Traders heed Revenue’s ‘Prepare for Brexit’ message

Today (20/02/2019), and with 37 days to Brexit, Revenue has confirmed that there has been a significant increase in traders preparing for the UK leaving the European Union (EU).

Figures provided by Revenue today indicate a 330% increase in applications for Economic Operators Registration and Identification (EORI) numbers in February, to date, when compared to the entire month of January. Having an EORI number is the minimum requirement for businesses that wish to trade with, or through, the UK when they leave the EU on 29 March 2019.

Speaking about Revenue’s engagement with trade and business to support their preparations for Brexit, Lynda Slattery, Head of Brexit Policy in Revenue’s Customs Division, said “Over the last number of months we have made direct contact with in excess of 80,000 businesses that will, most likely, be significantly impacted by Brexit. We have engaged extensively with large economic operators, logistics companies, freight forwarders, haulage companies, Customs Agents, SMEs and software providers. Our message has been clear – you need to assess the impact of Brexit on your business and take the necessary action now, to mitigate the challenges that Brexit undoubtedly brings”

Revenue's overarching priority, in the context of Brexit, is to facilitate the efficient and timely movement of legitimate trade. Revenue is conscious of the priority for businesses to minimise costs associated with Brexit and is supporting them with clear and timely information, advice and guidance on preparing to trade with a non-EU country.

Revenue’s comprehensive trader engagement programme aims, in the context of Brexit, to raise businesses’ awareness of their customs obligations in order to ensure that the majority of goods continue to move efficiently through our ports and airports post-Brexit. As part of this programme, trader information seminars are continuing nationwide and businesses can register to attend on Revenue's website.

For traders who will trade with the UK post Brexit, Ms Slattery explained “There are a few basic steps that every business should take now to be ready for Brexit:

  • apply for your EORI number
  • ensure you, or an agent on your behalf, have the facility to make a customs declaration
  • know the Commodity Code of your goods or products.

These three elements are at the heart of a business being able to move goods through, to and from the UK post Brexit”.

Given the number of businesses that will be impacted by Brexit, the increases reported by Revenue today are very welcome, however Ms Slattery stressed again the urgency of businesses taking the necessary steps to prepare for Brexit “If you trade with the UK you need to do your impact assessment, you , your tax representative or customs agent need to apply for an EORI number for your business, you need to be able to make a customs declaration or have it made on your behalf after Brexit and you need to be clear about the correct commodity code for your goods. If you haven’t sorted these issues before Brexit day your business will be in serious difficulty. Taking action now is vital if you want to be sure that you can continue to import or export goods after Brexit. The critical first step is to get your EORI number. It is a straightforward process that can be completed online and takes only a few days”.

[Ends 20/02/2019]