How Can Businesses Prepare for Brexit?

25 January 2019

As you will be aware we are now in a high risk situation for Trade with a serious potential of the UK crashing out of the EU without a Trade Agreement on 29th March.

With a short time frame left, now less than 3 months, you must at this point ensure you have the requisite Customs Authorisations in place allow your business to continue to import and export from what will shortly be a Non-EU Country.

Along with our step-by-step guide we are also advising:

  1. Stock piling critical items for manufacturing and sale
  2. Avoiding shipping or moving goods the week of the 29th
  3. Apply Immediately for a Customs Registration (EORI) - see step 1 below


Step 1

Ensure you have a Customs Registration Number – EORI

If you intend to act as an importer from / exporter to the UK and the EU, you cannot do so unless you are registered with Customs. Similarly you will be required to have a UK Customs registration to export from / import to the UK.

Step 2

Establish whether you need to obtain a Deferred Payment Account and, if so, put in place a guarantee provision with your bank to cover the duties that are going to be suspended.

A Deferred Payment Authorisation will allow you to import goods into Ireland from the UK and defer the payment of Customs Duties and Import VAT to the month following import.

 If you export to the UK you should also now request a Deferred Payment Authorisation from HMRC.

Step 3

Ensure your tariff classifications are 100% correct and, from this, confirm the duty rates that may be payable.

Step 4

Ensure you have a clearance agent to lodge Customs Declarations on your behalf

A clearance agent will act on your behalf to enter your Import and Export Documents into the Customs System (AEP,Ireland and CHIEF, UK).

Step 5

Talk to your suppliers and customers to confirm who is acting as Importer and/or Exporter of Record for your purchases and sale

They are responsible for the payment of the Import Duties along with customs compliance.

Step 6

If you trade in Agricultural goods, and particularly if those goods are of animal origin, then additional Vetinary checks and certs will be required along with additional time frames for notifying Customs of Imports.

Step 7

Put Together A Customs Procedure Going Forward

As you may now be importing/exporting for the first time it is essential to draft a Customs Procedure to ensure the correct processes are put in place for Importing and Exporting your goods.

Step 8

After completing steps 1-7 you can look to apply for the Authorised Economic Operator (Trusted Trader Customs Authorisation.

This is a complicated process and requires a considerable number of procedures to be in place from both a Customs, IT, Accounting, Logistics and Supply Chain Security perspective.

The average time frame to securing AEO status is 4-6 months in Ireland and 9-12 months in the UK.