With less than 100 days until the end of the transition period, the Tanaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment, Leo Varadkar 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. The Tanaiste warns how Ireland trades with Britain will be "starkly different." Even if a Free Trade Agreement is concluded between the EU and UK, he warns 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.
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.
Businesses have been warned that they need to ensure they have adequate cashflow as it could be impacted for a number of reasons including currency fluctuations, tariffs or potential delays.
Speaking yesterday, the Tanaiste 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."