Amongst other changes, the agreement provides a new lane system for goods moving from GB into Northern Ireland. It will mean goods moving from Great Britain which are staying in Northern Ireland would use a 'green lane' at Northern Ireland ports, meaning they should face minimal paperwork and no routine physical checks.
Goods which are due to travel into the Republic of Ireland would use a 'red lane', meaning they face customs processes and other checks.
To use the green lane businesses will need to register as a trusted trader under the new United Kingdom Internal Market Scheme (UKIMS).
At a press conference on Monday 27th February 2023, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak announced:
“Today’s agreement is written in the language of laws and treaties. But really, it’s about much more than that.
“It’s about stability in Northern Ireland. It’s about real people and real businesses. It’s about showing that our Union, that has lasted for centuries, can and will endure.
“And it’s about breaking down the barriers between us. Setting aside the arguments that have for too long, divided us. And remembering the fellow feeling that defines us: This family of nations – this United Kingdom.”
Businesses do not need to take any action right now and should continue as per current arrangements which will continue to apply.
The UK government said: “We will consult and work with business over the coming months ahead of implementing any changes required by these arrangements.”