The Windsor Framework - What Does This Mean for My Business?

Written by Leigh Trevis
Find me on:
5 minute read

Untitled design (64)

Since the beginning of what we now call “BREXIT”, on January 1st, 2021, trading between the UK and EU customs union has been a steep learning curve for everyone involved. Understanding that the UK was no longer part of the EU customs union and was now considered a “third country” within the European geography, was at times mind-blowing. Enter the Northern Ireland protocol.

Throughout the last two years, discussions around Northern Ireland and its relationship with the UK and EU has been one of controversy and stalemate. Three UK Prime Ministers later, we now have a "new way forward" - the Windsor Framework.

Windsor Framwork photo 1The Windsor Framework, a new way forward for the protocol in Ireland/Northern Ireland, is a new deal agreed upon between Rishi Sunak (Prime Minister of the United Kingdom) and Ursula Von Der Leyen (President of the European Commission) on February 27th, 2023.

Key facts:

  • Reaffirming full commitment to the Good Friday (Belfast) Agreement
  • Ensuring lasting certainty and predictability for people and businesses in Northern Ireland
  • Preserving the integrity of the EU and UK internal markets

The below guidance provides an overview of what is included in the Windsor Framework deal.


Goods moved from Great Britain to Northern Ireland, for end use or consumption in Northern Ireland.

Untitled design (57)
Nothing to Declare – Green Channel:


New arrangements

Safeguards for the EU Single Market

Customs/ Movement of goods

  • Trusted Trader scheme extended to a wider number of operators.
  • Simpler requirements and processes.
  • Super-reduced data (mainly commercial and transport) from trusted operators needed.
  • Solutions for the movement of freight and all types of parcels.
  • EU real-time access for UK customs IT systems and databases to perform risk assessments.
  • Robust authorization and monitoring of Trusted Trader and Authorized Carrier schemes.
  • Enhanced market surveillance and enforcement.
  • Possibility to suspend or terminate schemes in certain circumstances.

Retail Agri-food

  • Same food available on supermarket shelves in Northern Ireland as in the rest of the UK.
  • UK public health and consumer protection standards apply.
  • Only a single general certificate for mixed loads is needed per lorry.
  • Identity checks eventually reduced to 5%, with physical checks following a risk-based approach. Seed potatoes are allowed to move with easier procedures.
  • Simplified procedures for plants for planting and agricultural machinery.
  • EU animal and plant health rules apply.
  • SPS Inspection Facilities.
  • Labelling: “not for EU”.
  • Frequency of checks commensurate with the extent of individual labeling.
  • Reinforced market surveillance, traceability, and listing of authorized establishments.
  • Possibility to suspend facilitations partly or fully.

Goods destined for the EU or at risk of entering the EU Single Market.

Goods to Declare – Red Channel:
  • Still subject to full checks and control
  • Full EU phytosanitary and customs rules apply

Additional agreements for goods destined to the EU:

  • Simpler Processes for Parcels
  • VAT: more flexibility and enhanced cooperation
  • Permanent solution for all medicines
  • Solutions on Tariff Rate Quotas (TRQs)

Overall goals of the framework:

  • Regular dialogue between Northern Ireland stakeholders ensuring the voices of people in Northern Ireland are better heard
  • Regular dialogue between the EU and UK
  • Exploit the potential of the Trade and Cooperation Agreement to continue building a positive EU-UK relationship

There will be more to come after the next stage of ratification goes ahead as outlined above.

Additional Resources:


New call-to-action


Blog was originally posted on March 20, 2023 11 AM

Topics: Customs, EU, UK, Ireland, European Union

Leigh Trevis

Written by Leigh Trevis

Leigh’s career path has encompassed all levels of operational logistics including Training and Personnel Development. Since 2004 he has managed various operational teams from Distribution Services to European Road Freight. Prior to his current role, Leigh lead the operational training team for Europe. His specialty for over 15 years has been Dangerous Goods training and working with customers to raise awareness of the compliance risks inherent with Dangerous Goods. Leigh’s passion towards compliance attracted him to the ever-changing world of Customs in July 2021. Leigh is a Certified Dangerous Goods Safety Advisor, a leadership coach, a Prosci® Certified Change Practitioner and holds a BTEC (Distinction) Intermediate Award in Customs Exports and Import Procedures.

5 minute read