Brexit Bulletin, 18 September 2020

Sep 17, 2020

“Get Brexit Ready Now” is the message that comes across loud and clear in recent guidance issued by Revenue and HMRC. In today’s bulletin, take a look at Revenue’s new Brexit readiness programme and the launch of their new customs declarations system set to kick in November 2020. HMRC have also issued Brexit preparedness letters to VAT-registered businesses in Great Britain trading with the EU. Additionally, you can read about the new ESRI paper that compares the impact of COVID-19 and Brexit on different sector of the Irish economy.


Revenue writes to 90,000 businesses to Get Brexit Ready Now

Revenue confirmed that it is in the process of sending letters to 90,000 businesses, as part of an intensified programme of engagement on Brexit readiness. The letters emphasise the importance of being Brexit ready come 1 January 2021 and outlines steps to follow to do so. Revenue are encouraging businesses to get ready now, as the reality of Brexit looms.

Revenue’s latest press statement says that starting this week, Revenue have been sending the letters to businesses that are expected to be adversely impacted by Brexit in the Republic of Ireland. The letters set out the critical Brexit preparation steps businesses need to take now. Revenue have made available the checklist and readiness article for our members to access as well.  

Revenue have also published updated guidance and key information on their dedicated Brexit section, where readers can find information on popular topics such as, registering for An Economic Operators Registration And Identification (EORI) number, payment of import duty, VRT Implications of trade with the UK post-Brexit.

Lynda Slattery, Head of Revenue’s Brexit Policy Unit has commented saying “Revenue is urging all businesses that will be impacted by Brexit to get ready now. Business that have any Brexit Customs queries that are not answered by the material available on the Revenue website can email enquiries to or contact 01-7383632 to discuss Brexit preparations.”

Readers can also register for Revenue’s upcoming series of live streamed Brexit information sessions taking place on 5 and 6 October 2020.



Revenue launches new customs declarations system for imports from outside the EU

From November 2020, Revenue will implement a new import system, called the “Automated Import System (AIS)”. This new system will be introduced to comply with the provisions of the Union Customs Code (UCC), and will ensure that businesses can import goods legally from outside the EU (including the UK) using the most efficient process possible.

What will change?

This system will replace the existing Automated Entry Processing (AEP) system, and eManifest systems for imports. One of the most major changes under this will be the change in the format of customs import declarations. The import Single Administrative Document (SAD), currently processed within the AEP system, will be replaced by new AIS declaration types.

What will not change?

Securing an Economic Operators Registration and Identification (EORI) number continues to be of the utmost importance for traders if they wish to import goods into the EU.

Exports will continue to be managed through the AEP system until 2023. However, from November 2020 onwards, if you import and export goods from and to the EU, you must use:

  • AIS for your import declarations, and
  • AEP for your export declarations.

Businesses are urged to prepare for this change by making sure their customs software is up to date. Further information on preparing for this change can be found on Revenue’s website.


HMRC issues letters to VAT-registered businesses in Great Britain

HMRC has sent out letters VAT-registered businesses in Great Britain trading with the EU. These letters highlight the steps to take to prepare for new post-Brexit trading requirements, coming into effect starting 1 January 2021. A copy of the letter can be found here.

The letters explain what businesses need to do to prepare for new processes for moving goods between Great Britain and the EU, and highlight practical steps to prepare including: 

  • Registering for a UK Economic Operator Registration and Identification (EORI) number
  • Deciding how to make customs declarations
  • Check if import VAT is due at the border
  • Check the government’s tariff tables and consider how your trade will be affected
  • Checking eligibility of imported goods for staged import controls
  • Sign up for the Trader Support Service , if you move goods between Great Britain and Northern Ireland or bring goods into Northern Ireland from outside the UK

These requirements will be necessary irrespective of the outcome of the negotiations between the EU and the UK. Businesses can find more information on HMRC’s website or in the letter linked to above.


“COVID-19 and Brexit impact different parts of the economy”, states latest ESRI research

With the Irish economy struggling to cope with the adverse impact of COVID-19, latest research says that a no-deal Brexit on top of the pandemic will be catastrophic for businesses. The latest research released by the Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI) and the Department of Finance also shows that there is limited overlap between the sectors at risk from a hard Brexit and those currently being most impacted by COVID-19.

The paper examines sectoral impacts from COVID-19 and Brexit individually, and then analyses the overlap in sectoral impact from both. No sector was found to be in a category of severely exposed to both the Brexit and COVID-19 shocks. However, there are a few sectors that could be severely impacted by one but moderately impacted by the other.

Sectors impacted by COVID-19 Sectors impacted by Brexit
Wholesale and Retail Trade
Food Services
Financial Services
Traditional manufacturing


The research also notes that the ranking of risk exposure is at a sector level and that impacts on individual firms may differ from this. 


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