Amazon cuts alcohol sales to Northern Ireland over Brexit as more disruption looms

Tom Belger
·Finance and policy reporter
·2 min read
Amazon products at a warehouse in Scotland. Photo: Jane Barlow/PA via Getty
Amazon products at a warehouse in Scotland. Photo: Jane Barlow/PA via Getty

Amazon has halted sales of alcohol to Northern Ireland from Britain, with Brexit border issues posing further problems for other products later this year.

The e-commerce giant confirmed it had already stopped sellers sending beer, wine and spirits to Northern Irish customers at the start of the month.

One customer told ITV of their frustration as a Prime subscriber and after 15 years as a customer.

The retailer is reported to be concerned over tax issues, with fears excise duties may need to be paid twice. A UK government spokesman said goods would not face double taxation, however.

It is also said to be looking at halting certain other product sales from the end of March when certain customs and other new rules come into force. Customs declarations are currently optional under a grace period.

Pet food, organic food supplements and some over-the-counter medicines could be affected by EU restrictions, according to ITV.

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An Amazon spokesperson said: “We are planning and preparing for the end of the grace period so we can continue to serve our customers in Northern lreland who count on Amazon with the broadest possible selection of products.”

He did not confirm if or which products might face suspension from the start of April.

Amazon’s website notes some deliveries “may take slightly longer than usual” because of new trade requirements under the UK-EU agreement signed in late December.

“Due to additional requirements, some items may be unavailable for delivery to your selected Northern Ireland delivery address,” its advice page reads.

Consumers in the Republic of Ireland also face new VAT and import fees on products over €22 for products sold via Amazon.co.uk.

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The issues are the latest in a string of problems linked to new trade barriers resulting from Britain’s departure from the customs union and single market at the start of January.

Many Northern Irish firms and consumers have experienced problems securing goods from Britain, with some companies cutting supply routes to avoid new regulations and costs.

Supermarket supplies to Northern Ireland and UK meat and seafood exports are among the goods to have faced disruption, with business anger growing over the cost and complexity of new arrangements.

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