02 June 2023


On 30 May, the General Affairs Council of the European Union approved three regulations to implement the joint solutions agreed upon with the United Kingdom concerning public, animal and plant health issues, medicines, and certain steel products. These regulations are part of the Windsor Framework and aim to address the challenges concerning Northern Ireland following the UK’s withdrawal from the EU.

The new rules aim to facilitate the movement of various goods from Great Britain to Northern Ireland, provided that they are intended for final consumption in Northern Ireland. Safeguards will also be implemented to prevent these goods from entering the EU's single market and to ensure the protection of public, animal, and plant health, as well as consumer interests within the EU.

Regarding sanitary and phytosanitary measures, the rules will simplify the movement of agri-food retail products from Great Britain to Northern Ireland for end consumption, once the agreed safeguards are in place. These safeguards include inspection facilities and gradual introduction of "Not for EU" labelling by 1 July 2025. In terms of medicines, the regulations ensure that all medicines, including novel ones, will be available in Northern Ireland simultaneously with the rest of the UK. Safeguards, such as labelling with "UK only", will prevent these medicines from entering the EU's single market. In relation to steel products, the legislation will enable the transfer of specific steel categories from Great Britain to Northern Ireland under the EU's tariff rate quotas. This will exempt Northern Ireland companies from the 25% tariff linked to EU safeguard measures, making these transfers economically viable. Appropriate safeguards will be implemented to accompany these transfers.

The regulations will come into effect after their publication in the Official Journal and will be supplemented by implementing acts adopted by the European Commission.

Source: Council of the EU