Amazon has stopped selling alcohol in Northern Ireland and is expected to de-list many other items in the coming weeks.
The online retail giant stopped selling wine, beer and spirits to customers in Northern Ireland on January 1 due to increased Brexit red-tape.
According to ITV News, Amazon is now considering halting the sale of many more items including over the counter medicines, food supplements and pet food.
These are expected to be taken offline before April 1, when new Brexit-related customs regulations come into place requiring all products of animal origin sent from mainland Britain to Northern Ireland to have a Export Health Certificate (EHC), which must be signed off by a registered vet.
Increased red-tape was also the reason for Amazon halting alcohol sales, amid fears that the excise duty tax would have to be paid twice on all shipments of alcohol sent from the British mainland.
Amazon is reportedly concerned that the increased amount of customs paperwork required will be too costly to justify the sale of these goods.
It could mean that lorries carrying thousands of Amazon parcels, some which require EHC’s and others which don’t, will be held up at the border meaning that its trademark rapid delivery service will be compromised.
“The last-minute agreement in December 2020 on the practical customs checks on goods left Amazon, other marketplaces and all UK traders no time to adjust their processes or charging for the new rules,” tax advisory firm Avalara’s vice president Richard Asquith told ITV News.
“So many are now simply stopping selling until they can pivot.
“The risk for UK businesses in the meantime is that the NI shoppers turn permanently to EU businesses who don’t face these Brexit barriers.”
Amazon said in response to the news: “We are planning and preparing for April 1st 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.”