Revenue contact with businesses raises some concern about level of Brexit readiness

Over the last three weeks Revenue has written to 90,000 businesses, and directly contacted over 2,500 businesses by phone, as part of its ongoing, broad and comprehensive Brexit trade engagement programme.

Revenue welcomes the engagement with and by business and trade as it works to support their efforts to be Brexit ready in a little over 90 days from now and will continue its direct phone contact with up to 14,000 business over the coming weeks.

Currently 97% of the value of export trade to the UK and 93% of the value of the import trade from the UK is undertaken by businesses with an existing customs registration. A customs registration provides a business with an EORI (Economic Operators Registration Identification) number which is an essential requirement to be able to complete customs formalities for trade with Great Britain from 1 January 2021.

However, today (1 October), and based on contacts with businesses to date, Revenue indicated its concern about the level of Brexit readiness by some businesses. Ms Lynda Slattery, head of Revenue’s Brexit Policy Unit, outlined:

"We have seen a welcome increase in the level of customs registrations with some 1,300 registrations completed in September alone. But some businesses seem to mistakenly believe that Brexit will not actually happen and are not getting Brexit ready."

"The truth is that Brexit takes full effect from 1 January 2021 and there won’t be any change in that. This means that customs procedures will apply from 1 January to trade with and through Great Britain, regardless of the outcome of the current EU/UK talks. Given this reality, it is vital that businesses get Brexit ready now to avoid serious disruption to how their business operates and minimise what will otherwise be a potentially significant impact on their revenues."

Explaining the importance of each business undertaking a Brexit impact assessment and making sure that it takes full account of the scale and degree of impact that Brexit will have on the business, Ms Slattery said:

"The mere fact that you import or export products from Great Britain means that Brexit impacts you. That impact arises regardless of whether you import products from Great Britain for onward sale or the products are used as part of your production of goods. Some businesses think that unless they are importing products from Great Britain for onward sale here that they are free from a significant Brexit impact. If a business adopts such an approach, and is not Brexit ready, the business will be in immediate difficulty in January. Revenue’s message is clear, imports or exports of goods involving Great Britain will be subject to Customs procedures from 1 January 2021, which is just over 90 days from now."

Revenue is now asking each business to urgently take the following steps:

  1. Get fully and accurately informed on what Brexit means for the business
  2. Undertake an immediate Brexit impact assessment
  3. Act on that assessment by taking all the actions needed to be ready on 1 January 2021.

Ms Slattery encouraged businesses who are preparing or need to start preparing for Brexit to register for Revenue’s Brexit seminars on 5 and 6 October 2020.

"Revenue, in collaboration with the Department of Agriculture, Food & the Marine and the Department of Business, Enterprise & Innovation, will host a number of Brexit information webinar sessions to support businesses in identifying and understanding the implications of Brexit and what they need to focus on in getting Brexit ready. Registration information for the webinars is available in the Brexit information hub on Revenue’s website."

Ms Slattery concluded:

"Business that have any Brexit Customs queries that are not answered by the material available on the Revenue Brexit information hub can email enquiries to or contact 01-7383632 to discuss Brexit preparations. The customs registration process of acquiring an Economic Operators Registration Identification (EORI) registration process can be completed quickly through the Revenue Online Service (ROS) and a guidance video is available on the Revenue website to bring you through the process."

[Ends 01/10/2020]