Brexit — Importing medicines and medical devices into Ireland from Great Britain

Brexit has resulted in substantial changes to the way in which medicines and medical devices are imported from Great Britain to Ireland. Detailed guidance in relation to Brexit and the associated customs requirements is available on the Revenue website. 

For ease of reference, information on some recent guidance issued by Revenue is contained below. Companies should ensure that they are familiar with all relevant guidance and are in a position to comply with any customs requirements relevant to their products.

New rules for trading with the UK

On 24 December 2020, the EU and UK negotiating teams reached agreement in principle on a Trade and Cooperation Agreement, which came into effect from 1 January 2021. The Agreement provides for tariff-free and quota-free trade for qualifying goods.

The European Commission has provided more information on the Agreement on its website. It is important to note that even with the Trade and Cooperation Agreement in place, the end of the Brexit transition period brings substantial and lasting change, as the UK is no longer part of the EU Single Market and Customs Union. This means new procedures apply for businesses moving goods to, from or through the UK (excluding Northern Ireland).

The Protocol on Ireland / Northern Ireland means that no new procedures will apply to goods moving between Northern Ireland and Ireland.

Important Customs advice to hauliers and truck drivers moving goods from Great Britain into Irish ports

Revenue has provided important advice to hauliers and truck drivers moving goods to, from or through Great Britain (GB) into Ireland by ferry in relation to the following:

  • creating a correct Pre-Boarding Notification (PBN)

  • the importance of checking the customs channel prior to disembarking

Following Revenue’s advice will ensure that:

  1. Vehicles carrying goods to and from GB will be able to board their scheduled ferry without any difficulties

  2. Truck drivers can present goods for customs controls, if any, on arrival with the minimum of delay. 

Revenue: Creating a correct Pre-Boarding Notification

Those responsible for transporting goods to or from Great Britain by ferry are required to create a Pre-Boarding Notification (PBN) on the Customs RoRo Service before the goods start their journey, and in advance of vehicles moving to the departure port.

Revenue has supports in place to help trade and businesses adapt to the new customs formalities.

Please visit the Revenue website for a detailed step-by-step guide on how to create and correctly populate a PBN.

Revenue has also set up a dedicated email support service to deal with all PBN related queries at

Please note: To create a correct PBN, and ensure the efficient movement of the goods, it is essential that the Master Reference Number (MRN) for each customs declaration for all consignments in a vehicle are included when creating the Pre-Boarding Notification (PBN). 

Temporary facilitation for Entry Summary Declaration (ENS)

Following difficulties experienced by some businesses in the first week in January in generating a PBN, Revenue issued a statement outlining a temporary facilitation that can be used when submitting an Entry Summary Declaration (ENS) for RoRo movements. 

Companies who have queries in relation to customs requirements should engage directly with Revenue who will address these in a timely manner. It should also be noted that this is a temporary facilitation and that companies who currently need to rely on this to generate a PBN will need to identify and address the cause of the issue which is preventing them generating the PBN in the normal manner and not rely solely on this temporary facilitation. To contact Revenue, please see the contact details they have provided. 

How to create a PBN

guidance video on how to create a PBN can be found here or viewed below. 


Customs Channel Look Up

Drivers travelling on ferries from Great Britain to Ireland are reminded to check their customs channel on the Customs RoRo Service 30 minutes out from arriving into Dublin or Rosslare ports. The customs channel will not be available before that as Revenue’s risk analysis process will be running while the ship is travelling between GB and Ireland.

The Customs RoRo Service provides a range of trade facilitation services that minimise delays, in so far as possible, for goods coming into, and moving out of, Irish ports and involving Great Britain. The Channel Look-up service enables truck drivers to check if their vehicle can ‘Exit the Port’ or is required to ‘Call to Customs’ on arrival.

Two key things for truck drivers to keep in mind to ensure they can access their customs channel:

  1. Have the Pre-Boarding Notification Identification number (PBN ID) for the vehicle or trailer

  2. Check the customs channel no earlier than 30 minutes prior to disembarking.

If a driver gets a ‘Call to Customs’ channel, this will be accompanied by details of the customs terminal to go to in the port. 

Detailed Customs advice for truck drivers using Irish ports, including the steps to follow on how to use the Customs RoRo Service and how to look up the customs channel, can be found here. This information guide is available in 11 languages (Irish, English, Dutch, Estonian, French, Hungarian, Latvian, Lithuanian, Polish, Romanian and Russian).

Four steps to checking your customs channel 

  1. Access

  2. Click on ‘Customs Channel Look Up’

  3. Enter the PBN ID for the vehicle or trailer

  4. Click ‘Get your Channel’

Further information 

Key support and information can also be found at