EU Exit - Trade Analysis

This section provides information on Northern Ireland trade with Great Britain, Ireland, Rest of EU and Rest of World.

UK Regions Imports and Exports of Goods by Country and World Region

On Monday 11 April 2022 NISRA updated the interactive trade in goods map developed to allow users to explore official trade in goods data by country and world region with 2021 data from HMRC’s Regional Trade Statistics published on 7 April 2022. The tool was developed by NISRA based on the existing UN Comtrade tool developed by DIT (Department for International Trade) and BEIS (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy) and can be found below.

Northern Ireland Monthly Trade in Goods Dashboard

As part of the Northern Ireland Protocol the UK is bound to collect and send trade data that corresponds to the movement of goods in and out of NI to the Statistical Office of the European Commission (Eurostat). The Northern Ireland trade in goods data is compiled by HMRC following similar concepts to those for the published Overseas Trade Statistics. The dashboard linked below has been created using monthly extracts of the data published on Eurostat. Goods are classified according to the Harmonized System, a multipurpose international product nomenclature. The dashboard covers international trade in goods, and therefore does not include data about NI-GB trade. All values are provided in Euros.

The next update of the Northern Ireland Monthly Trade in Goods Dashboard will be on the last working day of the month (unless otherwise specified).

Overview of Northern Ireland Trade      

Image-of-the-Overview-of-NI-Trade-Infographic-April-2020On Tuesday 4th April 2023 NISRA updated the slide pack aimed at providing an overview of Northern Ireland (NI) trade with Great Britain (GB), Ireland (IE), the Rest of the European Union (REU) and the Rest of the World (RoW) using publicly available data from the NISRA Broad Economy Sales and Exports (BESES) statistics, HMRC’s Regional Trade Statistics (RTS) and data from the Goods Exports and Imports statistics administered by the Central Statistics Office (CSO) in Ireland. The slide pack and associated documents can be found below.        


Overview of Northern Ireland Trade with Great Britain

On Tuesday 4th April 2023 NISRA published a short report on trade in goods between Northern Ireland and Great Britain:

Cross-Border Supply Chain Report

DfE commissioned NISRA to undertake a survey of Northern Ireland (NI) businesses who trade with Ireland (IE) and undertake an analysis of HMRC trade micro data. The objective was to provide more detailed information on the frequency and value of cross border movements of goods and the extent of cross border supply chain linkages to inform EU Exit discussions.

Other Current Publications

Data sources

There are two main sources of data on trade for NI:

  • HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) – HMRC is responsible for collecting the UK’s international trade in goods data. Their ‘UK Regional Trade Statistics (RTS)’ combine UK-wide Intrastat returns and customs declarations with data from Office for National Statistics’ (ONS) Inter-Departmental Business Register to apportion trade to each of the constituent parts of the UK, including NI.
  • NISRA – NISRA is responsible for collecting the Broad Economy Sales and Exports Statistics (BESES). BESES provides an experimental measure of local businesses’ domestic, regional and export sales to markets outside NI and has been gathered through the NI Annual Business Inquiry since 2011.

In addition, the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs in Northern Ireland (DAERA) collects and publishes detailed administrative data on the movement of animals, and the Central Statistics Office (CSO) in Ireland also produces its own estimates of trade between Ireland, Northern Ireland and Great Britain.

Where data is available from multiple sources, NISRA and DAERA sources are used to provide consistent estimates of trade in both goods and services between NI and IE, and between NI and GB for local businesses. HMRC sources are used where equivalence is required between UK national trade or for trade at the individual product level.