Importing from GB to NI? A Guide to TSS & Entry Summary Declarations

The Northern Ireland Protocol, created as part of the UK’s withdrawal from the European Union, implemented new rules for the flow of goods between Great Britain (GB) and Northern Ireland (NI). Businesses had to adjust to new customs processes and declarations, which resulted in a confusing situation.

Importing goods from Great Britain to Northern Ireland or outside the EU to NI requires using an Import Control System (ICS) to inform the customs authorities about the arrival of your products before departure from the country of origin.

The ICS manages:

Trading businesses find it challenging to comply with the requirements of TSS and Entry Summary Declarations.

What research says:

According to the GOV.UK

“Over 47,000 companies have signed up for the Trader Support Service (TSS) since it was first introduced in 2020. The TSS was designed to assist businesses in successfully navigating the changes that have been implemented to the way goods are transported as a result of the Northern Ireland Protocol.”

Business Embracing TSS & Entry Summary Declarations for smooth Trade graph

This huge number of businesses shifting to TSS emphasises the importance of its thorough comprehension. Keep reading to learn everything about TSS and ENS and make importing from GB to NI a breeze.

Understanding TSS

Trade Support Service (TSS) was set up in place after the UK’s exit from the EU. The two parties placed the Northern Ireland Protocol, which controlled trade between GB and NI.

The TSS programme is HMRC’s free, end-to-end digital platform that assists traders in complying with the NI Protocol. Established in 2020, TSS facilitates the movement of goods between the two regions by providing a “simplified journey.”

Understanding Entry Summary Declarations (ENS)

Entry Summary Declarations (ENS) is required for any items moving from GB to NI, which serves as a safety and security notification. Before the items arrive in NI, the carrier—typically the person executing the transport—is in charge of filing the ENS.

Is an ENS necessary?

When shipping products, you must have an ENS:

  • Directly to NI from nations outside the European Union (EU).
  • From Great Britain to Northern Ireland.


  • If the items are going to be used in Northern Ireland and come from an EU country, you do not need to submit an ENS.

  • You are transporting qualifying products from Northern Ireland to Great Britain.

Visit the GOV.UK website for more information on qualified goods.

Types of customs declaration for importing from GB to NI

The following are two types of customs declarations when moving goods to Northern Ireland:

Types of Entry Summary Declarations for importing from GB to NI

Full Frontier Declaration

The Full Frontier Declaration serves as your items’ comprehensive passport. It provides customs officials with thorough information to determine applicable taxes, levies, and limitations. Consider it a thorough interview procedure for your shipment.

It consists of the following:

  • Product Specifications: A list of the products being shipped, comprising their quantity, type, mass, and cost.


  • Origin and Destination: Details regarding the product’s place of origin and ultimate destination inside Northern Ireland.


  • Duty Rates: Detailed information on any import taxes or duties that may be imposed on the items.


  • Supporting Documents: Depending on the particular goods, additional documents like invoices, certificates of origin, or licences may be needed.

TSS automatically creates this declaration using the information in the Entry Summary Declarations. It is used by traders and hauliers that utilise TSS for customs processes and safety and security declaration.

Simplified Frontier Declaration

Customs uses the Simplified Frontier Declaration as a fast lane. It processes data more quickly by employing a simplified format that only includes the most important details about the products.

It consists of the following:

  • Basic Product Details: A short description of the kind and quantity of the items being carried.


  • Value Estimate: An estimate of the products’ worth.


  • Commodity Code: A uniform code used to categorise the kind of cargo being shipped.

Who completes the ENS declaration?

It is the responsibility of carriers to make sure that an Entry Summary Declarations, detailing safety and security measures prior to arrival, is sent to the UK customs department for every item being transported into Northern Ireland. In these declarations, the carrier is referred to as an operator.

How does TSS support customs declarations?

Customs declaration is required for:

  • Goods moving from Great Britain to Northern Ireland
  • Goods moving from RoW to NI (excluding EU)

Entry Summary Declarations (ENS), which include safety and security information, are not the same as these declarations.

Generating Customs Declarations from Entry Summary Declarations (ENS)

Choose the appropriate kind of customs declaration before finishing your ENS. For customs clearance, ENS is not enough; moreover, customs declarations are needed. There are two options available to you:

  • TSS Simplified Journey (usually from GB to NI)
  • TSS Full Frontier Declaration

TSS Simplified Journey

The goal of the TSS simplified journey is to facilitate business goods movement from GB to NI. In this process, a simplified declaration is made, including all the details before the departure of the goods.

ENS: The transporter is usually required to complete the safety and security declaration prior to the goods entering NI.

Simplified Frontier Declaration: This is often filed prior to the movement of the items and is automatically generated by TSS using the data from the ENS.

Supplementary Declaration: A comprehensive dataset is finished following the shipment of the products. This completes the customs process and guarantees payment of all applicable taxes and fees.

Procedure: Key steps involved

  • Make sure the ENS is submitted before the products are moved.

  • Acquire a commodities Movement Reference; this is an essential reference for monitoring and controlling the flow of commodities.

  • Send in supplementary declarations; these can be sent in as early as the fourth working day, but they must be received by the tenth calendar day of the month after the goods movement.

TSS Full Frontier Declaration Journey

It is required for:

  • Goods travelling from the RoW (but not the EU) to NI
  • Certain scenarios of commodities flowing from Great Britain to Northern Ireland, such as those entering inventory-linked sites or following unique protocols.

Procedure: Key steps involved

  • Send Entry Summary Declaration (ENS) as an “ENS Only” movement

  • To stop a Simplified Frontier Declaration from being automatically created, make sure the correct “ENS Only Reason” is selected.


Following the Northern Ireland Protocol, importing into Northern Ireland from Great Britain can be complicated. Fear not; TSS and ENS are on hand to assist! TSS is a government portal that is free of charge and helps businesses comply with customs laws. ENS serves as an alert system for arriving cargo.

Need assistance when importing from GB to NI? Check out iCustoms! Our AI-powered platform automates declarations, ensures accuracy, and saves you time and resources. Visit to learn more and streamline your imports from the United Kingdom to Northern Ireland.

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