Here's How To Get Ready For Brexit


Brexit is already here and hurting our manufacturers and service sectors, as seen by the decrease in imports and exports YoY; warehouses have limited capacity available. If Brexiters have their way, the UK will leave the EU on October 31st without a deal; and the country most impacted by this change will be the UK itself. The latest leaked reports from the UK government suggests that there will be shortages in food, medicine, fuel and long delays at ports and airports. We need to manage the impact of this on the Irish economy so here are some helpful tips for how to get ready for Brexit:

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In June 2019 Ireland exported €1.14B in goods and services to the UK, representing 9% of our total exports – this figure decreased by 6% compared to the same period in 2018. The total value of goods and services imported to Ireland from the UK was €1.4B in June 2019, accounting for 21% of our total imports. This figure also saw a decrease from the same period in 2018, although at a lesser rate of 2%.

Do you have your EORI number?

It is highly recommend that if you’re a trader importing or exporting goods to or from the EU or UK, you should obtain an EORI number. It’s valid throughout the EU and UK, and is used as a common reference number for interactions with customs authorities in any Member State.

You will find further information about how to register for EORI and how to access the EORI system in the Irish Revenue online services section. You may have already had your EORI number assigned to your existing Value Added Tax (VAT) number, which was generally done for economic operators that held a customs and excise registration when EORI was introduced in 2009.

Check if you were automatically registered for EORI by accessing the Economic Operator Identification and Registration system – simply insert your existing VAT number prefixed by “IE” under “Validate EORI numbers”.

Recommended reading: Here's Where You Can Get Support For Your Business For Brexit

How to prepare for Brexit 

It’s quite possible that thousands of UK companies may go out of business as a result of a hard Brexit, so here are some suggestions on how to be prepared in the event that this risk becomes a reality: 

1. Collect all outstanding debt as quickly as possible from UK companies

Consider outsourcing to a debt collection agency. Also consider protecting your FX exposure by working with Fexco, an Irish company that provides international payment and currency conversion solutions

2. If you are largely exporting to the UK, find European or US customers instead.

Consider using an Irish lead generation company such as SalesOptimize, that can size your market and identify European customers for you to sell to and reduce your dependency on UK market.

3. If you are largely importing from the UK, find European or US suppliers instead.

Look for alternative suppliers to the UK based companies you’re using today.

4. Manage your stock levels carefully

So you don’t burn up too much cash flow.

5. Look to get help from government bodies with supports and funding

Enterprise Ireland and InterTradeIreland both offers vouchers worth €5,000 and £5,000 respectively to businesses, which can enable companies to implement a change as identified in their Brexit action plan. Visit, and to find out more.

You may be eligible for the Brexit Loan Scheme which provides working capital funding of up to €1.5 million to innovate, change or adapt in response to Brexit related challenges. If you are a microenterprise, you can also access loans of up to €25,000 from Microfinance Ireland.

Finally, there is a very good checklist for ‘Brexit Preparedness’ from Irish Government which can be downloaded from the DBEI site.

Brexit is undoubtedly a formidable thought right now, from calls with our own clients, some of which are UK shipping companies, panic is setting in as companies are now transitioning from disbelief to acceptance over the fact that the UK government is pushing the UK economy and people to the cliff edge of disaster. Yes, Ireland will of course be impacted by Brexit, but by working together we can help reduce the scale of this problem.

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Friday, 15 November 2019
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