Brexit preparedness

Brexit preparedness

20 February 2019 at 17:05

Latest advice by the Irish Government 2 April 2019

Those in the construction sector and all businesses in the building trade are advised to:

  • Review their supply chain to assess the degree to which they rely on materials that come through or from the UK and vice versa.
  • If you buy or sell your materials from or to the UK you will need to prepare for any new customs arrangements and the impact they will have on your business. Revenue has a helpful video presentation available that provides a useful overview of key steps.
  • Check any certifications, licences or authorisations that apply to their products to ensure that these will be valid post-Brexit.
  • If you rely on UK notified bodies for certificates that demonstrate compliance with EU standards, these may no longer be valid post-Brexit. You will need to arrange to either transfer existing certificates to an EU27 Notified Body or to obtain new ones. Businesses can contact the NSAI for further information.
  • Assess and prepare for potential impacts on their cash flow, including in relation to currency fluctuations. 

More information available on gov.ie/brexit

Ahead of the UK’s planned departure from the EU, we are providing to members, primarily in ROI, an information signpost (below) to various supports, information and services available to you and your business to help you manage Brexit risk. A summary of this information is also available in a compact PDF booklet produced by the Irish Government’s Dept of Business, Enterprise and Innovation. It’s available here: https://dbei.gov.ie/en/Publications/Publication-files/Quick-Brexit-Guide-for-Business.pdf

This page will evolve once new information becomes available.

On 26 March Ireland’s Economic and Social Research Institute said the economic impact of Brexit on Ireland will be considerable in either a deal or no-deal scenario, with a cost to output this year of between €1.8bn and €7.5bn. 

It says the economic shock of Brexit will have negative effects for Irish households, businesses, jobs and government finances.  The latest ESRI assessment of Brexit’s impact on the Irish economy (click the link) looks at three scenarios - a deal, a no deal and a disorderly no deal.

As of 14 March on RTÉ Radio 1, Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Simon Coveney TD has said that Ireland will continue to prepare for a no-deal Brexit.  On the 15 March he said: “Brexit will have negative consequences in all scenarios, but we are determined to be as ready as we can.”

While the information below is primarily ROI-related, our GB members can access information from the UK government’s main website: https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/department-for-exiting-the-european-union.

This is the website of the UK Government Department responsible for overseeing negotiations to leave the EU and establishing the future relationship between the UK and EU.  There is also 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.  It is accessible here: https://euexit.campaign.gov.uk/

We have grouped our Brexit signpost information under three headings:

Information about Brexit – supply-chain

Information about Brexit - general

Financial Supports

Information about Brexit- supply-chain

We are highlighting this area of supply, particularly because of the Irish Government's urge (18 February) to businesses to contact their suppliers and service providers to get assurances about the continuity of supply of goods or services post-Brexit.  

The two key recommendations made by Government in this specific regard are:

  1. If you have a UK supplier, do contact that supplier, service provider, logistics company, wholesaler or distributor, to seek assurances about the continuity of the goods and services they rely on to do their business - and their business with you.
  1. Then ask if their own suppliers are using the UK as a land-bridge to move their goods to your location in Ireland. If they do, this might cause delays and increased costs after Brexit. If you have any doubt about continuity in your supply chain, you should contact your Local Enterprise Office. (LEO) The map to the Local Enterprise Offices around Ireland is here. (LEO has 31 teams across the Local Authority network in Ireland and offer a wide range of experience, skills and services).

Information about Brexit - general

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade: Has a dedicated website on Brexit for both businesses and families called Getting Ireland Brexit Ready and it is here.

It has a Q and A section about Brexit – covering questions such as When are businesses likely to see the impact of Brexit? which is here.

It has a special section on the Economy and Trade here.

It has information about the common travel area which is here.

Under the common travel area (CTA), Irish and British citizens move freely and reside in either jurisdiction and enjoy associated rights and entitlements including access to employment, healthcare, education, social benefits, and the right to vote in certain elections.  The Common Travel Area pre-dates Irish and UK membership of the EU and is not dependent on it. The Department says on its website that detailed work is at an advanced stage, both at home and bilaterally between Ireland and the UK, to ensure that all necessary provisions are made in both jurisdictions so that the CTA continues to function effectively.

There is also a specific Government Brexit newsletter, and you can sign up to it here. It covers items such as forthcoming Brexit seminars.  For your convenience, these are:

26 February: Enterprise Ireland, Essentials of Exporting, Galway
26 February: Bord Bia, Regional Customs Training, Westmeath
5 March: Brexit & Beyond - Strategies & Supports, Offaly
7 March: Brexit Ready for Export Seminar, Local Enterprise Office, Limerick
14 March: Enterprise Ireland, Essentials of Exporting, Monaghan

Some other recent Government Brexit newsletters are here: DFA Newsletter Archive

The Government’s Contingency Action Plan on Brexit is here.

The Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation also has a full section dedicated to Brexit on its website called Getting Businesses Brexit ready and it is accessible here.

Northern Assembly: The Northern Assembly also has details about Brexit here.

Its Research and Information Service has compiled an information hub here including Brexit related events happening in Northern Ireland and links to Brexit briefs.

Enterprise Ireland: The Government is recommending that businesses take Enterprise Ireland’s Brexit scorecard to prepare for Brexit and to make a robust plan.  The scorecard is here.

Enterprise Ireland: Is running Brexit Advisory Clinics here.

National Standards Authority of Ireland: Its Brexit unit’s remit is to provide support and guidance to Irish businesses and industry to mitigate Brexit effects on standards and certification. See here.

Revenue Commissioners: Revenue has a dedicated Brexit Portal on its website, which acts as a support for trade. Revenue has also developed a Trader Engagement Programme (seminars) to assist trade in preparing for the impact of Brexit. 

InterTradeIreland: This organisation has put together a glossary of key Brexit terms (i.e. what is the ‘Free Trade Agreement’, what is the ‘European Economic Area’ , what is ‘Article 50’, what is the ‘Common Travel Area’ etc) and you will find it here.

It also has a Tariff Checker.  If for example, you wish to view, filter and print the cross border tariffs and charges relating to your business, these are available here.

It has also developed case studies to help businesses navigate the new cross-border trading relationship as it emerges from the negotiations around the UK’s decision to leave the EU.

IBEC: This organisation is working with Government, state agencies, regulators and the European institutions, to best prepare for and manage all eventualities. It is also in ongoing contact with Europe’s main business federations to ensure Irish business concerns are understood in national capitals.

Some of its documentation is here:

Engineers Ireland: We became one of the first organisations to sign an 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. Known as the Access Pathways Agreement (APA), Engineers Ireland signed this Agreement in December 2018 with the Engineering Council, the registration body for engineers in the UK. More information is here.

Financial supports

There is a range of Brexit-related financial supports available to organisations including from InterTradeIreland, Enterprise Ireland & Local Enterprise Offices (LEO).

InterTradeIreland: Is offering Start to Plan Vouchers worth £2,000/€2,250 to businesses towards professional advice on Brexit matters. This support can help a business get advice on specific issues such as movement of labour, goods, services and currency management.  To apply, see this link here.

Enterprise Ireland: Is offering grant-aid in the form of a Be Prepared Grant, valued at up to €5,000 to assist in the cost of developing a strategic response to Brexit.

The grant is intended to provide support to clients to use external resources to undertake a short assignment to determine how the company could respond to the threats and opportunities of Brexit. The grant can be used to cover consultant’s fees, travel and expenses. If you wish to apply the link is here.

Enterprise Ireland: Its Market Discovery Fund aims to incentivise companies to research viable and sustainable market entry strategies in new geographic markets. It provides support towards internal and external costs incurred when researching new markets for products and services. Support can be provided over an 18-month period. There are three levels to this grant with Level One of the grant up to €35k. More detail is here.

Enterprise Ireland: It also has an Agile Innovation Fund, allowing companies to access up to 50% in support of innovation projects with a total cost of up to €300,000 – with fast–track approval. See this link here.

Strategic Banking Corporation of Ireland (SBCI):  The SBCI €300 million Brexit Loan Scheme is offered to eligible Irish businesses impacted by Brexit. The scheme is in partnership with the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation, the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine and is supported by the InnovFin SME Guarantee Facility, with the financial backing of the European Union under Horizon 2020 Financial Instruments.  The loans are available through AIB, Bank of Ireland and Ulster Bank. Approval of loans are subject to the banks own credit policies and procedures.

See this link for more information: here.

LEO: The Local Enterprise offices have a range of supports for the establishment or growth of enterprises and they are summarised here.