New research has found that almost four in ten Irish businesses (37%) who rely on importing or exporting with the UK have yet to start planning for Brexit.
This news comes from research commissioned by Declaron – the new customs clearance service from BDO and Fexco. The survey was conducted by independent research group B&A and engaged 300 businesses trading with the UK throughout the Republic of Ireland in October 2020.
The primary reason cited by Irish businesses who have yet to start planning for Brexit is that no trade agreement is currently in place between the EU and UK, making it more difficult to prepare.
The research also found more than half of Irish businesses (54%) who trade with the UK do not understand the new customs clearance procedures guaranteed to come into effect on the 1st January 2021. Lack of knowledge or planning was particularly prominent amongst SMEs – who had less time, budget and resources available to dedicate to the challenge.
Lack of certainty around tariffs and rules (40%) was the number one Brexit issue cited by those interviewed. The unprecedented effects of COVID-19 were also cited as a big barrier amongst businesses with almost 90% of medium and large businesses saying it had affected their planning.
Speaking about the issues facing businesses, CEO of Declaron, Michael Nolan stated, "Businesses are currently faced with a number of challenges in their operations, but from January 1st, 2021, all exports and imports to Ireland from the UK will legally require customs clearance documentation. Time management, costs, border delays, lack of customs expertise and audit compliance will all be new challenges facing Irish businesses who move goods into and out of the country."