Brexit Bulletin, 20 September 2019

Sep 20, 2019

This week, read about latest Brexit developments as the EU propose a twelve day deadline for the UK to deliver on Brexit, meanwhile the Irish Government continues their engagement with their UK counterparts. Also read up on the extensive list of Brexit preparedness resources.

EU discuss twelve day deadline for the UK to deliver on Brexit

The EU has given the UK a new twelve day deadline to deliver on Brexit, as announced by the Finnish Prime Minister, Antti Rinne, current holder of the EU’s presidency. It is intended that the new deadline will be conveyed to the UK by the President of the European Council, Donald Tusk.

With the UK Brexit Minister, Stephen Barclay set to meet chief EU Brexit negotiator, Michel Barnier today, he has asked the EU for flexibility. His comments were reported as “a rigid approach now at this point is no way to progress a deal and the responsibility sits with both sides to find a solution”.

While the UK parliament is still suspended, Supreme Court judges will rule early next week on whether the Prime Minister’s decision to suspend parliament was lawful.


Irish Government continues engagement with UK political leaders

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar met with DUP leader Arlene Foster in Dublin earlier this week to continue bilateral discussions on Brexit and restoring power-sharing at Stormont. Following her meeting with the Taoiseach, the DUP leader has expressed her commitment towards securing a suitable Brexit deal. Additionally, the Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe met with the UK Chancellor of the Exchequer Sajid Javid in Dublin yesterday. Both sides reiterated the importance of maintaining positive relationships going forward.

It has been reported that the Taoiseach will also be  engaging with UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson at a meeting of the United Nations General Assembly next week.


New Dáil term legislative agenda published

Ahead of ongoing Brexit preparations, the Irish Government Chief Whip Séan Kyne has published the Autumn 2019 legislative agenda for the new Dáil term. The agenda comprises of the Priority List, which ranges from the upcoming Budget, climate action, housing and planning, to healthcare, road safety, citizenship and family supports such as parental leave. Despite the significant challenge of Brexit, the agenda is aimed at demonstrating the Government’s commitment towards supporting citizens and communities across Ireland.


HMRC issues no-deal correspondence for businesses trading with EU

HMRC has issued letters to UK VAT-registered businesses trading with the EU and/or the rest of the world explaining how to prepare for changes to customs, excise and VAT if the UK leaves the EU without a deal. The letters outline actions to take to prepare for changes to customs and VAT procedures if there is no deal, and on how businesses can prepare for Brexit going forward.


Brexit preparedness resources

Brexit Customs Level 1 and 2 – CPD course

Chartered Accountants Ireland, in association with the Irish Exporters Association, has launched a brand new continuous professional development (CPD) course - Brexit Customs Level 1 and 2 in both the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland.

This course provides participants with insights into how to manage their dealings with EU/International customs efficiently and explores areas such as goods classification, origin, valuation and transit. 

Brexit Customs Level 1 and 2 will run in the morning and evening respectively, and participants can book either the morning, or afternoon session, or both. Courses are being run in Belfast, Derry, Dublin and Newry. This course is suitable for accountants, and other business professionals, who have limited knowledge of customs. Attendees can be working in practice, finance, procurement, supply chain, operations or freight forwarding. No previous experience or knowledge of customs is required.

Interested parties can visit the CPD programmes page of our website to learn more and register for the course.

Clear Customs – Essential customs training

The Irish government have launched the Clear Customs initiative to help businesses and intermediaries develop the capacity to complete customs administration post-Brexit.

As a part of the initiative led by Skillnet, businesses have been offered two main supports:

  • An essential customs training programme delivered nationwide over six weeks providing skills necessary to make customs declarations
  • Customs Financial Support payment to assist with the costs of hiring or assigning new staff to customs roles. The payment can be up to €6,000 per employee that completes the training programme – up to a maximum of 10 employees.

Expressions of interest for the customs training programme and Customs Financial Support payment must be made via the Skillnet Ireland website before 20 September 2019.

Readers should note to meet the following eligibility criteria that businesses will need:

  • an EORI number from Revenue. Read our guidance on how to apply for an EORI number;
  • a CRO number;
  • to be registered with the Company Registration Office and incorporated in the Republic of Ireland at the time of application;
  • to provide freight, haulage, logistics services to, from or through the UK, or;
    • Are providing customs intermediary services; and
  • are currently directly engaged in the import/ export, or are facilitating the import/export, of goods to, from or through the UK and which will require new or increased customs clearance capacity.

HMRC – Customs funding

The UK government have announced additional funding to support businesses with the costs of making customs declarations. Businesses based in, or with a branch in, the UK can apply for funding ahead of the UK leaving the EU. Grants can be used to support:

  • training costs for businesses who complete customs declarations, or who intend to in the future
  • funding for IT improvement, which is available to small and medium sized employers who are currently involved in trade as an intermediary

Applications can be made online, with the grant being offered within 30 days of applying. 


Customs workshops

Local Enterprise Offices are running customs workshops throughout the country from August to October to provide businesses with a better understanding of the potential impacts and customs procedures to be adopted when trading with a country outside of the EU.  These courses are open to all businesses. You can read the course outline here. To see locations, dates and how to book, go to this link.


Irish Government Brexit Supports

The Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation have released several Brexit preparedness supports, including the Brexit preparedness checklist, the Brexit Loan Scheme and the Getting Business Brexit Ready guide. For the full range of supports for businesses, visit the Department’s website.


Read all our updates in our Brexit web centre and our page dedicated to no-deal Brexit planning.