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 Thursday the 26th March 2020 NISRA updated the interactive trade in goods map developed to allow users to explore official trade in goods data by country and world region using data from HMRC’s Regional Trade Statistics. 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.

Overview of Northern Ireland Trade      

On Wednesday 4th August 2021 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 Wednesday 23rd October 2019 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.