Enterprise Ireland and the Local Enterprise Offices have urged Irish companies to look at their Brexit preparations and avoid likely port delays.

With just 10 days to go Irish companies are being urged to make sure they are Brexit-ready ahead of the hard 31 December deadline.

With fresh Covid-19 restrictions adding to the chaos already at UK ports, Irish businesses that export or import need to get ready.

On January 1st new procedures will come into place for any company who is trading in or through the UK (excluding Northern Ireland) and companies who have not yet put provisions in place for this face the very real possibility of their goods being delayed at ports. 

“Time is running out for companies to offset the impact of the change in customs procedures to their business but assistance is there”

Time is running out for businesses to ensure they are not affected but Enterprise Ireland and the LEOs are encouraging any companies who are not Brexit ready, to take the first step and make contact. 

Take action

The Enterprise Ireland Brexit Readiness Checker should be the first action for any business.  The short 10-minute questionnaire will assess your company’s needs and signpost you for next steps.  For those who require assistance with customs procedures, the Local Enterprise Offices are running the Prepare Your Business for Customs workshops.  Open to all, they bring companies through the customs procedures and what you will need to do.

Once businesses know how to approach customs they are in a position to avail of more supports.  The Enterprise Ireland Ready for Customs grant is available of up to €9,000 per full time employee to manage customs procedures.  The Local Enterprise Offices can also provide a Brexit mentor to smaller companies (10 and under) to help them address and specific Brexit or Customs issues.

5 questions companies should ask right now

 For general guidance around Customs, Enterprise Ireland have 5 questions companies should ask right now –

  • Have you secured your EORI number?
  • Have you determined the commodity code for your products?
  • Have you identified who will manage customs procedures and paperwork – will it be in-house or through a broker/intermediary?
  • Have you determined who will have responsibility for all documentation and processing your goods moving to, from or through Britain?
  • Have you the trained personnel in place to manage your customs processes and have you applied for the Ready for Customs grant to support these staff?

Additional steps for any company should be to evaluate their supply chain.  They should develop full transparency of their supply chain links, assess and identify all risks and opportunities in their supply chain and look to broaden their supply base.

“The message from Enterprise Ireland and the Local Enterprise Offices is that is you import from or export to the UK or part of your supply chain does, then you need to be prepared,” Enterprise Ireland said.

“Time is running out for companies to offset the impact of the change in customs procedures to their business but assistance is there and to contact Enterprise Ireland or the Local Enterprise Offices (if 10 or under employees) to get ready for Brexit today.”

By John Kennedy (john.kennedy3@boi.com)

Published: 21 December 2020

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