Sky News reported yesterday that British companies are not sufficiently prepared for No Deal Brexit.

As an example mentioned, only one third of the companies have made the registrations required to do export/import post-Brexit and to be able to make use of the simplified declaration process on November 1.

My colleague and our KGH UK consulting manager, Steve Cock, was interviewed as Brexit expert by Sky News in news.

 You can watch the clip here: Sky News: UK Companies not yet prepared for No Deal Brexit

Two-thirds of UK exporters yet to take basic steps for no-deal Brexit: http://news.sky.com/story/most-uk-exporters-lack-the-paperwork-for-no-deal-brexit-eu-trade-11779507

We offer registration support for UK and European companies involved in UK-EU trade as part of our Brexit support package.

This is necessary since it is our experience that companies have not planned and prepared properly.

This is also what Steve told Sky News.

 “I think companies are aware of what they have to do but I think there’s still a limit on the number of companies that are actually doing something about it unfortunately,” he said.

 “Bigger companies, and we work with a lot of big companies, they are well prepared. But equally you would be surprised by some of the companies that approach you late in the day and say ‘well now we need to do something’ and  It sometimes surprises us who they really are. There is still time for companies to get their house in order but they can’t leave it more than another month or so. ”

Source: Sky News

The Irish Government, in partnership with industry, launches new initiative to support Irish businesses trading with or through the UK in preparing for new customs formalities arising from Brexit.

Clear Customs offers eligible customs agents, customs intermediaries and affected businesses a free training programme to build capacity in the customs sector.

Additional support of €6,000 per trainee will be available to participating eligible companies to assist with the costs of recruiting and assigning new staff to undertake training and take up new customs roles.

Skillnet Ireland has developed the Clear Customs initiative on behalf of Government in partnership with Enterprise Ireland, and key industry bodies. The CILT Skillnet (Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport) will deliver the programme in conjunction with the Irish Exporters Association and Irish International Freight Association.

The Irish Government, in association with key industry partners, today (7 August) launches 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 T.D.:

“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 come 31 October – register for an EORI number, work out how you are going to make your customs declarations and if you will require a customs agent to assist you.”

Commenting on the new initiative, Minister Heather Humphreys T.D. called on businesses to act now before the Brexit deadline:

“Many businesses are telling me that it is difficult to plan for a situation that remains so unpredictable. That is understandable. It can be difficult for firms to plan from week-to-week let alone beyond that and into the unknown. Notwithstanding the uncertainty, however, there are several areas where they can take immediate action to prepare. This Clear Customs initiative is one of those areas, so I am advising businesses to start now and not leave it too late.”

Minister of State for Training, Skills, Innovation and Research and Development John Halligan T.D. said:

“Clear Customs is key to ensuring that businesses are supported to upskill staff rapidly by 31st October 2019 to deal with any new customs challenges. Government recognises the need for support in this area and this free training from Skillnet Ireland is an important step in ensuring businesses are prepared. We are calling on business owners to provide leadership and avail of this opportunity to train their staff in customs clearance procedures, pre-empting Brexit related customs implications for their business.”

The Clear Customs initiative is led by Skillnet Ireland, the Government agency responsible for workforce development, together with Enterprise Ireland. The training programme has been designed in close collaboration with key industry associations and will be delivered by the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport (CILT) Skillnet, in conjunction with the Irish Exporters Association and Irish International Freight Association.

Launching Clear Customs, Skillnet Ireland Chief Executive Paul Healy said:

“At Skillnet Ireland we pride ourselves on our ability to respond quickly and effectively to the skills challenges that business face right across the economy. Clear Customs is a powerful example of what can be achieved through effective collaboration between the State, the business community and training providers”.

Enterprise Ireland Chief Executive Julie Sinnamon:

“Since the UK Referendum vote, Enterprise Ireland and the Local Enterprise Offices have developed and are delivering a wide range of specific supports in key areas to assist businesses prepare for Brexit. Transport and Logistics is one of those key areas where companies need to research and examine their supply chains, customs procedures, product certification and licensing processes to ensure they are Brexit ready. This new customs training support scheme we are launching will further assist companies increase their capabilities in this important area whilst also helping to reduce disruption to trade following Brexit.”

Source: Gov.ie

An article in CITY.A.M claims that Free ports could turn Brexit to our economic advantage.

Further more they write, “Brexit practically demands that we invest in developing a genuinely world-class customs regime. But even then, free ports could still have a role as economic incubators, with different incentives and structures tested and then rolled out more widely – a recipe that worked extremely well in China and elsewhere”.

I agree with both statements.

You can read the article here: https://www.cityam.com/free-ports-could-turn-brexit-to-our-economic-advantage/

BBC today weites that Government funding to help UK companies cope with a possible no-deal Brexit customs system has had a “concerningly low” take-up, BBC News has learned.

In December, the Treasury and Revenue & Customs unveiled an £8m training fund companies and trade intermediaries such as freight forwarders could apply to.

BBC Newsnight has learned that just 741 companies have applied for the grants.

HMRC says it is doing “everything we can to help businesses get ready for leaving the EU”.

An estimated 240,000 UK businesses currently trade with the EU. Many of these would be expected to need training if the customs system changed.

The government funding aims to support employee training and IT improvements to complete customs declarations, in a no-deal scenario.

As the UK is in the EU single market and customs union – which help trade between EU members by eliminating checks and tariffs (taxes on imports) – these businesses currently face no customs barriers at all.

But in a no-deal scenario, the UK would immediately leave the EU with no withdrawal agreement.

And that would include leaving the single market and customs union, so the way in which companies trade with the EU would change.

You can read the entire article here: Brexit: ‘Low take-up of no-deal fund concerning’

Source: BBC News

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