1. First things first
Select a dedicated Brexit staff member
Pick a dedicated member of your staff to oversee Brexit preparations. They will be responsible for completing the steps and stages you will find here.
Visit & Register
Your designated Brexit staff member should Start by visiting accurate sources of information, such as government websites and sign up to email alerts to stay up to date.
For SMEs based in Ireland or Northern Ireland
InterTradeIreland are here to help businesses prepare for Brexit through a range of supports and services suited to all, including financial support of up to £4500/€5625. No matter what stage you are at with your Brexit plans. We house a team dedicated to help you prepare for Brexit, speak to a member of the team today:
Here’s a list of additional supports to help you get started.
Revenue and HMRC dedicated Brexit supports, and helplines:
For SMEs based in Ireland
For SMEs based in Northern Ireland
- Telephone: 0300 200 3300
2. Secure key pieces of information
Secure your EORI number
You’ll need this number to move your goods. It’s quick, free and easy to obtain from Revenue or HMRC. The Revenue and HMRC have recently started auto-issuing EORI numbers so you may have obtained this via email. You can check if you were automatically registered for EORI by visiting Revenue or HMRC.
Classify your goods
All goods have a commodity code, it’s important you know the right commodity code for your goods as they are used to decide duty and tax. You can find the codes from Revenue or HMRC. Do not assume that commodity codes on supplier invoices are correct, it is your responsibility to ensure you’re using the right code. You can then use this commodity to find out the duty for your goods by visiting InterTradeIreland’s free tariff checker.
Find out the value of your goods
You must declare the value of your goods on custom paperwork and valuation declarations. There are six methods you can use to calculate the value of your goods. Method one is the first method to try as it applies to over 90% of goods. For more information visit Revenue or HMRC or visit InterTradeIreland’s free guide on the valuation methods.
Find out the origin of your goods
Establishing the origin of the goods (where they came from) will help to identify whether they qualify for lower or nil customs duty. There are rules for establishing the country of origin of imported and exported goods. There are two main categories of origin in the rules, for more information visit Revenue or HMRC.
Consider whether you are eligible to use any customs procedure
There are a number of ways to make importing and exporting easier (if your goods qualify). Some examples are the transitional simplified procedure, customs warehousing, inward and outward processing and transit. You should research the customs procedure to make sure that you can meet all the obligations attached to it. For more information, visit Revenue or HMRC.
Find out if your employees need to register for the EU settlement scheme
Northern Ireland employers may wish to communicate with employees from the European Economic Area (EEA) about the EU Settlement Scheme. Alternatively, visit InterTradeIreland’s free guide to the EU settlement scheme which covers the impact of the scheme on employees and their family, what scheme means for employers and ways employers can help employees, all with examples.
3. VAT & duties
Apply for deferment accounts for VAT and Duties
When goods are imported, import VAT is charged as a percentage of the value of the imported goods. In addition to the VAT, customs duties will also be payable, depending on the type of goods. Current rules mean that businesses trading between Ireland and Northern Ireland will continue to be required to register for VAT and pay import VAT and duties.
If you are VAT registered, deferment accounts can allow you to delay paying VAT and duties for an average of 30 days, meaning that you do not have to pay immediately each time you want to clear your goods and you can clear your goods more quickly. There is no cost in opening a deferment account, but some approvals required to open a deferment account comprehensive or bank guarantee, which may have a charge. Visit Revenue or HMRC for more information.
4. Prepare for customs
Decide whether to appoint an Agent
You need a customs declaration to import or export your goods. It’s up to you if you fill these forms in-house or to ask an agent to do it for you. If you choose to appoint an agent, speak with them and confirm availability.
Familiarise yourself with the customs declaration
Regardless if you choose to appoint an agent or do it yourself; you will have to provide the required information and should familiarise yourself with the relevant forms. The declaration contains 54 boxes, but only some of them must be completed. Examples of information are provided below:
- Consignor (exporter) name and address
- Consignor (exporter) EORI
- Consignee (importer) name and address
- Consignee (importer) EORI
- Trailer number
- Date loaded
- Time loaded
- Country of despatch
- Country of destination
- Invoice currency
- Groupage or full load
- Package type
- Commodity code
- Goods description
- Gross kilos
- Net kilos
If you’re new to this, we’ve highlighted some of the required information on a sample customs declaration.
Click here for help with this customs declarations, such as the cost of both approaches, details on transit and and safety and security declarations, in addition to step-by-step videos on what information you need and how to complete Customs declarations.
Familiarise yourself with how custom declarations work
- Green Routing: Indicates that your goods have been cleared based on the declaration being received.
- Orange Routing: Indicates that your goods have been selected for a documentary check and you must provide customs with all relevant documents before your goods can be cleared. If everything is in order customs will finalise the export declaration electronically.
- Red Routing: indicates that your goods have been selected for a documentary check and a physical examination. The customs authority will check to ensure that the goods declared on the declaration correspond to the actual goods. If everything is in order customs will finalise the declaration electronically.
5. Transit procedures*
Learn more about transit procedures
You should become aware of transit procedures these include transit, consignor status and consignee status. If you qualify, these procedures allow you to move goods without paying import duties, until the goods arrive at their final destination or start transit movements at your premises, rather than a government office.
Apply for your transit procedures from Revenue & HMRC*
Find out about transit procedures and how to apply for one from Revenue and HMRC. Please note that there some requirements associated with these procedures which may include guarantees, a customs comprehensive guarantee or an approved temporary storage facility. For more important on visit Revenue or HMRC.
* This can take several weeks to set up, so act in good time.
6. Get ready to transport goods
(*if appropriate) Choose whether to appoint an agent
There are many options to manage your transport, you may choose to manage this yourself or take on the services of agents, for example, haulage services, forwarding agents, freight forwarders or logistics providers, etc. to manage your transport. For a list of specialists, visit representative bodies for Ireland and Northern Ireland. Note that many of these agents can manage your customs declarations as well.
Check your driving licence
Important information to prepare for if you plan to transport your own goods
If you hold a UK driving licence and are resident in Ireland, you should apply to exchange your UK licence for an Irish licence. Immediately post-Brexit, UK licences will not be valid for those who are resident in Ireland.
Get your Green Card
Important information to prepare for if you plan to transport your own goods. Northern Ireland drivers will need to carry a green card (for proof of insurance) when travelling to Ireland. To get a green card, you should contact your insurance provider.