Brexit Bulletin, 21 September 2020

Sep 21, 2020

HMRC has ramped up Brexit preparedness as they issue letters to VAT-registered businesses in Great Britain trading with the EU. In today’s bulletin, read about the essential measures to adopt now if you are a Great Britain based trader, conducting business 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. 

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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