We came across a very good article today which gave 10 key steps for businesses in Northern Ireland to follow now that the UK has finally left the European Union, so we thought we would share these 10 steps with you as it may help you to adapt your working practices to the new regulations.
Adapting Your Working Practices
The article by Laura Tait is on the Belfast Live website and here are the 10 key steps:
1 Assess your exposure to changes. Use Invest Northern Ireland’s EU Exit Resilience Tool and access the UK Government’s Brexit Checker Tool at gov.uk/transition.
2 Register for the Trader Support Service (TSS). The TSS provides free training and support for businesses, and can complete declarations on your behalf.
3 Get an EORI number. If you trade with Great Britain, your business needs an EORI number.
4 Find out the commodity code for goods you buy or sell. If you buy from or sell to Great Britain, you need to know the commodity codes for these goods.
5 Consider if you should register for the UK Trader Scheme. While the UK-EU Free Trade Agreement delivers zero tariffs on imports and exports, there are some instances where duty may be due. The UK Trader Scheme allows you to declare that goods you are moving into Northern Ireland are ‘not at risk’ of onward movement to the EU.
6 Speak to your haulier. If you move goods to or from Great Britain, ask your haulier what information they need from you.
7 Speak to suppliers. Ask what preparation they have made for Brexit and suggest they register for the TSS.
8 Check your goods regulation. Check whether your goods must meet EU standards. Guidance and support is available from the Movement Assistance Scheme for agri-food products.
9 Check if you need to apply for the EU Settlement Scheme. If you or one of your staff is an EEA national (excluding Ireland), you or they will need to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme.
10 Check if you need to apply for an Immigration Sponsor Licence. You will usually need a sponsor licence to employ someone to work for you from outside the UK (excluding Ireland). This includes unpaid work, such as running a charity.
Preparing For Changes In Advance
Speaking about the changes required in the same article, David Willis, who runs industrial packaging firm Willis Packaging from Portadown, Co Armagh, along with his two businesses supplying natural animal supplements to customers across the UK and Ireland, said:
“Obviously we knew things were going to be different as soon as the UK left the EU,” says David. “So we started looking at what preparations we could make last year.
“With the natural animal health products I sell through Natural Animal Health and Natural Farm Health, my customers are here in Northern Ireland, as well as the Republic of Ireland and England, so getting organised to make sure everything carried on smoothly was crucial.”
“The packaging end of the business relies on imports from England. We source the packaging from two or three suppliers there to sell across Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland so keeping that chain of supply open is vital.
“So far things have been fine, although there has been a delay of a couple of weeks on a packaging delivery from Great Britain, which in turn slows things down for me delivering to my customers here.
“But that’s due to people facing some extra paperwork at this stage, and we’re hopeful that once the details are ironed out things will speed up again.”
“A lot of my customers in Great Britain ordered more than they would normally before Christmas. I think people were preparing for a bit of a settling-in period once we’d left the EU.
“We’ve done our homework and we know we’ll be dealing with different things like customs declarations and commercial invoices in a way we haven’t before, but these are things we all to need to get our heads around if we want things to carry on successfully.”
Getting Help With Your Business Practices
David is obviously a man who has got his head screwed on and is tackling any problems head on so that his business can carry on trading successfully. But if you have a business and you need help with the new trading regulations we are here to help, give our Armagh office a call at the earliest opportunity on 028 3752 2909.