independent

Monday 23 September 2019

Customs work to soar in post-Brexit No Deal

Inside Business

New customs posts under construction at Dublin Port in preparation for a no-deal Brexit
New customs posts under construction at Dublin Port in preparation for a no-deal Brexit

The Irish Government, in association with key industry partners, has launched a new support measure to help customs agents, intermediaries and affected Irish businesses develop the capacity to deal with the additional customs requirements due to the UK's departure from the EU, notably under No Deal.

The number of customs declarations required is estimated to rapidly increase due to Brexit, from 1.6m annually to an estimated 20m after Brexit. Clear Customs has been designed by industry for industry as they prepare for the new customs requirements post-Brexit. The initiative, which is being made available immediately to customs agents, intermediaries and eligible businesses free of charge, comprises of two elements:

• Firstly, a training programme delivered nationwide over a period of 6 weeks providing the essential skills needed to make a compliant customs declaration.

• Secondly, eligible businesses can apply for a Customs Financial Support payment to assist with the costs of recruiting and assigning new staff to customs roles. Subject to terms and conditions for eligibility, this payment is up to €6,000 per employee that completes the training programme, up to maximum of 10 employees per company.

Clear Customs is the latest Government initiative developed to further address the significant risk identified in the Government contingency planning that, despite the series of measures already undertaken, there will not be enough capacity in the customs agents sector in the period immediately following a no deal Brexit. Previous actions in the area have included the rolling out of customs training courses across the country through both the Local Enterprise Offices and Enterprise Ireland, together with the introduction of changes to the employment permit system to allow an additional 300 workers to come to Ireland for customs roles.

Skillnet Ireland is now seeking expressions of interest from businesses who wish to develop their customs capacity. Businesses should visit skillnetireland.ie/clearcustoms to learn more and register for the initiative. Expressions of interest for Customs Financial Support payment must be made via the Skillnet Ireland website before 20th September 2019.

Minister for Finance, Paschal Donohoe.: "If you trade with the UK, Brexit will most definitely impact your business. This targeted measure is aimed at supporting and incentivising capacity building in the customs agent sector. This is complementary to the Government's overall efforts to support and facilitate smooth and efficient trade flows. You should make necessary preparations now to minimise disruption to your business."

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