Customs and International Trade

Tailor-made solutions for customs


BDO Customs and International Trade Services Ltd advise on a range of Importing and Exporting issues relating to the import of goods into and out of the EU. 
Our priority is to understand our clients needs in order to provide a tailor-made and customised service. We know trade issues are often urgent and require priority attention. We will therefore match your business and trade issues with our experienced and knowledgeable consultants who can advise both on the EU Legislative requirements as well as support with operational implementation. 

Under the EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement, both Irish Revenue and HMRC have stated that companies will benefit from the mutual recognition aspect of the EU-UK TCA for Authorised Economic Operators (AEO) which relates to safety and security aspects. Therefore, AEOs who hold AEO Safety and Security (AEOS) or AEO Full authorisation (AEOF) status can benefit from the agreement. AEO status will secure simplifications at the borders and potential administrative savings through reduced Export/Import Declaration requirements, this is of particular benefit to traders looking at the impacts of Brexit.

In addition:

  • Recognition will enable businesses to have their consignments fast-tracked through customs controls.
  • If a consignment is selected for examination, they will receive priority over non AEOs.
  • For businesses holding AEOS or AEOF status, they may opt to use a reduced data set when lodging entry or exit summary declarations.
  • AEO's will be given a lower risk score in risk analysis systems when profiling.
  • If physical controls are to be conducted AEO's will be given priority treatment.

The process for application for AEO can be a lengthy one. Although it involves company investment in terms of time and financial benefit; it can be useful to companies by helping them understand their own supply chains & exposure and additionally understand the benefits of introducing new systems & processes.

Our team in BDO can work hand in hand with companies to assist and run the AEO application process ensuring that all Customs requirements are met and in turn identify further opportunities for the company to help ease the burden that Customs can bring.

Our team have worked both in Ireland and UK securing AEO authorisations for companies with 100% of all applications granted by the relevant customs authorities.

Notwithstanding that, our AEO team continues to work with the companies to maintain their AEO authorisations which is of equal importance.

Since the UK left the EU, there has been a strong increase in demand from companies to obtain AEO status, which in turn has caused an increase in the length of time to gain authorisation from the Authorities. 

It is also important to note that this authorisation may not be suitable for every company, particularly where additional procedures (such as veterinary checks) need to be carried out at the border, our team will work with you to ensure that the AEO authorisation will be a benefit to your company prior to any work being carried out.

NB: For those who hold AEO Customs Simplification (AEOC) status only, there are no safety and security benefits for them in the Agreement.



Understanding Customs and International Trade Regulations are a critical aspect of today’s Global Supply Chain.

Goods move across many borders before reaching their final destination and can therefore be subject a host of Import Duty Costs, Indirect Barriers to Trade, Global Trade Controls, Import and Export Licensing and Certification requirements.

In BDO we specialise in getting to know your company in order to provide a tailor made and customised service.  Areas of focus include:

  • Securing beneficial classifications and duty rates               
  • Reviewing entitlement to preferential and non-preferential      
  • Origin                                                              
  • Advice and negotiations on customs valuation               
  • Advising on and securing duty reliefs                            
  • Centralised Clearance and SASP
  • Audits and Investigations
  • Excise Consultancy
  • Security and Supply Chain
  • Managed Customs Clearance
  • Trade and compliance
  • Export management
  • Trade Issues
  • Export Licensing                      

Our team have been working with companies in relation to Customs and Trade for over thirty years and have a wealth of experience in relation to achieving duty savings and ensuring compliance. We offer highly competitive rates and retainer options along with a team dedicated to your needs.

Our team ranges from experts with background in Customs Consultancy, Revenue, Industry and Clearance so we can address any issue you may have in relation to Import/Export requirements.

Get visibility and access to your customs declarations, while having a professional broker lodge declarations and interact with revenue on your behalf.

In the post-Brexit customs reality, completing prompt and compliant declarations remains a challenge for traders.

BDO Customs and International Trade Services can provide traders with the best of what in-house services and professional brokerage can offer. Get visibility and access to your customs declarations while having a professional brokerage lodge declarations and interact with Revenue on your behalf.

Having access to a full service team also provides peace of mind and all year round cover. In addition, the benefit of a full service team means you are always up to date with current customs requirements.

We focus on:

  • Ensuring higher quality declarations to deliver first time routing successes.
  • Supporting multi-user, multi-stakeholder, and multi-organisational collaboration
  • Providing real time visibility on movement and status of your goods giving you transparency and control over all your shipments and avoiding downtime.
  • Providing full document retention for audit purposes.
  • Providing support by email and phone as required.

BDO VIP Customs Brokerage Service 

If you require an agent to lodge customs declarations on your behalf, but equally require access to your records for audit purposes then we suggest using the BDO VIP Customs Brokerage service.

  • Complete and lodge your customs declarations both in Ireland and the UK
  • Work with you to engage either directly or indirectly with your Hauliers and Freight Forwarders as well as your Logistics Department
  • Fully manage the customs process, allowing your suppliers and logistics providers to concentrate on delivery
  • Interact with Customs Authorities and other Import/Export Departments e.g. DAFM on your behalf.
  • Complete your Entry Summary Declaration
  • (ENS) declarations and Pre-Boarding Notification (PBN) if required
  • Provide full document retention for audit purposes
  • Provide support by email and phone as required
  • Provide a monthly report on all entries completed within a month, which can be filtered by supplier and duty paid or other metrics as required, providing you with an easy means of reconciling to your ROS Account and postponed VAT by linking VAT suspended back to Import entries (once we are your only customs agent).

Sanitary & Phytosanitary

If you are involved in the Food and Agri Business Sector, and you import/export food products outside of the EU (including the UK), it is imperative that you understand the requirements for importing/exporting food and the Sanitary & Phytosanitary (SPS) requirements to avoid unnecessary delays at the ports.

This has become particularly important since 1 January 2021, as these rules now apply to Great Britain (GB) imports. These requirements are in addition to current customs formalities; but are very much inter-linked.


What are the food import/export requirements?

The EU has very strict controls on the import of animals and agri-related products. The nature of the requirements will, however, depend on the type of food being imported/exported. Certain foods are deemed to present a higher risk and will require more stringent controls. These controls can consist of a documentary check, an identity or a physical check or any combination of these checks. 

Some exports will also require an export health certificate or a phytosanitary certificate. 

We are also advising exporters to review the key issues which caused delays on imports to the EU in 2021 post Brexit. Understanding these issues will ensure that you are prepared for exporting to GB. Click here to learn more. 


What are the food export requirements to GB?

Since 1 January 2021, SPS measures have been required when exporting live animals, germinal products, high risk ABP and high priority plants and plant products to GB from Ireland.  

Such consignments require:

  • An Export Health Certificate/Phytosanitary Certificate, as appropriate
  • The GB based importer to complete the import pre-notification on IPAFFS/ PEACHES system
  • Identity and physical inspections at the place of destination in GB. 

Further SPS import controls were due to be introduced in GB on exports from the EU on a phased approach from 1 July 2022. 

On the 28 April, the UK Government announced that there would be no further import controls on EU goods imported to GB in 2022. UK Government announced that businesses can stop their preparations for 2022 and they will publish a Target Operating Model in Autumn 2022 which will detail the new border import controls and anticipate that the controls regime will be introduced by the end of 2023. The UK will now focus on technology and options to digitise its border.

This is great news for Irish exporters and provides additional time to prepare in particular for full GB import controls. Goods moving from the EU to GB can continue to do so on the basis of the arrangements that currently apply. Requirements which were introduced in January 2021 when exporting live animals, germinal products, high risk ABP and high priority plants and plant products to Great Britain from the EU remain in place. 


How can BDO help?

BDO have a dedicated team of Food, Drink & Agri-business specialists who are available to assist you with the following: 

  • Understanding your product and determining the import/export requirements. 
  • Assist you in completing the necessary registration requirements with the Competent Authorities.
  • Ensuring you have obtained the necessary system information technology access to meet the import/export requirements.
  • Provide training on the completion of a Common Health Entry Document, Private Attestation, and the necessary pre-notification requirements.
  • Assist you in understanding the food import codes and ensuring these are inserted in your import declaration. 
  • Advise you on document retention requirements. 

It is important that you understand the requirements for the type of food product you are importing/exporting and that all necessary documentation is completed on time and provided to the necessary party. 



Our Customs & International Trade experts

How can BDO help



Training courses

We deliver an unparalleled learning experience that covers all aspects of various supply chain topics. By learning with us and you will gain industry-leading knowledge, develop your understanding of customs requirements in Ireland and connect with a network of customs professionals.
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