Getting Brexit Ready

Getting Brexit Ready

Ahead of the UK’s anticipated departure from the EU, we are signposting information and services available to help you manage Brexit risk. Jump to the following sections:

  • Mobility of engineers post-Brexit
  • Construction Products Regulation and the ‘CE’ marking
  • Trading with the UK
  • Business sectors of concern
  • Common Travel Area and driving across the Border
  • Northern Region members
  • GB Region members

Mobility of engineers post-Brexit

In 2018, Engineers Ireland became one of the first organisations to sign an agreement (known as an Access Pathways Agreement) with our counterpart in the UK to ensure ongoing recognition of qualifications between the jurisdictions. The deal will allow ongoing mobility post-Brexit for engineers coming to the Republic and for Irish engineers going to the UK. Engineers Ireland signed the Access Pathways Agreement with the Engineering Council, the registration body for engineers in the UK. More information is here.

Construction Products Regulation and the ‘CE’ marking

The Construction Products Regulation (CPR) requires that when certain construction products are placed on the EU market, the manufacturer must produce a ‘declaration of performance’ and place a ‘CE’ marking on the product. Third parties called ‘notified bodies’ perform assessments of products and provide ‘certificates of conformity’. They must be registered in an EU country.

UK ‘notified bodies’ (those registered in Great Britain or Northern Ireland) will lose their legal status as EU ‘notified bodies’ from the date the UK leaves the EU. Construction products relying on certification from a UK ‘notified body’ may not be placed on the EU market from the date the UK leaves the EU. This may affect supply chains and the availability of certain products.

To limit disruption on construction sites, check your supply chain to ensure the construction products you need will be available after the UK leaves the EU. Check that the relevant product-related documentation is appropriate to demonstrate and ensure compliance with the Building Regulations. An leaflet on the Construction Products Regulation is available here and further information is available on the NSAI Brexit webpages.

Trading with the UK

One of the most practical steps businesses who trade with the UK can take is ensuring they have customs registration, known as an EORI number (Economic Operators Registration and Identification). Having an EORI number is a necessary first step in being able to trade with the UK post Brexit.  You request this number through the Revenue Commissioners.  This is the link on Revenue’s website to apply for an EORI number.

According to the Department of Finance, you should also:

  • Consider how you will make your customs declarations and if you require a customs agent to assist you, post Brexit
  • Talk to the businesses who transport your goods or products to help you identify your supply chain
  • Determine the origin and Commodity Code of your goods or products.

Business sectors of concern

Irish Government Ministers are directly appealing to a number of sectors of concern. Government contingency planning has indicated that the following sectors have low levels of Brexit preparedness:

  • Smaller businesses who may not realise they are trading with the UK
  • Construction businesses
  • Manufacturing companies
  • Agrifood businesses, particularly those in food production
  • Retail particularly independent shops and hardware stores who source products from or through the UK.
  • Hauliers

There are 9 steps that businesses, large and small, can do now:

  1. Understand the new rules for UK importing and exporting
  2. Review your supply chain and UK market strategy
  3. Be aware of possible changes to transport and logistics
  4. Review all your certification, regulation and licencing
  5. Review your contracts and data management
  6. Ensure you are maximising Irish Government Brexit programmes and supports
  7. Manage your cash flow, currency and make sure your banking is in order
  8. Protect and inform your staff
  9. Know more about the impact to your sector

Getting Your Business Brexit Ready can be downloaded here. Businesses and consumers who are concerned about Brexit and what it may mean for them are encouraged to visit www.gov.ie/brexit where there is a range of practical information on how to get prepared. @BrexitReadyIRL is the main Government Twitter account for updates.

Common Travel Area and driving across the Border

A Memorandum of Understanding on the Common Travel Area (CTA), that reaffirms the commitment of both Irish and British Governments, was signed on 8 May 2019. Under the CTA, which will be maintained in any scenario, Irish and British citizens can travel freely, move to live, work and study, and access services including healthcare and social benefits in either jurisdiction.

As of 23 August 2019, Irish motorists will no longer need ‘green cards’ to cross the Border in the event of a no-deal Brexit because of an agreement between transport authorities in the UK and the Republic.  Following negotiations with the Motor Insurers’ Bureau of Ireland, the UK Department of Transport has agreed to accept valid Irish insurance discs as proof of cover in Britain, in a no-deal scenario. However, motorists with UK-registered vehicles will still require green cards to travel in Ireland, and the rest of the EU.

Northern Region members

While the information above is primarily ROI-related, our Northern Region Members can access additional information provided on the website of the Northern Ireland Assembly.  The Irish Government also has a particular section on Northern Ireland on its website and it is here. It covers many areas including Travel, Business, mobile phone and data use, living and working.

GB Region members

Our GB members can access information from the UK Government’s main website here - through the Department for exiting the EU. There is a second website with information about Brexit impact under different headings including for businesses, individuals, UK nationals living in the EU and EU citizens living in the UK, accessible here.