Brexit update to members

Brexit update to members

23 August 2019 at 17:07

Brexit update to members

Ahead of the UK’s departure from the EU, we are providing to members, primarily in ROI, information signposts (below) to information and services available to you and your business to help you manage Brexit risk. This information has been updated from posts made in February and April to our website.   

While the information is primarily ROI-related, our GB members can access information from the UK Government’s main website here - through the Department for exiting the EU. This is the website of the UK Government Department responsible for overseeing negotiations to leave the EU and establishing the future relationship between the UK and EU.  There is also however, a second website with information about Brexit impact under different headings including for businesses, individuals, UK nationals living in the EU and EU citizens living in the UK.  It is accessible here.

Our Northern Region Members can access additional information provided on the website of the Northern Ireland Assembly.  The Irish Government also has a particular section on Northern Ireland on its website and it is here. It covers many areas including Travel, Business, mobile phone and data use, living and working.

Mobility of Engineers

What is common to all our members whether living in ROI, GB or Northern Ireland is that in 2018, Engineers Ireland became one of the first organisations to sign an agreement with our counterpart in the UK to ensure ongoing recognition of qualifications between the jurisdictions.  The deal will allow ongoing mobility post-Brexit for engineers coming to the Republic and for Irish engineers going to the UK. Known as the Access Pathways Agreement (APA), Engineers Ireland signed this Agreement in December 2018 with the Engineering Council, the registration body for engineers in the UK. More information is here.

 

Thursday 5 September 2019: In recent days the Irish Government has provided two new information leaflets relevant for our sector; Getting Your Business Brexit Ready which can be downloaded here and another specifically for the construction sector in the event of a no-deal Brexit which is available here.

 

22 August 2019: Advice from the Irish Government

With just over 2 months to go to the Brexit deadline on Thursday 31 October, the Irish Government is reminding businesses of the need to prepare for Brexit. In particular, the Government has highlighted 9 steps that all businesses can take to help prepare for the UK’s departure from the EU.

These are listed below.

Areas of importance, particularly for Irish businesses that trade with the UK, include: talking to the operators that are part of your supply chain for your goods and services; applying for an EORI number (which is a special economic operators registration and identification number) and checking to ensure that any certifications, licences or authorisations that apply to your products at the moment, are valid post-Brexit.

Irish Government Ministers are directly appealing to a number of sectors of concern. Government contingency planning has indicated that the following sectors have low levels of Brexit preparedness:

•          Smaller businesses who may not realise 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.

•          Hauliers

There are 9 steps that businesses, large and small, can do now:

1.         Understand the new rules for UK importing and exporting

2.         Review your supply chain and UK market strategy

3.         Be aware of possible changes to transport and logistics

4.         Review all your certification, regulation and licencing

5.         Review your contracts and data management

6.         Ensure you are maximising Irish Government Brexit programmes and supports

7.         Manage your cash flow, currency and make sure your banking is in order

8.         Protect and inform your staff

9.         Know more about the impact to your sector

Businesses and consumers who are concerned about Brexit and what it may mean for them are encouraged to visit www.gov.ie/brexit where there is a range of practical information on how to get prepared. @BrexitReadyIRL is the main Government Twitter account for updates.

Of particular relevance for our engineering sector, is advice  from the Minister for Finance and Public Expenditure and Reform and the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation.

These two Ministers are advising:

Customs registration, customs formalities, compliance with EU standards – (applicable information to our members who trade with the UK)

The Irish Minister for Finance and Public Expenditure and Reform, Paschal Donohoe, TD, has said it is “vitally important that businesses do all they can now, to prepare for the impact of Brexit.”

One of the most practical steps businesses who trade with the UK can take is ensuring they have customs registration, known as an EORI number (Economic Operators Registration and Identification). Having an EORI number is a necessary first step in being able to trade with the UK post Brexit.  You request this number through the Revenue Commissioners.  This is the link on Revenue’s website to apply for an EORI number.

In July, Revenue Commissioners in Ireland issued letters to all businesses who traded with the UK in 2018, outlining the most critical Brexit preparation steps they need to take in addition to having an EORI number. If your business has not got an EORI, make sure you don’t leave your business at a disadvantage, and apply for your EORI now (at the link provided above)

Minister Donohoe also says:

“If you trade with the UK, Brexit will most definitely impact your business. It is of great importance in minimising disruption to your business come 31 October that you act now. You should also, (in addition to getting your EORI number):

  • Consider how you will make your customs declarations and if you require a customs agent to assist you, post Brexit
  • Talk to the businesses who transport your goods or products to help you identify your supply chain
  • Determine the origin and Commodity Code of your goods or products.”

In this regard, the Irish Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation, Heather Humphreys, TD, has said that her Department has put a range of supports in place to assist businesses of all sizes. 

Her Department is encouraging exporters and importers to check to see if their suppliers use the UK as a land-bridge and to review their supply chain. Businesses should also be aware of whether they rely on products or services that are certified for compliance with EU standards by a UK body.

Her Department has launched the Clear Customs Initiative to help Irish businesses trading with or through the UK, in preparing for new customs formalities that will arise from Brexit.  Delays at customs due to an incorrect or inaccurate declaration could result in disruption for your business and customers.  This free customs training aims to help staff effectively complete a customs declaration to help pre-empt any Brexit-related customs challenge. It offers customs intermediaries and businesses with a free training programme to build capacity in the customs sector. Additional support of a €6,000 grant is available to help build your in-house capacity. The training is provided through Skillnet and all the details on their website here.

If you rely on UK notified bodies for certificates that demonstrate compliance with EU standards, these may no longer be valid post-Brexit. You will need to arrange to either transfer existing certificates to an EU27 Notified Body or to obtain new ones. Businesses can contact the NSAI for further information. See the NSAI specific Brexit page here.

A summary of this information is also available in a compact PDF booklet produced by the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation. It is available here.

Additionally , the Irish Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed, TD, has said that  businesses that move animals, plants, or products of animal or plant origin (including wood and wood products) to or from the UK should engage with his Department so that they can help ensure you are familiar with the requirements for importing or exporting such commodities from/to the UK.

Agrifood businesses should ensure they are registered with Revenue and his Department, and to know what documents and certificates you have to submit, to whom you have to submit them and what are the time limits for submission. He is also saying that you need to decide who is going to be responsible for the submission of your documents and certificates – you or a customs agent.

Travel, Contingency and Business Supports

The Irish Government is preparing for a no-deal Brexit in advance of the deadline. Key measures include:

  1. A Memorandum of Understanding on the Common Travel Area (CTA) that reaffirms the commitment of both Irish and British Governments to the CTA. This was signed on 8 May 2019. Under the CTA, which will be maintained in any scenario, Irish and British citizens can travel freely, move to live, work and study, and access services including healthcare and social benefits in either jurisdiction.

Note, as of 23 August 2019, Irish motorists will no longer need ‘green cards’ to cross the Border in the event of a no-deal Brexit because of an agreement between transport authorities in the UK and the Republic.  Following negotiations with the Motor Insurers’ Bureau of Ireland, the UK Department of Transport has agreed to accept valid Irish insurance discs as proof of cover in Britain, in a no-deal scenario. However, motorists with UK-registered vehicles will still require green cards to travel in Ireland, and the rest of the EU.

  1. Infrastructure, staffing and ICT systems at our ports and airports.

Work at Dublin Port has involved nine projects across eight sites to deliver 13 new inspection bays, documentary and identity check facilities, office facilities and parking for up to 128 (HGVs).

400 additional Revenue staff have been recruited and trained for customs facilitation and checks; nearly 190 Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM) staff have been trained and in place to conduct import controls.

  1. EU contingency measures – Ireland has worked with its EU partners to agree a range of temporary contingency measures in key areas at the EU level, including maintaining basic air connectivity and road haulage access between the EU and the UK in the event of a no-deal Brexit.
  2. Business supports - a range of support programmes for enterprise and the agri-food sector have been put in place, including the €300 million Brexit Loan Scheme and €300 million Future Growth Loan Scheme, Enterprise Ireland’s Brexit Scorecard, Bord Bia’s Brexit Barometer and InterTradeIreland’s Brexit Vouchers. Specialised training including in market diversification, has been provided. A list of supports available see here.

Between now and the 31 October deadline, some key areas for continued work by the Irish Government will include:

Providing further additional infrastructure at ports and airports to enhance capacity to manage the necessary checks and controls on goods coming from the UK.

Preparing for Budget 2020 and making provision for targeted funding for the sectors most affected in the event of a no deal Brexit.

See the Irish Government's dedicated website for all Brexit information: www.gov.ie/brexit

A useful Brexit newsletter is available from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and it is available here.