The European Commission today (Friday 22 July) launched four new infringement procedures against the UK for failing to comply with significant parts of the Northern Ireland Protocol.

The new legal action adds to the infringement proceedings launched on June 15.

The commission explained that it had refrained from taking legal action for more than a year “in the spirit of constructive cooperation”.

“However, the UK’s reluctance to engage in serious discussions since last February and the continued passage of the Northern Ireland Protocol Bill through the UK Parliament runs directly counter to this spirit. “, he underlined in a press release.

The committee hopes the procedure will ensure compliance with the protocol in several key areas.

“This compliance is essential for Northern Ireland to continue to benefit from its privileged access to the European Single Market, and is necessary to protect the health, safety and security of EU citizens and the integrity of the market. unique,” he said.

In the new lawsuit, the European Commission alleges that the UK has:

  • failed to comply with applicable customs requirements, surveillance requirements and risk controls on the movement of goods from Northern Ireland to Great Britain;
  • has not notified the transposition of EU legislation establishing general EU rules on excise duties, which will become applicable from 13 February 2023;
  • has not notified the transposition of EU rules on excise duties on alcohol and alcoholic beverages, which facilitate access for small producers and artisans to reduced rates of excise duty, between other provisions;
  • Has not implemented the EU Value Added Tax (VAT) rules for e-commerce, namely the Import One Stop Shop (IOSS) which allows businesses to comply with import obligations. VAT on distance sales of imported goods.

The commission has sent letters to the UK asking it to take “swift corrective action” to comply with the terms of the protocol.

The UK has two months to respond to the letters, after which the commission said it “stands ready to take further action”.