BREXIT - Customs

From December 31st how we trade with the UK will change profoundly.  Importing and exporting procedures, customs compliance, goods classification, goods transit and tariffs will, in the event of a no-deal Brexit be subject to the rules of trade with a “Third Country.”

Once the UK leaves the Customs Union, it will be regarded as a non-European Union country, so therefore Waterford companies need to prepare for dealing with a post-Brexit UK.

Regardless of a hard or soft Customs Brexit, goods to and from the UK or transiting through the UK, will be subject to strict compliance and documentation requirements.  Waterford businesses that move goods into and out of the UK will have a customs requirement and will need to understand the new customs paperwork, how to classify their goods and understand what their potential duty cost will be.

Kathryn Kiely of Glazik said, “Brexit has the potential to hurt a lot of small businesses and it is now imperative that we prepare ourselves as best we can.  At a minimum, we should be informing ourselves of the main issues and taking steps to address them in the context of our own businesses.  I’d urge any Waterford companies, regardless of their size or scale, to get informed about customs issues and put measures in place to get their business Brexit Ready.”

Customs declarations will be required to move goods from Ireland to the UK and vice versa.  In order to operate within a customs regime, it is necessary to obtain an Economic Operators Registration and Identification (EORI) customs number.

An EORI number is a registration and identification number that EU based businesses will need in order to import or export of goods in or out of the EU, and in the case of a no-deal Brexit, will apply to trade with the UK.  Irish companies that trade goods with the UK should obtain an EORI through Revenue’s Online Service (ROS).

Customs Duty will apply to the import and export of goods to and from the UK.  Customs Duty, unlike VAT is not recoverable and will present an additional cost of import.  Therefore, it is imperative that the correct classification codes are applied to goods to and from the UK.  Intertrade Ireland provides a comprehensive guide to help classify your goods to the appropriate code.

In the event of a no-deal Brexit standard rate VAT (currently 23% for ROI) will apply to the import of many goods from the UK into Ireland and will be payable at the time of import of the goods into Ireland unless reliefs apply.

Business should quantify the potential cash flow impact of a no-deal Brexit and explore options to manage the impact such as setting up a VAT and Duty payment deferment account. Following December 31st, postponed accounting for VAT at the point of entry will become available to all Irish registered importers.  

Richie Walsh, Head of Enterprise at Local Enterprise Office Waterford said that the uncertainty surrounding Brexit necessitated this Brexit Ready workshop.  “There is a lot of vagueness surrounding the implications of the UK leaving the Customs Union on December 31st. Brexit will have an impact on us all and especially on Waterford companies that trade with the UK.  Preparing and laying the groundwork for Brexit should make the challenges the December 31st deadline brings more palatable.”

Hear what John Dawson of Bell Transport has to say about BREXIT & Customs

For more information listen to our Podcast where Thomas Moore from Belview Logistics talks BREXIT and Customs.

If you have any queries regarding your business and Brexit, talk to LEO Waterford #BrexitReady advisor, David Walsh, by calling 0761 102 905 or email