Reviewed in September 2020. Content will be updated as negotiations develop.

100 DAYS TO GO… 

We’re nearly down to a double digit countdown until the transition period for the UK leaving the European Union is over and a new era in Ireland’s economic and trading story emerges. 

The impact of COVID-19 has taken a lot of businesses’ eyes off the ball when it comes to Brexit, with short term survival understandably taking precedence over the “ifs”, “buts” and “maybes” of the ever-evolving circumstances surrounding the future of international trade. 

However, we’re approaching the stage where firms can’t ignore the 31 December any longer, and action needs to be taken to ensure that measures are in place to ensure that businesses manage the transition in the most efficient and least disruptive way possible. 

This will involve a great deal of self-reflection, however, there are some key changes to the international trading arrangements that will come into effect in the New Year that it would be remiss of businesses not to consider. 

What Actions Should Businesses Consider?

If businesses have not already done so, now is the time to begin preparing for the upcoming changes. If unsure, the following key actions are a useful place to begin. 

Understand Trade Flows

It is essential for every business to understand precisely how much trade is conducted with the UK. Engagement should also be undertaken with UK based suppliers, customs and post-Transition period arrangements – including responsibility for customs, tariffs, and delivery risks – should be put in place.

Know Your Commodity Codes

Customs Declarations will be required with all gods moving to and from England, Scotland and Wales. It is important that businesses identify the correct commodity codes to be used when completing declarations. Failure to do so may mean that goods are held at customs checkpoints, causing disruption in multiple areas.

Get Familiar with Incoterms 

Incoterms set out the costs and responsibilities of distributing goods internationally, and importantly outline who is liable for goods in the event that they become lost or damaged. 

Be Aware of the Financial Impact

The UK leaving the European Single Market is likely to see tariffs imposed on goods where none had been implemented previously. Businesses should take into account and plan for additional costs to be borne when importing goods from the UK. 

Consider the Transit of Goods from the rest of the EU

If business supply chains and distribution channels currently involve moving goods into the rest of the EU via the UK then distribution is likely to be faced when moving these goods from 1 January. It may be a consideration to hold greater levels of inventory so as to reduce exposure to, and impact of, any delays.

Cross-Border Trade 

As agreed under the Withdrawal Agreement, Northern Ireland will maintain access to the EU Single Market. Therefore, any trade taking place on a cross-border basis will not be impacted and can continue as it currently does. 

Avail of Supports

Through their Brexit Readiness Action Plan, the Irish Government in early September outlined a range of initiatives that would support Irish businesses through the upcoming changes. Full details of available supports can be found  here

In addition, InterTradeIreland offer funded support of up to €2,000 for businesses who trade cross-border who wish to receive bespoke advice as to how upcoming changes will impact on their operations. 

Send us your questions and feedback!