As you are aware the UK is due to leave the European Union on 31 January 2020. The UK and EU will then enter a transition period, currently set at 31 December 2020. (An extension to the transition period can be requested in June 2020).
Within this transition period trading relationships will remain unchanged. For Irish Sea freight shipments there will no requirement whatsoever for additional paperwork and/or physical checks during this 11 month transition period commencing 1 Feb 2020.
During this period, negotiations will take place on finding a trade agreement, if successful new legislation will begin shortly after 31 December 2020. As we’ve come to expect, the Brexit process has had many twists and turns but it now seems likely that customs procedures and safety and security documents will be required from the end of 2020. You should now be preparing your business.
It is not yet clear how traffic moving from Heysham to Warrenpoint will be treated but there is a possibility that some or all of this traffic will also be subject to checks from Jan 2021.
Seatruck Ferries will provide more detailed information in the coming weeks.