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Helping cross-border traders prepare for Brexit

15 Dec 2020

The end of the transition period is looming and businesses are faced with continued uncertainty in the absence of a Free Trade Agreement. So what should they do now? In this month’s blog, Deirdre Maguire, Manager of InterTradeIreland’s Brexit Advisory Service, outlines the key steps that firms across the island need to take now to prepare for the new trading arrangements in January 2021.

However daunting it seems, some of the most tangible actions you can take now are found on our 5 Step Checklist.

  1. Supply Chain
  • It will be important that you understand your cross-border supply chain, and the trade routes of your product. In doing so you will learn if there are additional customs requirements in your supply chain. Find out what’s needed to complete customs formalities and decide who will complete them.
  • Speak to your suppliers and to your logistic providers, ask them if they are prepared for the changes and if they need anything additional from you. For example, if you have GB trade in your supply chain you will need to know what the commodity codes of your products are. If you wanted to do one thing this is a worthwhile exercise, IntertradeIreland have a wealth of information on customs including how to find your commodity codes. View our guide to find out more.
  • Consider the impact of change in the exchange rate and supplier payment schedules, and make sure you review your contracts to protect your supply chain. For more on supply chains
  1. Customs
  • You will need to register for an EORI Number. You can do that here for Ireland or here for Northern Ireland.
  • You will need to identify your Commodity Code as outlined in the example above, which you can do using our guide.
  • Finally, study the Brexit Readiness Checklist if your company is based in Ireland. This checklist highlights some of the key actions that businesses can take to get ready for the changes Brexit will bring about in relation to customs, product compliance ad supply chain amongst others. The checklist also includes links to the relevant agencies who can provide the necessary guidance and support for your business.
  • If your business is based in Northern Ireland you can access key actions via UK Gov Transition Site and register for the Trader Support Service. If you move goods between Great Britain and Northern Ireland the Trader Support Service will guide you through any changes due to the implementation of the Northern Ireland Protocol. For more on customs
  1. People

Make sure you are clear about how the EU Settlement Scheme affects you, your business and your employees. Our Guide to People tells you all you need to know. You will also find details on the post-Brexit immigration scheme, salary caps, what’s changing in 2021 and more.

  1. Data

If your business involves the transfer of Personal Data across the border, you’ll need to ensure sufficient safeguards are in place so you can continue to transfer data after the transition period. This may include introducing Standard Contractual Clauses (SCCs) to your data arrangements.

  1. Keep up to date

You will need to stay up to speed as changes emerge during the transition period. We are continually updating our information as the negotiations continue, and you can register for our updates here - including funding and Supply Chain supports.

Receive Brexit funding worth £2,000/€2,250

Voucher support is also available to help you understand the implications of the new trading relationship and its impact on your cross-border business. InterTradeIreland’s Planning Voucher provides 100% financial support up to £2,000/€2,250 (inclusive of VAT) towards professional advice tailored to your business to help you to identify Brexit exposure and plan ahead. Find out more

Wherever you are with your Brexit plans, InterTradeIreland will keep you informed as changes emerge and continue to offer support and advice to cross-border traders via our dedicated Brexit Advisory Service team. Find out more at or get in touch by emailing

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