Specific rules relating to the entry into Northern Ireland from other parts of the United Kingdom of certain consignments of goods


The UK and certain UK-based stakeholders have voiced serious concerns that the Withdrawal Agreement imposes a disproportionately high administrative burden on the entry into Northern Ireland from other parts of the UK of certain goods subject to sanitary and phytosanitary measures (SPS), where destined for final consumers in Northern Ireland. This would undermine the place of Northern Ireland within the UK's internal market.

Despite the very technical character of this proposed regulation, the EESC member and rapporteur-general, Klaas Johan Osinga stressed: These provisions have very real and concrete effects for citizens and business - in Northern Ireland and beyond" and added: "This draft regulation is a good balance between clarity, efficiency and safety needs.

Key points

In this opinion the EESC:

  • supports the adoption and early implementation of the proposed regulation, which ensures adequate sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) standards for a transparent, streamlined and safe supply of the market of Northern Ireland from other parts of the UK;
  • acknowledges the significant effort made to reconcile the facilitation of procedures, to safeguard the integrity of the EU internal market and the protection of public animal and plant health;
  • urges the Commission to further clarify and provide solutions for the areas of more apparent divergence between SPS standards in the UK and the EU;
  • agrees that the proposed regulation must contain a provision that enables suspension of the specific rules by the Commission in the event of the UK's non-compliance;

The full text of the opinion can be found here

Additional information

EESC section: External Relations Section (REX)

Opinion type: Mandatory

Rapporteur-general: Klaas Johan Osinga

Reference: REX/575-EESC-2023

Referral: COM(2023) 124 final 2023/0062 COD, COM(2023) 124 final 2023/0062 COD

Date of adoption by section: Not discussed in the section -urgent request

Date of adoption in plenary: 27 April 2023

Result of the vote: 147 in favour/0 against/0 abstentions


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