Brexit in less than 30 Days

With less than 30 days to go for Brexit, Irish companies who trade with the United Kingdom can prepare by following some simple guidelines we will list here:

EORI Number

All Irish companies who import and export goods to/from the UK should register to have an EORI (Economic Operators Registration & Identification) Number. Any business or individual established in the EU needs to obtain an EORI number from their national customs authority before commencing customs activities in the EU.

Negotiate Euro Based Contracts with UK Customers

Irish companies should try to negotiate Euro based sales contracts rather than Sterling based with their UK and Northern Ireland based customers. This could protect the business from large potential exchange rate fluctuations between the Euro and Sterling post January 1st 2021.

Plan for Supply Chain Delays

Irish firms should be prepared for delays in importing/exporting goods to/from the UK post Brexit. Experts are saying to add an additional 3-4 days to existing shipping times to/from the UK to allow for additional customs checks. This would also hold true for products coming from mainland Europe that use the UK as a ‘landbridge’ to transport goods to Ireland. An alternative may be the new shipping service between Dunkirk and Rosslare that is due to come into operation early next year.


Customs Commodity Codes

Businesses will need to know the customs commodity codes of the products they are importing/exporting for customs declarations. A list of Customs Commodity Codes can be referenced here TARIC Consultation (

In-house Vs. External Customs Agents

Businesss need to decide if they have the in-house skill sets and resources to deal with customs declarations and tariffs or if they should outsource to a specialised customs agent. There are some customs declaration software solutions currently on the market, an example being BH Assoviates in Shannon, Co. Clare  Home – BH Associates 

VAT on Imports from the UK

From January 1st 2021 Irish companies will have to pay Irish VAT on point of entry on goods sourced from UK suppliers. They will need to allow for this on their cashflow resources. The current EU VAT Directive which allows a VAT waiver will no longer apply with UK suppliers post Brexit.

Attend a Customs Workshop

Attend a Brexit and Customs workshop run by Enterprise Ireland and Local Enterprise Office

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