Some business ‘mistakenly believe Brexit will not happen’ – Revenue
Tax officials to step up contacts in push for more customs registrations to trade with UK
The Revenue Commissioners have raised concerns that some businesses are still not prepared for Brexit and “mistakenly believe that it will not happen” on January 1st. Photograph: Eric Luke
More than 1,300 businesses registered with Revenue for customs in September to be ready to trade with the UK once it leaves the EU single market and customs union on January 1st.
However, the Revenue has expressed concerns that some businesses that trade with the UK still have not registered for an Economic Operators Registration Identification (EORI) number.
Revenue has written to 90,000 businesses and contacted more than 2,500 businesses by phone to urge them to register for customs numbers to be able to continue trading with the UK after Brexit takes effect in just over 90 days. It plans to contact up to 14,000 more businesses over the coming weeks.
“We have seen a welcome increase in the level of customs registrations, with some 1,300 registrations competed in September alone,” said Lynda Slattery, head of the Revenue’s Brexit policy unit.
“But some businesses seem to mistakenly believe that Brexit will not actually happen and are not getting Brexit ready.”
Ms Slattery said Brexit will take full effect from January 1st and that customs procedures will apply from that date on trade with and through Britain, regardless of ongoing negotiations between the EU and the UK on a future trade deal.
“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,” she said.
She warned traders that they will be affected by Brexit regardless of whether they import products from Britain for onward sale or the products are used in the 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,” she said. “If a business adopts such an approach and is not Brexit ready, the business will be in immediate difficulty in January.”
Businesses covering 97 per cent of the value of export trade with the UK and 93 per cent of the value of import trade already have existing customs registration numbers.
The Revenue is also encouraging businesses to undertake immediately a Brexit impact assessment. It is organising seminars early next week, in conjunction with the Departments of Agriculture and Business, to help businesses prepare for Brexit.