Defra has announced continued government support for traders moving agri-food products from Great Britain to Northern Ireland, with further expansions to the Movement Assistance Scheme (MAS).
Following six months of operation and the completion of a recent review, Defra have advised that the MAS will continue to provide traders with advice and guidance via the dedicated MAS helpline, and financial support for certain certification costs and other direct costs of certification until the end of December 2023.
From 1 July 2021, the scope of MAS has been expanded to include further support for the cost of certification requirements under the NI Protocol.
This now includes the audit inspection cost incurred to register with the Plant Health Exports Audited Trader Scheme and ongoing audit costs for the movement of fruit, vegetables and cut flowers from Great Britain to Northern Ireland.
It also includes costs related to testing sheep for scrapie as required for certification.
From 1 August 2021, traders will also receive financial support for costs related to the International Seed Testing Association sample testing and certification required for all individual seed lots traded.
UKG will look to support businesses with meeting new costs for exporters in Great Britain who move organics solely to Northern Ireland, and Northern Ireland importers who face new costs to receive these goods from Great Britain.
In addition, MAS will continue to explore the options to cover costs related to Health Attestations.
More details will be announced shortly.