Enterprise Ireland survey reveals customs a major issue as Brexit deadline approaches
24th September 2020
- 42 per cent of firms fully or significantly ready for Brexit
- 75 per cent of manufacturing firms identify customs and logistics as a major issue
- Enterprise Ireland ‘Ready for Customs’ grant now open for applications
A new Enterprise Ireland survey of 600 companies on the PMI panel in Ireland, conducted in recent weeks for Enterprise Ireland by IHS Markit, revealed that customs and logistics are the top priorities among businesses as the 1st January Brexit deadline approaches.
This was particularly prominent among manufacturing companies with 75 per cent stating that customs and logistics are among their top four priority areas.
When asked about preparedness against their top four priority areas 42 per cent of companies were fully or significantly ready for Brexit. However, one in five companies are still understanding what they need to do as the 1st January deadline looms.
Giles O’Neill, Manager of the Brexit Unit with Enterprise Ireland, said “Our trading relationship with UK will fundamentally change on 1st January next. This survey reveals that companies are rightly focused on the customs and logistics challenges. Regardless of the outcome of negotiations there will be new customs procedures for Irish firms carrying out business activities to, from or through the UK.
“Enterprise Ireland is determined to support Irish companies to meet this challenge. We are now accepting applications for our ‘Ready for Customs’ grant. The grant provides up to €9,000 for new employees hired to perform customs duties and can be used to defray the cost of recruitment, salary and IT infrastructure.
“The Revenue Commissioners estimate that the number of customs declarations will increase from 1.7m a year to 20m in 2021, requiring approximately 2,000 additional staff to process them. There is currently not enough customs clearance capacity in Irish businesses. This is a real risk that could ultimately damage valuable relationships with UK customers. I would urge all companies, particularly those who offer customs intermediary and logistics services, to apply for this grant,” said Giles O’Neill.
In relation to the main barriers for Irish companies preparing for Brexit, 75 percent of companies cited the uncertainty around the outcome of Brexit negotiations and 56 percent cited their focus on Covid-19.
“Our key message is that Brexit will become a reality on the 1st January next. That’s in less than 100 days. This survey is important in clarifying what the major issues are for businesses. We know that Covid-19 has had a major impact on all businesses. However, it is vital that businesses focus on what needs to be done now, to be ready. Sorting out your customs and logistics arrangements are clearly a top priority.
“We have a suite of supports available to businesses impacted by Brexit to help them get ready for Jan 1st 2021. Act now to access funding and advice and protect your trading relationship with your UK customers and your supply chain to, from or through the UK,” concluded Giles O’Neill.
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