Launched to support businesses after the UK’s departure from the EU, the government’s recently established Trader Support Service (TSS) was created to help businesses navigate the movement of goods between Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

In the latest episode of the Danske Bank Advantage podcast series, Dr. Wendy Austin MBE is joined by Frank Dunsmuir, Fujitsu’s Industry Lead for Customs & International Trade, and Shanker Singham, CEO of Competere - both senior members of TSS.

Speaking as part of series, launched by Danske Bank in November 2020, Dunsmuir and Singham explore how the service is helping businesses of all sizes to navigate the changes to the way goods move under the new Northern Ireland Protocol.

Talking about the launch of TSS, Fujitsu’s Frank Dunsmuir said: “It was an extraordinary few months as we prepared for the end of transition on 1st January. That preparation time was quite intense for everybody, with traders and the actual transport organisations and hauliers looking at the implications of what the changes will be and the introduction of new customs administration.

“Of course, we’ve been busy building the Trader Support Service as a platform to serve those needs. We’ve all been dealing with the implications of Covid-19 during that time as well, which has taken away resource and finance in their preparations. But TSS launched successfully and it’s helping organisations with their customs needs already.

“Obviously we need to educate traders about these new rules. Our 700 people strong contact centre at TSS is there to help and is turning around enquires very rapidly, complex enquires that are dealt with in only a day or so. We also have the NI Customs and Trade Academy which is run by one of the TSS Consortium which does a huge amount of training and webinars to guide people through the new rules.”

Shanker Singham of Competere, said of the new procedures:

“Yes, there are disruptions, there are difficulties, but at the same time NI has been put in a very unique situation. If you are in Northern Ireland you have access to the EU 26 countries on completely free terms, and to GB on largely free terms. There is no other place on earth that can deliver that amount of unfettered access to multiple customs territories.

“If we can get through this period, and make sure we get goods flowing from GB to Northern Ireland, then the future for NI is a lot brighter that people are currently assuming.”

To use the TSS, companies only need to go through a simple registration process online at . Once logged in they enter their EORI number, which recognises them as a trader across different customs regions. Users should be able to use the system straight away after signing up.

The Danske Advantage podcast series, hosted by Dr Wendy Austin, now has four episodes available to download from the bank’s website. In addition to the ‘How the Trader Support Service Can Support You’ episode, still available is ‘Fighting Back With Frampton’, ‘Unlocking Success Through Digital Transformation’ which features Greg Bradley, MD of BlkBox Fitness alongside Jerry Staple, Co-Founder of Origin Digital, and a ‘Building Human Connections in a Virtual First World’ episode in which Wendy interviews Danske’s HR Director, Caroline van der Feltz.

Robert McCullough, Head of Business Sector Engagement at Danske Bank said: “Our latest episode comes at a time when many businesses are telling us that they’re about to embark on navigating this new territory. Frank and Shanker are world renowned experts in their field, with extensive experience in providing solutions to the complex implications on NI trade. And so, we are delighted to have their input and advice, and be able to share that knowledge now.

“Here at Danske Bank we want to help customers by supporting them as they get to grips with these new processes and rules, and ensuring that they know they have support they can turn to, whenever they need it.”

The Danske Advantage podcasts are available at our Advantage webpage.