The Windsor Framework includes an agreement between the EU and the UK, that will disapply a list of EU SPS rules to goods entering Northern Ireland in certain circumstances. I posted before about the Windsor Framework, more generally. The Windsor Framework amends the Ireland/Northern Ireland Protocol to the EU-UK Withdrawal Agreement.
The disapplication list is found in Annex 1 to the Proposal for a REGULATION OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL on specific rules relating to the entry into Northern Ireland from other parts of the United Kingdom of certain consignments of retail goods, plants for planting, seed potatoes, machinery and certain vehicles operated for agricultural or forestry purposes, as well as non-commercial movements of certain pet animals into Northern Ireland.
The document is published as COM(2023) 124 final and Annex I is here. It is not yet law.
SPS is Sanitary and Phytosanitary.
The original Ireland/Northern Ireland protocol applied the same rules to agrifood trade between Cairnryan and Larne as between Holyhead and Dublin.
The Windsor Framework will set up a new “green lane” agrifood retail scheme. Part 2 of COM(2023) 124 final provides for the core elements of this “green lane” for agrifood retail movements to Northern Ireland. Part 2 is found here.
The “green lane” will allow traders moving agrifood goods to the final consumer in Northern Ireland to benefit from a unique set of arrangements that will enable an entire truck to move on the basis of a single certificate, without routine physical checks, and on the basis of UK food and drink safety standards.
The “green lane “ will be available to all such traders who are retailers, wholesalers, caterers, and persons providing food to public institutions like schools and hospitals.
Articles 4 and 5 (in Part 2) set out the requirements goods must meet in order to qualify for these unique arrangements. This includes products being prepacked and being made available only on the NI market for final consumers. The scheme is not limited to goods from Britain or the EU. Goods from the rest of the world can move under this scheme, either where they are processed in the UK, where they meet UK public health standards and pose no disease risk, or where disease risks exist and the UK has chosen to take the same approach to protecting against the same pests and diseases as the EU.
Products moved under the “green lane” scheme will be subject to UK and not EU rules for public health, marketing, organic, labelling, genetic modification, and drinks such as wines, spirits and mineral waters. Annex I sets out the list of EU rules that will be disapplied.
Product labelling will be introduced from October 2023 onwards.
Part 3 sets out the provisions for the movement of plants and plant products (other than seed potatoes) under the “green lane” scheme. These arrangements will be the same as those for plant movements within the UK.
Part 4 sets out the provisions for the movement of pets. Northern Ireland pet owners will therefore continue to move their pets to Ireland and the EU using the EU pet passport.
Article 11 removes the ban on movement of seed potatoes.
Cardinal Environment will identify the EU rules that will be disapplied for the “green lane” scheme, in Northern Ireland Registers & Checklists.
We will also highlight the disapplied EU rules in the REUL Deletion List which is supplied in every UK jurisdiction Registers & Checklists system.