Aug 11th, 2021
5 mins

Defra have confirmed that from 1st August 2021, the Movement Assistance Scheme (MAS) will cover some of the fees for exporters in GB who move organics solely to NI, and NI importers who incur costs to receive these goods from GB.

From 1st August, traders do not need to pay certificate of inspection (COI) costs. These costs will be incurred by the organic control bodies and the Government will reimburse the cost of certification directly to the organic control bodies up to a set amount.

The Organics COI process will be as follows:

  • Traders of organic agri-food products should continue to use the Traces NT process to apply for COIs
  • Certifiers of COIs must be registered on Traces NT. Traders must contact the certifier (organic control body) to arrange the certification
  • An organic control body receives a trader request to provide a COI via Traces NT
  • The control body completes the request, checking the terms of the license and ensuring there are no suspensions
  • The control body prints, signs and stamps the COI to endorse the request and uploads back to Traces NT
  • The control body sends the original COI to the trader to allow the movement of products to take place
  • For products moving from GB to NI, the control body then includes COIs on a monthly basis in one invoice to be reimbursed by Defra
  • Defra completes checks on the invoice to ensure products are moving on the GB-NI route, approves the invoice and reimburses the organic control bodies

Also from 1st August, traders will receive financial support for the costs related to ISTA (International Seed Testing Association) sample testing and certification required for all individual seed lots traded GB to NI only. The issuing body will waiver the cost of the inspection certification and instead invoice Defra for reimbursement.

For more advice and help to meet new requirements if you’re a trader, and understand how you can claim money back if you provide an inspection and certification service  please click here

The MAS FAQ document has also been updated to include this latest information and can be accessed here.

Defra have confirmed that the MAS scheme is due to end in Dec 2023. Support will be phased out gradually from July 2023 up to that date in two monthly increments.

MAS Helpline

For help and advice on moving agri-food goods from GB to NI traders can call the MAS helpline on 0330 0416 580. Agents are available 9:00 am to 5:00 pm Monday to Friday (excluding bank holidays). Traders of organic products moving from GB to NI can also contact their Organic Control Body for advice.


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