Please select the appropriate response (“Yes”, “No” or “In Progress”) for each question, across the various sections of the form.
ANY QUESTION WITHIN THIS FORM CAN BE SKIPPED, IF NOT RELEVANT.
On successful completion and submission of the form, you will receive an email to download your personalised Brexit Readiness Report. This will summarise the outstanding tasks and provide signposts to sources of additional information, as well as state supports.
Have you obtained your EORI number?
The EORI number allows businesses to import or export with countries outside the European Union. It is a unique reference number recognised by all member states. The EORI number is inserted on all customs declarations. Without this number goods will not be cleared at customs.
To obtain an EORI number, simply register directly with Revenue. It takes only a few minutes.
Have you determined the commodity code(s) for your product(s)?
A commodity code is an 8 digit code (for exports) and a 10 digit code (for imports).
It is used to classify goods into one of about 5,000 different commodity groups. The commodity code is required for the completion of all customs documentation. The system used to identify the commodity code is the EU TARIC.
Determining the correct commodity code for your product is important as it is used to identify potential duty rates but also other customs obligations like licensing requirements or quotas. If the code is incorrect, companies may incur penalties from Revenue.
Have you identified the country of origin for your product(s)?
One of the main factors in determining how much duty a business will pay on imports is where the goods have originated from. Goods that are imported from countries, which are part of an EU free trade agreement, may qualify for a reduced or a zero duty rate. If companies want to benefit from the preferential duty rates of a free trade agreement, they must check the specific origin rules for their product and ensure the associated paperwork is in order.
In customs terms, there are two main categories of origin. Goods that are ‘wholly obtained’ e.g. strawberries grown, processed and packed in Ireland and goods that have been ‘sufficiently processed’ with materials from more than one country. In the latter, determining origin especially for manufactured goods can be complex as origin is determined by the country in which the last ‘substantial processing’ took place.
Has the potential tariff for your goods been determined?
After the end of the transition period, the movement of goods to and from the UK may require the payment of a tariff. A tariff is a tax on foreign imports and can potentially add significant cost to the importer.
Without a Free Trade Agreement, goods imported from the UK (Excl NI) into the EU will have World Trade Organisation (WTO) tariff rates applied.
For goods imported into the UK (Excl NI) from the EU, the new UK Global Tariff published in May 2020 will apply.
To identify the tariff, goods must first be classified and the commodity code identified.
Have you identified who will manage the customs procedures and paperwork i.e. in-house or via a broker/agent?
The movement of goods to, from and through the UK (Excl NI) will require the submission of customs declarations to customs authorities in advance of the goods departing from Ireland / UK. There are also pre-boarding notification requirements for goods moving by ferry to or from the UK. This will pose difficulties for new importers and exporters as they seek to understand and implement customs processes for the first time.
Companies have two options (1) Seek out a customs intermediary or ask your logistics provider to do this work on your behalf. Businesses should budget for approx. €50 per declaration in this scenario (2) Build the capability in-house. Training is key along with the identification of a software system and the people required to make the declarations. Allow 3-4 months approximately for recruitment and training. When insourced, companies should budget between €7-€8 per declaration along with the associated salary and training costs.
Each company should examine its own business case in detail before making any decisions.
Have you identified the additional customs and regulatory requirements if moving products of animal origin?
The movement of goods of animal origin to, from and through the UK (Excl NI) will require additional checks and documentation above and beyond the relevant customs procedures.
As a first step, Irish importers and exporters should register with the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM) as soon as possible. You should also familiarise yourself with the product-specific requirements for the goods you are moving and again the commodity code is required for this purpose.
Have you decided how you will pay the Customs Charges?
In order for goods to clear customs, the relevant charges must be paid. Companies can pay into a cash account with Revenue or alternatively, they can apply to Revenue for a Deferred Payment Authorisation. The deferred option, allows a business to pay their customs charges by direct debit the following month, easing cashflow pressures on the business. A financial guarantee from your bank will be required to get the authorisation from Revenue. Allow approximately 3 months to have this authorisation in place.
Have you determined, who will have responsibility for all of the Documentation and Processing, when importing your goods into the UK?
UK customers may expect suppliers to manage the complexities, arising from the new trading relationship. If you have a contract, it may contain the terms, specifying responsibility. In the absence of this, you will need to understand your customer expectations. The smaller and less international the customer, the more likely they will expect suppliers to manage new paperwork around importing into the UK.
In June 2020, the UK Government signaled that they would introduce customs “easements”, across the first 6 months of 2021. You may decide to take on the role of importer yourself. This will require the completion and submission of UK import declarations and also being able to pay or account for VAT at point of entry into the UK. In this case, you may need to establish a UK presence. The time required to establish a presence, depends on the type of entity you choose.
Have you calculated your break even € / £ exchange rate for your UK business?
Currency volatility has always been a characteristic in Irish trade with the UK. Uncertainty around key events will continue to bring disruption which in turn has an impact on currency movement. Understanding and managing currency movements has now become critical as businesses look to prevent the erosion of precious margin.
One of the key steps in the management of currency risk is the identification of the break even €/ Stg exchange rate on UK sales. Adverse movement in the rate can have a direct impact on overall profitability. Understanding this break even point allows companies to model and stress test various currency scenarios right up to parity.
Have you calculated the impact on your company’s cash flow from the new UK trading environment?
When looking at the impact on cash flow, the impact of adverse currency movements is often the first consideration. However, other factors like extra customs charges, tariffs, advance purchasing, stockholding and potentially new credit terms from suppliers will all put extra strain on the cash cycle.
To manage the risk to cash flow, the first step is to develop a robust budgeting and forecasting model to understand the impact. This will help identify the key variables to focus on and if and when additional capital may be needed. It is important that this model is reviewed and updated frequently as the uncertainties evolve.
Do you know how much extra funding will be required to support your business plan after the transition period ends?
When looking at the impact on cash flow from trading with an evolving UK, factors like extra customs charges, potential tariffs, advance purchasing and funding to explore new markets come into consideration. The first step is to develop a robust forecasting model to understand how much additional funding, if any, is required to support a company’s action plan and when it might be needed.
Along with internal measures to support cash flow. For example, a deferred payment facility from Revenue or efficient credit controls. Companies can also look at a range of external financing options. The Strategic Banking Corporation of Ireland (SBCI) has available, a Brexit Loan Scheme and a Future Growth Loan Scheme to support working capital and longer-term strategic investments respectively. These funds are delivered through the main Irish banks and are worth considering, if finance is required to fund business plans.
Have you taken measures to reduce the risks of adverse FX movements?
The first steps in currency risk management are to identify the extent of the exposure and to quantify that risk. Once a business has identified the break even €/ Stg exchange rate on UK revenue and stress tested the various currency movement scenarios, they can look at ways to effectively mitigate some or all of this risk.
The options range from the simple to the more complex. Opening a sterling bank account, invoicing in euros if possible and looking to identify natural hedges within cashflows i.e. matching currency costs in Stg with corresponding revenues. Alternatives like FX options and forward contracts are also worth exploring with a trusted financial advisor.
Have you considered the VAT implications on your business?
Does your business make use of any EU VAT simplification measures (such as triangulation or self-billing)? These measures will no longer be available where part of the transaction occurs in the UK. Do you incur VAT on purchases or charge VAT on sales made in the UK? If so, the European VAT Refund (EVR) system will no longer be available to reclaim VAT expended or refund VAT charged in the UK.
The zero rate of VAT applies to exports. To apply the zero rate of VAT to exports, you must ensure that the goods have left the EU and have evidence of export.
The VAT treatment of supplies of goods to Northern Ireland after the end of the transition period will not change. They will still be considered to be either intra-Community supplies where such supplies are made to businesses, or distance sales of goods where such supplies.
Do you know what % of your goods are sourced from or through the UK?
The end of the transition period has the potential to have a significant adverse impact on supply chains. The UK accounts for approx. 26% of total Irish imports. The imported goods are frequently used as intermediary goods, which are processed further in Ireland and consequently, directly impact Irish export performance.
The greater the percentage of goods sourced from or through the UK, the greater the potential impact on your business. For example, customs paperwork, delays, etc. So, to mitigate the risk, the first step is to understand the overall exposure by analysing all suppliers and identifying those suppliers that will have the greatest impact on the business.
Do you know which UK supplier(s) will have the greatest impact on your business?
Not all suppliers are the same. A company may have a large number of UK suppliers. Some may be easily replaced with alternatives, while others may be more critical to the business, due to long standing relationships, favourable credit terms or a unique product offering.
The key step is to analyse your suppliers from a perspective of having no Free Trade Agreement in place or a limited Free Trade Agreement in place and identify those suppliers that will have the greatest impact on your business. The impact may be in terms of greater costs, customs delays or regulatory divergence.
Only when the most critical suppliers are identified, can steps be taken to mitigate some of these risks
Have you taken steps to maintain security of supply?
When a business has identified their critical suppliers, it can then work to mitigate some of the risk.
Key suppliers are not easy to replace. For the most important UK relationships, it is crucial, at a minimum, to engage with the supplier and to develop long term supplier agreements. Options around increased ordering/ storage capacity and supply commitments can be explored as part of this.
If the supplier does not engage and the risk remains unacceptably high, then alternative supply options can be considered.
Have you identified an alternative supplier(s) for your business, as part of your contingency plan(s)?
The new trading environment in the UK has the potential to impact on a company’s supply chain.
The first step is to analyse your suppliers from a Brexit perspective and identify those suppliers that will have the greatest impact on your business.
Once identified, a business can work with their suppliers to put measures in place to ensure continuity of supply. However, if the most critical suppliers are not fully prepared and the risks remain unacceptably high, then alternative supply options should be considered. The identification and qualification of new suppliers requires time and resource and planning for this should begin early.
.Do you know if your personal business data is transferred outside the EU and if it still remains compliant with GDPR?
GDPR gives individuals control over their personal data. With the UK outside the EU, under GDPR different rules apply for the transfer of data outside the EU.
The first step for firms is to establish exactly where their data goes. Companies may not realise that the cloud storage for their, for example, customer, pension or payroll data is located in the UK.
Once the location of the data is established, a company can explore moving the data into the EU. Alternatively, without a UK-EU “adequacy agreement” that allows data to transfer outside the EU, companies can look at an option called standard contractual clauses (SCCs).
The recent European Court of Justice (CJEU) ruling The Court highlighted that it is the responsibility of the data exporter and the data importer to assess whether the level of protection required by EU law is respected in the third country concerned in order to determine if the guarantees provided by the SCCs can be complied with in practice.
If this is not the case, you should assess whether you can provide supplementary measures to ensure an essentially equivalent level of protection as provided in the EEA, and if the law of the third country will not impinge on these supplementary measures so as to prevent their effectiveness.
You can contact your data importer to verify the legislation of its country and collaborate for its assessment. Should you or the data importer in the third country determine that the data transferred pursuant to the SCCs are not afforded a level of protection essentially equivalent to that guaranteed within the EEA, you should immediately suspend the transfers. In case you do not, you must notify your competent Supervisory Authority (SA) e.g. the Data Protection Commissioner.
.Have you identified and are you tracking the certifications, licenses and approvals required for your products to continue to sell into the UK and Europe?
The future trading relationship will determine the degree to which the EU and UK regulations and standards remain aligned. You will need to keep abreast of how your product/service conforms to the necessary standards, if they diverge.
This also means, ensuring that the components or elements used in the creation of your product/service are compliant. Consider compliance for both the UK and the EU, if you sell in each of these markets.
Have you provided your customers with the confidence that they will not face any disruption, arising from your business?
Any business operating in a context of overall market disruption will welcome assurances from their suppliers that these have undertaken all possible steps within their power to ensure continuity of service and supply. Statements backed up by evidence will be even more powerful (e.g. completion of training, internal risk reviews etc).
Have you assessed how your business could improve its reputation and the value it can bring to your UK customers?
Any change in the business landscape leads to both risk and opportunity. There is still time to introduce changes to make your business more attractive and increase the value you bring to customers. This may be in the form of sharing knowledge or insight, taking complexity out of their hands, helping them with solutions to new challenges faced by them or their customers etc. What scope is there to do things differently and provide an even better service than you are providing today?
Have you considered the importance or relevance of establishing a UK presence?
In leaving the EU, there is a risk that UK businesses and customers will feel less connected to Ireland. In this context and indeed best practice suggests that Irish companies will need to consider how to provide their UK customers and prospective customers with the greatest possible sense of security that they are close at hand, attuned to their specific needs and able to respond immediately. One powerful way of achieving this is by establishing a UK presence – virtual, legal or physical as appropriate. At a minimum, customers need to be able to contact a UK telephone number and visit an online presence that feels tailored to them and their needs.
Have you checked if you employ EU citizens in Ireland or elsewhere who need to travel to the UK to sell/deliver your service?
The Common Travel Area (CTA) is legislated for in Ireland and the UK and this provides the right of Irish and UK citizens to live and work in each others’ countries. However, if your workforce outside the UK contains staff members or indeed, if you work with other partners employing EU citizens who need to deliver a service to the UK, these will need to comply with visa and immigration rules as it applies to them, when the transition period ends on the 31st December 2020. Companies may also need to check the status of mutual recognition of professional qualifications at the end of the transition period. Companies will need to keep abreast of what is finally agreed between the UK and the EU.
Have you identified if you have EU citizens in your UK operations that have not yet received “settled status” in the UK or UK citizenship? Are you aware of the associated status of their family members residing in the UK?
EU, EEA and Swiss citizens who have resided in the UK before the end of the transition period on 31 December 2020 must apply to the EU Settlement Scheme to maintain the right to live and work in the UK. The deadline for applications is 30 June 2021. If approved they will receive settled or pre-settled status. The right for family members to remain/join must be applied for separately.