100 days to Brexit – Tánaiste urges businesses to get ready for inevitable change

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23 September 2020 With 100 days until the end of the transition
period, the Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and
Employment, Leo Varadkar TD is urging businesses to be ready for the
inevitable changes that Brexit will mean for their operations at the
end of this year.

From 1 January 2021, the UK will no longer be in the Single Market or
Customs Union which means how we trade with them will be starkly
different.  Even if a Free Trade Agreement is concluded between the EU
and UK, there will be significant and enduring change.

One of the areas where businesses will experience enormous change is
customs.  Calling on businesses to take action now, the Tánaiste said,
“from the start of next year, customs declarations will need to be
completed if businesses intend to continue trading with the UK,
whether that is importing or exporting goods to the UK or using the UK
as a landbridge to move their goods to or from mainland Europe.

“We are now 100 days away from the end of the transition period.  I
ask all businesses regardless of their size, small, medium or large to
focus on their Brexit readiness as things will simply not be the same.
Being prepared for customs formalities is critical and the Government
is here to help.” the Tánaiste added.

The Government has made available a grant up to €9,000 per employee
taken on or redeployed to enable businesses build their capacity to
manage any customs changes through one of the agencies of my
Department, Enterprise Ireland.  Practical customs training is also
available through Enterprise Ireland, Local Enterprise Offices and
Skillnet Ireland.

Minister of State for Business, Employment and Retail Damien English
said that businesses buying or selling into the UK should look at
their supply chain and determine if there are any vulnerabilities due
to Brexit.  “Get in touch with your suppliers, service providers and
logistic companies, or wholesalers and distributors to seek assurances
on the continuity of supply. Consider seeking alternative suppliers
either in the domestic market or further afield if you have concerns
about the continued supply of products or goods”, Minister English
said.

Businesses need to ensure they have adequate cashflow as it could be
impacted for a number of reasons including currency fluctuations,
tariffs or potential delays.

Minister of State Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment with
responsibility for Trade Promotion Robert Troy T.D. said there are
Government financial supports available to help create working capital
headroom.  “There are a number of ways your cashflow could be impacted
because of Brexit, for example, you may have to pay tariffs on
products.  It is important that businesses give themselves enough
breathing space.  Supports such as the Brexit Loan Scheme and the
recently launched €2 billion Credit Guarantee Scheme are available”,
Minister Troy said.

There will also be new regulatory requirements for businesses who have
relied on the UK up to this point.  From the beginning of January, the
UK will be considered a third country and, therefore, businesses
cannot use UK notified bodies for, for example, product certification
purposes.  They must use a notified body within the EU.

Concluding the Tánaiste said, “Businesses need to be sure their
certifications and standards are EU compliant from the 1st January
next year. While this may not affect every business, it is really
important for some.  I am sure we have all noticed the CE
certification mark on various products which means they meet
particular standards set out in EU law.  These are assessed by
notified bodies and you must ensure that a notified body within the EU
is used.  So, if you have depended on a UK notified body, you must
change over to one in the EU”.

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