Brexit Preparations Hasten

22 August 2019

Author: Kerry Teahan


As we have all seen from the press coverage over recent weeks, preparations for a no-deal Brexit are ramping up at an increasing pace.

Interestingly yesterday, the Chancellor announced a new scheme led by HMRC and designed to ensure that businesses trading with EU Member States are ready, from a customs perspective, to do so after ‘exit day’. In the next two weeks, over 88,000 VAT registered companies across the UK will automatically be allocated an Economic Operator Registration and Identification (EORI) number to enable continued trading with customers and suppliers in the EU after the UK has left the European Union.

An EORI number is a unique ID number that allows businesses to be identified by Customs authorities when doing business with other traders. Without this ID number, businesses will be unable to trade with businesses in EU Member States. This potential loss of trade, even over a short period of time, clearly would have the potential to significantly impact profitability.

Readers will also be interested to note that the Northern Ireland Chamber of Commerce and Industry has organised a Customs Declarations Training on 3rd October 2019 to provide businesses with a better understanding of customs regimes.

In short then, the message for Northern Ireland businesses is clear – to the extent you have not already done so, now is the time to step up your preparations.