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Government urges businesses to prepare for Brexit with 10 weeks to go

With 10 weeks to go to the Brexit deadline on October 31st, the Government is reminding businesses of the need to prepare for Brexit. In particular, the Government has highlighted 9 steps that all businesses can take now to help prepare for the UK’s departure from the EU.

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

  • Smaller businesses who may not realize 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

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.

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 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

Following the publication of the latest Brexit Contingency Action Plan Update last month, the most recent Government steps regarding no deal preparations include:

  • Revenue are issuing their second round of direct engagement to businesses identified as being potentially at risk from Brexit. Further to the 84,000 letters issued earlier this year, this round involves another direct communication via post identifying the company’s potential financial exposure to the UK market and the steps they need to take, further supported by direct calls to businesses to follow up on the letter with any queries they may have. In this phase, nearly 27,000 letters have issued and 10,000 businesses have been spoken with on the phone by a Revenue agent.
  • The Clear Customs initiative is helping Irish businesses trading with or through the UK in preparing for new customs formalities arising from Brexit. Developed by Skillnet on behalf of the Government, Clear Customs offers eligible customs agents, customs intermediaries and affected businesses a free training programme to build capacity in the customs sector, as well as a potential €6,000 grant to help build in-house capacity.
  • The Beef Exceptional Aid Measure recently opened for applications and will provide financial aid to Irish beef farmers facing difficult circumstances as a result of market volatility and uncertainty arising out of Brexit.
  • Ongoing Government events around the country, including Government outreach at the Virginia and Tullamore Shows, specifically targeted for the agrifood sector.
  • Planning for the National Ploughing Championships where Brexit preparations will be a major feature.

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