppliers on time. Details are yet to be finalised.

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Understanding custom changes in Northern Ireland

Under the Trade and Cooperation Agreement, Northern Ireland has a unique status in the EU customs union and the UK and it is important for businesses to understand the implications of the protocol for their operations.

The protocol was established in the UK’s withdrawal agreement and allows Northern Ireland to remain part of the UK’s customs territory while not introducing any new additional customs procedures for goods passing between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.

Moving goods from Northern Ireland to GB

There have been no changes in how qualifying Northern Ireland goods move directly to Great Britain, but there are some changes for qualifying goods moved indirectly through Ireland. Declarations may be needed for goods that do not qualify. You can check if you need to declare goods you bring into or take out of the UK here.

Bringing goods into Northern Ireland from Great Britain and from outside the EU

The Northern Ireland Protocol outlined that goods from Great Britain which are not deemed to be at risk of leaving the UK customs territory will not pay any tariffs. However, goods “at risk” of entering the EU’s single market will pay EU tariffs, where these apply and tariffs could apply to goods that do not originate in the UK.

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