29 August 2019
By Byran Smyth
With just over two months to go to the Brexit deadline on October 31st, Fine Gael is reminding businesses of the need to prepare for Brexit.
In particular, the Fine Gael led Government has highlighted nine steps all businesses can take now to help prepare for the UK’s departure from the EU.
Cork North West Fine Gael General Election candidate John Paul O’Shea said: “Brexit is less than 10 weeks away. In the midst of this uncertainty it is imperative that Cork companies can and take immediate action to mitigate the potential risks and position themselves to take advantage of the opportunities.
“I strongly urge business locally to ensure they check the wealth of information available on www.gov.ie/Brexit and avail of the range of supports which are available to help Cork businesses get through what may be a very difficult period ahead.
“My Fine Gael colleagues in Government have been working very hard to ensure we are as prepared as possible for the different possible Brexit scenarios.
“A practical step all businesses can take immediately is to ensure they have an EORI number. An EORI number is a European Union registration and identification number for businesses which undertake the import or export of goods into or out of the EU.
“The Government is again appealing to a number of sectors of concern to engage. I strongly urge all businesses operating locally to take immediate steps to make sure their needs are catered for,” Cllr. O’Shea said.
There are 9 steps that businesses, large and small, can do now:
- Understand the new rules for UK importing and exporting
- Review your supply chain and UK market strategy
- Be aware of possible changes to transport and logistics
- Review all your certification, regulation and licencing
- Review your contracts and data management
- Ensure you are maximising Government Brexit programmes and supports
- Manage your cash flow, currency and make sure your banking is in order
- Protect and inform your staff
- Know more about the impact to your sector
The ongoing Government contingency planning has indicated that the following sectors have low levels of Brexit preparedness:
- Smaller businesses who may not realize they are trading with the UK
- Construction businesses
- Manufacturing companies
- Agrifood businesses, particularly those in food production
- Retail particularly independent shops, and hardware stores who source products from or through the UK.
Following the publication of the latest Brexit Contingency Action Plan Update last month, the most recent Government steps regarding no deal preparations include:
- Revenue are issuing their second round of direct engagement to businesses identified as being potentially at risk from Brexit. Further to the 84,000 letters issued earlier this year, this round involves another direct communication via post identifying the company’s potential financial exposure to the UK market and the steps they need to take, further supported by direct calls to businesses to follow up on the letter with any queries they may have. In this phase, nearly 27,000 letters have issued and 10,000 businesses have been spoken with on the phone by a revenue agent.
- The Clear Customs initiative is helping Irish businesses trading with or through the UK in preparing for new customs formalities arising from Brexit. Developed by Skillnet on behalf of the Government, Clear Customs offers eligible customs agents, customs intermediaries and affected businesses a free training programme to build capacity in the customs sector, as well as a potential €6,000 grant to help build in-house capacity.
- The Beef Exceptional Aid Measure recently opened for applications and will provide financial aid to Irish beef farmers facing difficult circumstances as a result of market volatility and uncertainty arising out of Brexit.
- Ongoing Government events around the country specifically targeted for the agrifood sector.
- Planning for the National Ploughing Championships where Brexit preparations will be a major feature.