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Fiona McGuinness06-Nov-2020 09:03:386 min read

BREXIT Ready? The clock is ticking

The 1st of January 2021 is fast approaching. Businesses already coping with the fall-out from the COVID-19 pandemic can be forgiven for putting BREXIT preparations on the back burner. However, as the transition deadline approaches it is vital that every business gets informed to ensure they fully understand the implications that will result for their business post-BREXIT. Here we share some of the basic steps and tips for businesses to get you started.


Your BREXIT Go-To Person(s)

If your business is any way impacted by BREXIT, and if you haven’t already, we would advise that you appoint a designated person(s) on your team to take charge of managing your transition post-BREXIT.

They can;

  • Attend the various training seminars, view the various guides and information available to highlight how BREXIT will impact your business
  • Find out what steps you need to take to facilitate regulatory and administrative requirements
  • Understand the supports and grants that might be available to you
  • Help you source 3rd party assistance and/or
  • Address any larger strategic issues that may arise for your business e.g. focusing on new business channels, alternative sources of supply etc.

Time is running out. Appoint your BREXIT Go-To Person/Team today to ensure your business is adequately prepared.


Get Expert Advice

The implications of Brexit for each business will be individual, therefore there is no one-size fits all checklist or means of transitioning businesses. There are however multiple BREXIT information sources out there and we’ve listed some below. If your business operations are complex you may want to engage a 3rd party consultant to help advise you on how best to navigate your post-BREXIT transition.

  • InterTradeIreland (ITI) offers up to €2,250 to help you engage professional advice to get Brexit ready and a Brexit Advisory Service to help businesses with practical advice, support and information on Brexit related issues.
  • Enterprise Ireland ran a series of Brexit Advisory Clinics across the country offering information and practical support to companies. Key elements of these clinics have been made available online to help businesses prepare for Brexit.
  • The Brexit Loan Scheme is open for eligible businesses with up to 499 employees to innovate, change or adapt in response to Brexit-related challenges. Loan amounts range from €25,000 up to €1.5m, for terms of up to three years and a maximum interest rate of 4%. Loans up to €500,000 unsecured. This may be useful for businesses who have Brexit impacts on their cashflow (conditions apply).
  • The new €20 million Customs Clearing Capacity Building Scheme ‘Ready for Customs‘, administered by Enterprise Ireland, will help SMEs involved in exporting and importing with the UK and further afield to put in place the staff, software and IT systems to be ready for new customs arrangements from 1 January 2021. 





Shifting Sands

The EU and UK negotiations are continuing in respect of a number of key areas such as tariffs, fisheries, connectivity and transport and data sharing. Regulations relating to these areas will evolve as the outcome of the negotiations becomes clearer.

However, it is already very clear that a range of changes will definitively take place regardless of the outcome of the negotiations and it is vital that each business steps up their preparations to address these changes now. These changes will be significant and lasting.

Of these, the most significant is that, from 1 January 2021, the UK will no longer apply the rules of the Single Market and Customs Union. This means that any business, regardless of size, who moves goods from, to or through Great Britain will be subject to a range of new customs formalities and other regulatory requirements.


The Basics

  • Your Supply Chain – Ensure you have reviewed your supply chain fully to understand the potential impact of a customs and VAT frontier on the movement of your goods including the impact of trading under an FTA (Free Trade Agreement).
  • Contracts – Assess whether the terms of your contracts (especially INCOTERMS) with your suppliers and customers meet your needs post Brexit, in particular who is responsible for import clearance and any duties arising. (INCOTERMS are internationally recognised trade terms that define each party’s obligations, costs and risks associated with the delivery of goods from seller to buyer.)
  • Obtain an EORI number – To operate within a customs regime, importers and exporters of goods need to be customs registered. If not already registered, an application should be filed with Revenue  for an EORI (Customs) number if you are trading goods between an EU member country and Great Britain.
  • Customs Classification & Origin – The rate of Duty arising on goods depends on their Customs classification and origin. Ensure you have confirmed the commodity codes and origin for all relevant import and export goods and you understand the potential tariff implications associated with the movement of your goods.
  • Filing Customs Declarations – Irrespective of the outcome of FTA negotiations, reporting for customs will now be required when trading between an EU member country and Great Britain. Consider how you will file Customs declarations for your export or import of goods. Most declarations are filed by Customs agents/freight companies on behalf of traders. Depending on your profile, you may prefer to bring the declaration process “in-house”. Make sure you understand the information needed to file Customs declarations and where you will get it.
  • Importing into the UK – Ensure you are familiar with the phased plan the UK Government has announced for the introduction of border controls on imports of goods into Great Britain from 1 January 2021 up to July 2021. The measures mean that, for a temporary period from the end of the Transition Period, the filing of UK import declarations and payment of tariffs on EU goods can be delayed. However, as the measures vary between sectors (such as agricultural, alcohol etc.,) it is important to understand which measures relate to your goods and how they impact on your supply chain.
  • Export/Import Controls – Understand whether any additional controls will apply to your goods such as licensing requirements, Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) controls or advance notification requirement (e.g. for agri products).
  • For Irish businesses Great Britain will become a third country for VAT purposes and visa versa – The VAT rules for trading goods and services on the Island of Ireland will remain the same but the rules for trade in goods between ROI and Great Britain will change and the rules for the supply of certain services cross border to and from GB will change also. Familiarise yourself with how these new rules will operate and apply to your business. For example, those particularly impacted include sellers of goods B2B into GB from ROI and vice versa and also those supplying goods and certain services B2C from ROI to GB and vice versa. Determine if any additional VAT considerations will arise from your movement of goods post Brexit or your supply of services, e.g. additional VAT registration requirements


Your Software & Brexit

Our role at Intact is to ensure the regulatory changes and additional administration required as a result of BREXIT can be accommodated in your software solution.

We are currently working with our customers on two key areas to support their post-BREXIT transition.

  • The first is the accommodation of all the new legislative information that needs to be held in your Intact system for the creation of post-BREXIT compliant documentation.
  • The second relates to how cost and pricing model changes, resulting from BREXIT, can be efficiently captured in the software.

We are proactively engaging with our customers to support them during this transition period and will be hosting a webinar detailing how our customers can facilitate BREXIT requirements in their Intact solution. For all Intact customers click on the relevant link below to register.


Fiona McGuinness

I've been part of the Intact family for 16 rewarding years. After completing my Business Studies degree, I knew Marketing was a field I wanted to pursue. Prior to joining Intact, I primarily worked in the financial sector, focusing on marketing for credit unions. When I started at Intact, I handled all the marketing tasks by myself. Over time, as our team expanded, so did my role. Now, I specialise in crafting compelling content across various platforms, from blogs to video scripts. No two days are the same, and I thrive on the dynamic nature of my role. Whether it's diving into customer case studies or lead campaigns, I'm driven by the positive impact our solutions bring to businesses. In an age where AI plays a significant role, I remain a firm believer in the power of authentic content. When I'm not working, you'll find me enjoying quality time with my family, sewing, or watercolor paintings.