Updates

Brexit

“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 NowRevenue 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 brexitqueries@revenue.ie 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 EUFrom 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, andAEP 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 BritainHMRC 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) numberDeciding how to make customs declarationsCheck if import VAT is due at the borderCheck the government’s tariff tables and consider how your trade will be affectedChecking eligibility of imported goods for staged import controlsSign 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 UKThese 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 researchWith 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 TradeAccommodationFood ServicesConstructionIndustry Financial ServicesAgricultureFoodTraditional 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.   Brexit Bites Read the ESRI’s latest research on Northern Ireland inputs to Republic of Ireland EU FTA (free trade agreement) exports commissioned by the Northern Ireland Department of the EconomyUK clinches historic trade deal with Japan. Worth £15.2 billion, the agreement is UK’s first major post-Brexit trade dealThe UK government have published their latest Customs, VAT and Excise UK transition legislation coming into effect from 1 January 2021  For all Brexit updates, visit our Brexit webpage. 

Sep 17, 2020
Brexit

“Get Brexit Ready Now” is the message that comes across loud and clear in recent guidance issued by the Irish Government. In today’s bulletin, read the Institute’s practical steps to help businesses across the island to get ready, read more about the launch of Revenue’s new customs declarations system, set to kick in November 2020. You can also read about the Irish Government’s new Brexit Readiness Action Plan. Prepare for no-deal Brexit immediately, say Chartered Accountants Ireland With all the uncertainty surrounding the Brexit negotiations, one thing businesses can be sure of; come 1 January 2021, the trading environment will be vastly different than the simplicity offered by the current EU Single Market. In a press statement released by the Institute, businesses on the island of Ireland are being warned that given the lack of progress in Brexit negotiations, they have no option but to assume the EU and the UK will fail to reach agreement by the end of the year and to prepare accordingly.  We have outlined eight practical measures that businesses on the island of Ireland should adopt now:Register online with HMRC or Revenue for an EORI number – you cannot trade without one.Contact your suppliers and logistics providers about the continuity of goods and services you need for trade.Check if your non-UK suppliers use the UK as a land-bridge and ascertain whether this will cost and cause delaysClassify the goods that you import or export for customs duties and know their originSeek out a customs agent or enhance in house customs knowledgeEnsure that you have a line of credit to deal with the customs duties that will arise on imports from the UK or Ireland.Check whether your current certifications, licences or authorisations will be valid post-Brexit.Use the Government supports available. You can read more about the press coverage of this statement in our “In the Media” section of the newsletter.Revenue launches new customs declarations system for imports from outside the EUFrom 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 declarationsandAEP 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. Irish Government launches Brexit Readiness Action PlanThe Irish Government has launched the Brexit Readiness Action Plan, that sets out the steps that businesses and individuals need to take now to be ready for the end of the Transition Period on 31 December 2020. The Bill covers readiness measures at Governmental Level, and in key areas such as trade in goods, trade in services, connectivity, transport and north-south & east-west relations.The Government has also published the General Scheme of the 2020 Brexit Omnibus Bill which is intended to address a wide range of complex issues that arise post transition period. The Bill will be considered by the Houses of the Oireachtas later this term and the tax sections of the Bill are discussed in the Irish Tax News section of this bulletin.What is the Internal Market Bill, and why is it important?As reported first by the Financial Times, the UK government has released their widely discussed Internal Market Bill, which has gained quite a bit of traction lately as the legislation that will “eliminate the legal force of parts of the Withdrawal Agreement" in areas such as State aid and the new customs arrangements for Northern Ireland. The UK Internal Market Bill (explanatory notes) is draft legislation on how the UK wants to manage trade within its borders and territories after Brexit. This Bill has caused major frenzy last week as it essentially “rewrites” parts of the Withdrawal Agreement signed between the EU and the UK. The Bill covers key negotiation areas such as State aid, unfettered access to goods, spending power and devolution. However, two aspects of the Bill that affect Northern Ireland have caused much debate and commentary – State aid and customs. The Bill seeks to eliminate customs arrangements in Northern Ireland which could compromise the ability to avoid a hard border on the island of Ireland. The Bill would also give unilateral power to the UK government to change or disapply export rules for goods travelling from Great Britain to Northern Ireland.  If implemented, this Bill would suggest that the EU would have little ability to influence State aid rules in the UK.  The UK government want to change rules to set aside EU law and ECJ law on State aid. Article 10 of the NI protocol sets out that EU State aid rules will apply in certain cases where relevant to trade in goods and electricity between Northern Ireland and the EU.  The UK government is seeking to override this and instead ensure a uniform approach across the UK to the application of EU State aid law under the Protocol. The Internal Market Bill is undergoing its second reading in the House of Commons today. It’s implementation will be subject to debate and approval by both chambers of the UK parliament before it becomes law. The UK is however aiming to pass this Bill before the transition period deadline expires on 31 December 2020. What about the Withdrawal Agreement? The Withdrawal Agreement as it is currently written says that the UK must notify the EU of any State aid decisions that would affect Northern Ireland’s goods market. It also says that special customs arrangements apply in Northern Ireland to protect the EU market. If implemented, the draft Bill would be in clear breach of several provisions contained within the Protocol on Ireland/Northern Ireland not least the good faith provisions. The EU have stated that the Bill is in defiance of the stated aim of the Bill, which is ultimately to protect the Good Friday (Belfast) AgreementInternational reactionsIn a statement following the “extraordinary” meeting of the EU – UK Joint Committee, Maros Sefcovic, the EU Vice President in charge of overseeing the implementation of the divorce deal released a hard-hitting statement which calls on the UK government to withdraw the conflicting measures from the draft Bill in by the end of the month at the latest. They have also concluded the statement by indirectly warning the UK government of the possibility of legal action as per the mechanisms and legal remedies in place in the Withdrawal Agreement to address violations of legal actions. US Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi has also released a statement on Brexit & a potential US – UK trade agreement, stating that “if the UK violates that international treaty and Brexit undermines the Good Friday accord, there will be absolutely no chance of a US – UK trade agreement passing the (US) Congress”. For all Brexit updates, visit our Brexit webpage. 

Sep 14, 2020
Tax RoI

Amendments to income tax, capital tax, corporation tax and stamp duty legislation are reflected in Part 8 of the new Brexit Omnibus Bill.  These measures aim to ensure continuity of reliefs and allowances, as well as the retention of anti-avoidance provisions, in the aftermath of the transition period. The Bill also provides for the introduction of postponed accounting for VAT to alleviate cash flow impacts for business, and anti-avoidance amendments to Section 56 VAT relief authorisations. This new Brexit Omnibus Bill provides legislation to underpin the Government’s readiness measures at the end of the transition period. The Bill is intended to be consistent with and complementary to the steps underway at EU level to prepare for the UK’s withdrawal. The Bill may be updated or adjusted further in light of ongoing developments, including developments in Future Partnership Negotiations, any EU legislative measures which may be agreed, and any additional measures taken collectively by the EU27 Member States, including Ireland.

Sep 14, 2020
Tax RoI

In November 2020, Revenue will implement a new national import system, called the “Automated Import System (AIS)”. This new system will comply with the provisions of the EU’s 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.  Read today’s Brexit Bulletin to find out more. 

Sep 14, 2020
Tax RoI

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 brexitqueries@revenue.ie 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. 

Sep 14, 2020
Brexit

It’s been a week of activity on the Brexit front. Debates over the UK’s Internal Market Bill, the eighth round of negotiations concluding in London, and the possibility of EU legal action against the UK have added pressure onto the fast approaching transition period deadline. In today’s bulletin, we analyse the key points of conflict between the Withdrawal Agreement and the UK’s Internal Market Bill, and how this would impact the future relationship between the EU and the UK. We also bring reports from London as the eighth round of Brexit negotiations concluded yesterday, chief negotiators on both sides have come out to say that significant divergences on essential areas of interest still remain. Withdrawal Agreement in jeopardy as UK releases Internal Market BillAs reported first by the Financial Times, the UK government has released their widely discussed Internal Market Bill, which has gained quite a bit of traction this week as the legislation that will “eliminate the legal force of parts of the Withdrawal Agreement" in areas such as State aid and the new customs arrangements for Northern Ireland. What is the Internal Market Bill, and why is it important?The UK Internal Market Bill (explanatory notes) is draft legislation on how the UK wants to manage trade within its borders and territories after Brexit. This Bill has caused major frenzy this week as it essentially “rewrites” parts of the Withdrawal Agreement signed between the EU and the UK. The Bill covers key negotiation areas such as State aid, unfettered access to goods, spending power and devolution. However, two aspects of the Bill that affect Northern Ireland have caused much debate and commentary – State aid and customs. The Bill seeks to eliminate customs arrangements in Northern Ireland which could compromise the ability to avoid a hard border on the island of Ireland. The Bill would also give unilateral power to the UK government to change or disapply export rules for goods travelling from Great Britain to Northern Ireland.  If implemented, this Bill would suggest that the EU would have little ability to influence State aid rules in the UK.  The UK government want to change rules to set aside EU law and ECJ law on State aid. Article 10 of the NI protocol sets out that EU State aid rules will apply in certain cases where relevant to trade in goods and electricity between Northern Ireland and the EU.  The UK government is seeking to override this and instead ensure a uniform approach across the UK to the application of EU State aid law under the Protocol.The Internal Market Bill will be subject to debate and approval by both chambers of the UK parliament before it becomes law. The UK is however aiming to pass this Bill before the transition period deadline expires on 31 December 2020.  What about the Withdrawal Agreement? The Withdrawal Agreement as it is currently written says that the UK must notify the EU of any State aid decisions that would affect Northern Ireland’s goods market. It also says that special customs arrangements apply in Northern Ireland to protect the EU market. If implemented, the draft Bill would be in clear breach of several provisions contained within the Protocol on Ireland/Northern Ireland not least the good faith provisions. The EU have stated that the Bill is in defiance of the stated aim of the Bill, which is ultimately to protect the Good Friday (Belfast) Agreement International reactionsIn a statement following the “extraordinary” meeting of the EU – UK Joint Committee, Maros Sefcovic, the EU Vice President in charge of overseeing the implementation of the divorce deal released a hard-hitting statement which calls on the UK government to withdraw the conflicting measures from the draft Bill in by the end of the month at the latest. They have also concluded the statement by indirectly warning the UK government of the possibility of legal action as per the mechanisms and legal remedies in place in the Withdrawal Agreement to address violations of legal actions. US Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi has also released a statement on Brexit & a potential US – UK trade agreement, stating that “if the UK violates that international treaty and Brexit undermines the Good Friday accord, there will be absolutely no chance of a US – UK trade agreement passing the (US) Congress”.  Round 8 of Brexit negotiations conclude as significant divergences remainThe eighth round of Brexit negotiations between the EU and UK concluded in London on Thursday 10 September. A full agenda of the discussion topics can be found here. With a hectic week on the Brexit front, chief negotiators on both sides have come out to say that significant divergences on essential areas of interest still remain. In a statement following the negotiations, EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier has said that the EU is still missing concrete guarantees from the UK in areas such as fair competition, and on non-regression from social, environmental, labour and climate standards. He also warns that “nobody should underestimate the practical, economic and social consequences of a “no deal” scenario”. The statement also highlighted the importance of “mutual trust and confidence” in negotiating a future partnership.Mr Barnier’s UK counterpart David Frost has come spoken out in his own statement that the UK have made proposals in the areas of key divergence, that they believe to be “appropriate to a modern free trade agreement between sovereign and autonomous equals”. They also remain committed to reach the agreement by 15 October, as set out by Prime Minister Boris Johnson earlier this week.  Irish Government launches Brexit Readiness Action PlanThe Irish Government has launched the Brexit Readiness Action Plan, that sets out the steps that businesses and individuals need to take now to be ready for the end of the Transition Period on 31 December 2020. The Bill covers readiness measures at Governmental Level, and in key areas such as trade in goods, trade in services, connectivity, transport and north-south & east-west relations.The Government has also today published the General Scheme of the 2020 Brexit Omnibus Bill which is intended to address a wide range of complex issues that arise post transition period. The Bill will be considered by the Houses of the Oireachtas later this term. Prepare for no-deal Brexit immediately, say Chartered Accountants Ireland With all the uncertainty surrounding the Brexit negotiations, one thing businesses can be sure of; come 1 January 2021, the trading environment will be vastly different than the simplicity offered by the current EU Single Market. As per a latest press statement released by the Institute, businesses on the island of Ireland are being warned that given the lack of progress in Brexit negotiations, they have no option but to assume the EU and the UK will fail to reach agreement by the end of the year and to prepare accordingly.  We have outlined eight practical measures that businesses on the island of Ireland should adopt now:Register online with HMRC or Revenue for an EORI number – you cannot trade without one.Contact your suppliers and logistics providers about the continuity of goods and services you need for trade.Check if your non-UK suppliers use the UK as a land-bridge and ascertain whether this will cost and cause delaysClassify the goods that you import or export for customs duties and know their originSeek out a customs agent or enhance in house customs knowledgeEnsure that you have a line of credit to deal with the customs duties that will arise on imports from the UK or Ireland.Check whether your current certifications, licences or authorisations will be valid post-Brexit.Use the Government supports available.You can read more about the press coverage of this statement in our “In the Media” section of the newsletter. For all Brexit updates, visit our Brexit webpage

Sep 11, 2020
Tax

“Worried and disappointed.” The words used by EU chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier following the end informal talks in London with his UK counterpart, David Frost. Today’s Brexit Bulletin covers his comments on the UK’s reluctance to engage with the EU on key issues such as fisheries, State aid and dispute resolution. We also bring reports this morning that the UK plans to override some elements of the Withdrawal Agreement.    “No trade agreement with the UK without credible framework on level-playing field and fisheries”, says Michel Barnier  Following the end informal talks in London with his UK counterpart, David Frost, EU chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier has stated that he has not seen any change in the UK’s position, and is “worried and disappointed”. Speaking at a webinar hosted by the Institute for International and European Affairs (IIEA), Mr Barnier said there was a “huge difference” between reaching a deal or no deal. A no deal would mean customs duties, declarations, and tariffs.    In his statement, Mr Barnier outlined three major tasks of negotiation for this year: Negotiating the EU-UK future partnership Implementing the Withdrawal Agreement Getting ready for changes at the end of the transition period  The EU, Mr Barnier said, wants “a close partnership with the UK, provided the conditions are right. This is in everybody's interest. And in Ireland's interest in particular.”   With his statement tailored specifically to address the impact of Brexit in Ireland and Northern Ireland, he referred solely to unique aspects such as:  Peace and stability Application of Union Customs Code Sanitary checks on plant and animal products   Speaking on a trade agreement Mr Barnier reiterated his position that there will be no trade agreement between the EU and UK without a credible framework on the elements of a level playing field and fisheries.   Addressing the future of the services sector He has deemed the services sector to be hugely important, and an area where the difference between a deal or no-deal will be felt the most. He also stated that a large part of the services negotiation (with the exception of financial services) will be covered if the EU is successful in striking a deal with the UK.  On the chance of a no-deal Brexit Mr Barnier confirmed that his informal talks with Mr Frost were from a position of openness to lead to compromise. However, given the UK’s current position, he strongly believes that there remains a risk of a no-deal Brexit at the end of October 2020.   Both the EU and UK negotiators are set to meet again for the resumption of formal negotiations in London starting tomorrow –Tuesday 8 September 2020.  Take a look at the full agenda here.Withdrawal Agreement in jeopardy? The Financial Times has reported that the UK is planning to release legislation this week that will “eliminate the legal force of parts of the withdrawal agreement" in areas such as State aid and the new customs arrangements for Northern Ireland.   Eliminating customs arrangements in Northern Ireland could compromise the ability to avoid a hard border on the island of Ireland.  The Withdrawal agreement as it is currently written says that the UK must notify the EU of any State aid decisions that would affect Northern Ireland’s goods market.  This new proposed legislation would suggest that the EU would have little ability to influence State aid rules in the UK.  There are numerous reports that the UK Prime Minister, Boris Johnson will say that if no agreement is reached by 15 October, both sides should "move on". We will keep members updated.  EU TAXUD release guidance on how to prepare for the end of transition period To assist businesses in effectively preparing for Brexit during the transition period, the European Commission has released a compilation of guidance in the area of tax and customs. We have summarised a list of them below. Relevant updated sector-specific stakeholder notices for readiness  Excise duties Value added tax (VAT) – goods Value added tax (VAT) – services  Customs including preferential origin Annex 1 – Business Transit Scenarios Annex 2 – Business Export Scenarios  Guide and handy checklist for businesses conducting any sort of trade with the UK following the end of the Brexit transition period Guide for businesses Brexit Checklist for traders Ireland’s national Brexit contact points Websites: Revenue (Brexit) | Enterprise Ireland | Gov.ie (Getting Ireland Brexit Ready) Email: brexitqueries@revenue.ie   For all Brexit updates, visit our Brexit webpage.  

Sep 07, 2020
Tax

 “Worried and disappointed.” The words used by EU chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier following the end informal talks in London with his UK counterpart, David Frost. Today’s Brexit Bulletin covers his comments on the UK’s reluctance to engage with the EU on key issues such as fisheries, State aid and dispute resolution. We have also summarised updated guidance releases by the EU Taxation and Customs Union to support local businesses in preparing for Brexit.“No trade agreement with the UK without credible framework on level-playing field and fisheries, says Michel BarnierFollowing the end informal talks in London with his UK counterpart, David Frost, EU chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier has stated that he has not seen any change in the UK’s position , and is “worried and disappointed”. Speaking at a webinar hosted by the Institute for International and European Affairs (IIEA), Mr Barnier said there was a “huge difference” between reaching a deal or no deal. A no deal would mean customs duties, declarations, and tariffs.  In his statement, Mr Barnier outlined three major tasks of negotiation for this year :Negotiating the EU-UK future partnershipImplementing the Withdrawal AgreementGetting ready for changes at the end of the transition periodThe EU, Mr Barnier said, wants “a close partnership with the UK, provided the conditions are right. This is in everybody's interest. And in Ireland's interest in particular.” With his statement tailored specifically to address the impact of Brexit in Ireland and Northern Ireland, he referred solely to unique aspects such as: Peace and stabilityApplication of Union Customs CodeSanitary checks on plant and animal products Speaking on a trade agreementMr Barnier reiterated his position that there will be no trade agreement between the EU and UK without a credible framework on the elements of a level playing field and fisheries. Addressing the future of the services sectorHe has deemed the services sector to be hugely important, and an area where the difference between a deal or no-deal will be felt the most. He also stated that a large part of the services negotiation (with the exception of financial services) will be covered if the EU is successful in striking a deal with the UK.On the chance of a no-deal BrexitMr Barnier confirmed that his informal talks with Mr Frost were from a position of openness to lead to compromise. However, given the UK’s current position, he strongly believes that there remains a risk of a no-deal Brexit at the end of October 2020. Both the EU and UK negotiators are set to meet again for the resumption of formal negotiations in London starting Monday 7 September 2020. EU TAXUD release guidance on how to prepare for the end of transition periodTo assist businesses in effectively preparing for Brexit during the transition period, the European Commission has released a compilation of guidance in the area of tax and customs. We have summarised a list of them below. Relevant updated sector-specific stakeholder notices for readiness Excise dutiesValue added tax (VAT) – goodsValue added tax (VAT) – services Customs including preferential originAnnex 1 – Business Transit ScenariosAnnex 2 – Business Export ScenariosGuide and handy checklist for businesses conducting any sort of trade with the UK following the end of the Brexit transition periodGuide for businessesBrexit Checklist for tradersIreland’s national Brexit contact pointsWebsites: Revenue (Brexit) | Enterprise Ireland | Gov.ie (Getting Ireland Brexit Ready)Email: brexitqueries@revenue.ie For all Brexit updates, visit our Brexit webpage. 

Sep 03, 2020
Tax

Over 62,000 EU citizens have applied for a right to stay in Northern Ireland permanently under the EU Settlement Scheme. We have also summarised the latest guidance from the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine to support businesses preparing for Brexit. In other news, for UK based traders, you can apply to pay less duty on goods undergoing special procedures as per HMRC’s latest guidance. More than 62,000 EU citizens apply to settle in Northern Ireland Latest statistics on the EU Settlement Scheme show that 62,600 EU citizens have applied to stay in Northern Ireland. Areas of Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon have seen the highest number of applications (over 13,000) for settlements, with Belfast coming in as the second preference with nearly 12,000 applications. These statistics cover the period of 28 August 2018 to 30 June 2020, and applications concluded during the same time period.The highest number of applications in Northern Ireland have, so far, come from Polish nationals, followed by Lithuanian and Romanian nationals. Around 60 per cent of the current applicant group have been granted settled status, whereas 31 per cent are classified as “pre-settled”. You can take a look at the EU Settlement Scheme statistics on Gov.UK.“Take action”, says Department of Agriculture’s new Brexit guidanceAs a part of their campaign to get businesses Brexit ready, the Department of Agriculture, Food, and the Marine in Ireland has released guidance urging businesses to undertake certain assessments and activities when importing or exporting plant/animal products. As per their latest publication, the guidance covers areas of supply change review, knowing specific requirements for plant and animal products (Starting 1 January 2021) and certification requirements for traders conducting business with the UK. They have outlined seven essential steps that need to be considered by traders operating in the agri-food sector:1. Review your supply chain2. Know the specific requirements for the commodity you are trading in3. Decide how you will handle your regulatory requirements4. Decide who is responsible for pre-notifications on TRACES (plant/animal product system)5. Register with the relevant authority6. Know the UK certification requirements for products that you export7. Avail of Government Brexit programmes and supportsMore information on the government's Brexit programmes and supports is available on gov.ie/brexit. Are you availing of special procedures on importing or exporting goods in the UK? HMRC have released guidance on customs special procedures that enable traders to suspend, pay less or no duty on goods they import or export for special procedures such as repair or processing. These special procedures allow traders to store, temporarily use, process, or repair goods and get partial or full relief from import duty, or in some cases suspension.How do I avail of this?All traders need to apply for authorisation before applying for each special procedure(s) separately. In the case of importing goods, traders can apply for the following authorisations:for processing or repair, then plan to release them to free circulation or keep them in the UK (inward processing)for processing or repair, then plan to keep them in the UK and they’re used for specific purposes (end-use)and store them until they’re ready to be used (customs warehousing)for temporary use (temporary admission)In the case of exporting goods and then re-importing them, traders can apply to use outward processing, where you can apply to pay less duty.Similar guidance is also available on Revenue’s website for traders importing or exporting goods to Ireland.For all Brexit updates, visit our Brexit webpage. 

Aug 31, 2020
Brexit

Over 62,000 EU citizens have applied for a right to stay in Northern Ireland permanently under the EU Settlement Scheme. Additionally, we have summarised the latest guidance from the Department of Agriculture to support businesses preparing for Brexit. In other news, for UK based traders, you can apply to pay less duty on goods undergoing special procedures as per HMRC’s latest guidance. More than 62,000 EU citizens apply to settle in Northern Ireland Latest statistics on the EU Settlement Scheme show that 62,600 EU citizens have applied to stay in Northern Ireland. Areas of Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon have seen the highest number of applications (over 13,000) for settlements, with Belfast coming in as the second preference with nearly 12,000 applications. These statistics cover the period of 28 August 2018 to 30 June 2020, and applications concluded during the same time period.The highest number of applications in Northern Ireland have, so far, come from Polish nationals, followed by Lithuanian and Romanian nationals. Around 60 per cent of the current applicant group have been granted settled status, whereas 31 per cent are classified as “pre-settled”. You can take a look at the EU Settlement Scheme statistics on Gov.UK.“Take action”, says Department of Agriculture's new Brexit guidanceAs a part of their campaign to get businesses Brexit ready, the Department of Agriculture, Food, and the Marine in Ireland has released guidance urging businesses to undertake certain assessments and activities when importing or exporting plant/animal products. As per their latest publication, the guidance covers areas of supply change review, knowing specific requirements for plant and animal products (Starting 1 January 2021) and certification requirements for traders conducting business with the UK. They have outlined seven essential steps that need to be considered by traders operating in the agri-food sector: 1. Review your supply chain2. Know the specific requirements for the commodity you are trading in3. Decide how you will handle your regulatory requirements4. Decide who is responsible for pre-notifications on TRACES (plant/animal product system)5. Register with the relevant authority6. Know the UK certification requirements for products that you export7. Avail of Government Brexit programmes and supports More information on the government's Brexit programmes and supports is available on gov.ie/brexit. Are you availing of special procedures on importing or exporting goods in the UK? HMRC have released guidance on customs special procedures that enable traders to suspend, pay less or no duty on goods they import or export for special procedures such as repair or processing. These special procedures allow traders to store, temporarily use, process, or repair goods and get partial or full relief from import duty, or in some cases suspension.How do I avail of this?All traders need to apply for authorisation before applying for each special procedure(s) separately. In the case of importing goods, traders can apply for the following authorisations:for processing or repair, then plan to release them to free circulation or keep them in the UK (inward processing)for processing or repair, then plan to keep them in the UK and they’re used for specific purposes (end-use)and store them until they’re ready to be used (customs warehousing)for temporary use (temporary admission)In the case of exporting goods and then re-importing them, traders can apply to use outward processing, where you can apply to pay less duty. Similar guidance is also available on Revenue’s website for traders importing or exporting goods to Ireland.For all Brexit updates, visit our Brexit webpage. 

Aug 28, 2020
Public Policy

Chartered Accountants Ireland has launched a Certificate in Customs and Trade to equip advisors and those working in business with the information and tools needed to navigate the new customs regime that Brexit will introduce in 2021. Negotiations between the EU and the UK on a future relationship will conclude as the transitional period ends on 31 December. Regardless of whether a trade agreement is reached, customs administration will be imposed on exporters and importers north and south and beyond these shores.  Engagement with members by Chartered Accountants Ireland has revealed a significant deficit in general awareness among its members and the wider business community of the skills and knowledge required to meet the legal and regulatory requirements of international trade, specifically trade between Ireland and Northern Ireland/Great Britain post-Brexit. In addition, half of businesses surveyed by the Institute reported significant concern about dealing with customs administration in the coming months.Commenting, Programme Lead Tony Buckley said, “We are critically short of expertise on the island of Ireland to manage this unprecedented change. Long-established trading relationships will need to be renegotiated, the costs of trade will inevitably rise, and supply chains will have to be critically re-appraised.  In practice, there are few businesses whose supply chains will not be affected, directly or indirectly, and all will need advice from professionals familiar with the complex new rules and procedures.”  The Certificate has been designed in line with the EU Customs Competency Framework and successful participants will reach Proficiency Level 2 (Trained) in the areas relevant to post-Brexit trading. This will enable them to offer customs advice, to support applicants for customs authorisations and permissions, and to develop plans and strategies for businesses facing Brexit-related challenges. The Level 9 qualification is awarded under the statutory authority of Chartered Accountants Ireland.  The initial programme commencing in October 2020 is fully subscribed and we are taking interest now for the next iteration, the dates of which will be confirmed.The syllabus will cover: New challenges resulting from BrexitTrading across borders – structure and operation of international tradeCustoms law, regulation and processesFulfilling regulatory requirements – documents, processes and permissionsManaging the supply chain – terms of trade, ensuring delivery, reducing riskCase studies of sectoral challenges and possible solutions. Commenting, Cróna Clohisey, Public Policy Lead, Chartered Accountants Ireland said “We are delighted to launch this much needed qualification. It has been in planning for some time now, and the process of syllabus design in partnership with stakeholders has been a comprehensive one.  It comes at a time when businesses right across the island of Ireland need access to expertise and reassurance on customs and trade issues that many have never had to even consider in their business lives to date. It is a qualification for a changing landscape and through it, Chartered Accountants Ireland wants to empower businesses to recover and succeed despite considerable challenge in the wider operating environment.” The programme will be delivered through four modules over eight weeks, with the first iteration commencing on 7 October 2020.  Each module is centred on one day of interactive live delivery via video-conferencing (face-to-face workshops may be added/substituted if circumstances permit).  Assessment will include multiple-choice assignments on each module and a final summative written assignment. For more information, see https://www.charteredaccountants.ie/professional-development/specialist-qualifications/certificate-in-customs-and-tradeTo express interest in the next upcoming iteration of the Certificate, please register your name and email address here. ENDS

Aug 24, 2020
Tax

Little progress has been reported following the seventh round of talks in Brussels on Friday last, with the EU warning of valuable time being lost, while the UK remains hopeful of agreement.  In other news, over two million EU citizens have been granted a right to stay in the UK permanently under the EU Settlement Scheme and we also report on a new digital system for UK exporters of animals.  Little progress in EU/UK trade talks  The seventh round of post-Brexit trade talks took place in Brussels last week and with time running out to reach agreement, little progress has been made on the headline issues after two days of debate.  Disagreement over fisheries and a level playing field have already caused problems in moving the negotiations forward and no progress was made on either this time around.  In a statement following the negotiations, the EU’s chief negotiator Michel Barnier said that further differences remain on law enforcement to protect citizens’ rights, migration and dispute settlement.  Progress was however reported on energy cooperation, anti-money laundering and participation in Union programmes. Concluding his statement, Mr Barnier said “at this stage, an agreement between the United Kingdom and the European Union seems unlikely. I simply do not understand why we are wasting valuable time.” The UK’s chief negotiator David Frost was hopefully that agreement was still possible but that will not be easily achievable. Acknowledging that little progress had been made this week, Mr Frost said the reason was because  "The EU is still insisting not only that we must accept continuity with EU state aid and fisheries policy, but also that this must be agreed before any further substantive work can be done in any other area of the negotiation, including on legal texts.” The next round of talks is scheduled to take place in London in the week of 7 September. Having a trade deal in place by the end of the year is the target for both sides; this must be agreed by the EU Summit in mid-October to have any chance of ratification by the end of the year. For the UK, ratification is much more straightforward with only the Parliament in Westminster needing to approve the deal. On the EU side, a qualified majority (55 percent of Member States representing 65 percent of the European population) must support the agreement in the European Council, and it must also be supported by a majority vote in European Parliament.  Two million EU citizens granted right to stay in UK Just over two million EU citizens living in the UK have been granted settled status, meaning they now have a right to live in the UK permanently after Brexit.  A further 1.48 million people who have been living in the UK for less than five years have been given pre-settled status. After five years of residency, these people can apply for permanent residency in the UK. Both statuses allow people to work, study, access healthcare and other benefits.  Of the total applications received 4,600 were refused, 36,500 were withdrawn and 34,900 were deemed invalid. EU citizens have until 30 June 2021 to apply for the settlement scheme. However, those who are granted settled or pre-settled status are not issued a physical document to prove their status; rather a confirmation letter is emailed to successful applicants.  You can read more about the EU Settlement Scheme statistics on gov.uk. New digital service for Export Health Certificates  From last Friday (21 August), UK exporters of animals and animal products will need to apply online for existing Export Health Certificates (EHC) rather than emailing a PDF form to the Animal and Plant Health Agency.  Traders must first register in order to use the online application system. An EHC confirms, among other things, that health standards and regulations have been met so animals and animal products can be exported.  Businesses can check if the EHC needed is available digitally on the Find an export health certificate page.  Read more on the new digital service and how to register.  For all Brexit updates, visit our Brexit webpage.  

Aug 24, 2020