Tuesday, 23 July 2019

Questions (247, 248, 249, 265)

Lisa Chambers

Question:

247. Deputy Lisa Chambers asked the Minister for Finance the number of companies that still need to obtain an EORI number; the number of companies to date that have received an individualised letter informing them of the need to obtain an EORI number as a consequence of Brexit; the number of companies that have yet to receive an individualised letter from the Revenue Commissioners; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [33868/19]

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Brendan Smith

Question:

248. Deputy Brendan Smith asked the Minister for Finance the percentage of businesses trading with the UK that have the necessary customs registration requirements in place at present due to Brexit; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [33974/19]

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Brendan Smith

Question:

249. Deputy Brendan Smith asked the Minister for Finance the information programmes to be put in place to advise businesses of customs requirements for trading post-Brexit; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [33975/19]

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Lisa Chambers

Question:

265. Deputy Lisa Chambers asked the Minister for Finance the details of the commitment given to hiring additional customs officers; the number hired and trained to date; the number expected to be in place by 31 October 2019; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [34465/19]

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Written answers (Question to Finance)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 247 to 249, inclusive, and 265 together.

I propose to take the questions together given the common theme of Brexit and Brexit preparations.

Revenue commenced the current phase of their Trader Engagement Programme on 12 July 2019. This engagement programme encompasses all businesses (approximately 92,000) that traded with the UK in 2018, identified by Revenue’s through their analysis of the VAT Information Exchange System (VIES) returns. Initially letters issued to some 14,500 businesses regarding their Brexit preparations. Further batches of letters will issue over the coming weeks, tailored by Revenue to features of the relevant cases within the overall 92,000 that traded with the UK in 2018. Some 65,000 businesses, which equates to approximately 70% of all businesses that traded with the UK in 2018, have not yet obtained an EORI number.

The following tables compiled by Revenue from data analysed from VIES returns for 2018 show that 85% of the import trade with the UK in 2018 was carried out by businesses who now have an EORI number while 84% of the export trade was carried out by businesses who now have an EORI number.

Statistics related to VIES Imports from the UK

Threshold value

Number of cases

Overall value of imports

% value of imports where cases have an EORI   registration

% value of imports where cases do not have   an EORI registration

Overall

92,360

€20.8 bn

85.1%

14.9%

< €5,000

47,193

€61.61 m

19.18%

80.82%

€5 - €50k

28,257

€522.07m

34.03%

65.97%

€50 -€100k

5,670

€400.84 m

48.27%

51.73%

€100k - €1m

8,854

€ 2.69 bn

70.63%

29.37%

Cases above €1m

2,386

€17.17 bn

89.74%

10.26%

 Statistics related to VIES Exports to the UK   

Threshold value

Number of cases

Overall value of exports

% value of exports where cases have an EORI registration

% value of exports where cases do not have an EORI registration

Overall

6,328

€15.4 bn

84.28%

15.72%

< €5,000

736

€ 1.48 m

64.82%

35.18%

€5 - €50k

1,659

€36.34 m

70.10%

29.90%

€50 -€100k

676

€49.10 m

73.50%

26.50%

€100k - €1m

2,049

€744.20 m

82.77%

17.23%

Cases above €1m

1,208

€14.63 bn

84.08%

15.92%

  Revenue’s focus is on supporting and assisting those businesses that will be immediately impacted by Brexit. Revenue are writing to traders, on a phased basis, outlining the most critical Brexit preparation steps that businesses must take in order to be ready by 31 October. The letters outline a number of Brexit preparedness steps including:

- Obtaining an EORI number

- Undertaking supply chain, logistics and cash flow assessments

- Considering arrangements for the submission of Declarations and if a Customs Agent is required

- Considering the payment of taxes and duties

- Ensuring compliance with product certification requirements, and

- Additional considerations if involved in trade covering animal or plant products and the certifications necessary.

Revenue staff will make direct follow up contact with the relevant businesses subsequent to the issue of the letters to discuss Brexit preparations and Revenue’s support for traders with their preparations. 

In the context of extensive and detailed Brexit preparedness and contingency work across all Government Departments and Agencies, Revenue determined that in a ‘Central Case’ scenario (i.e. an orderly withdrawal of the UK from the EU, to include a transition period until the end of 2020), an additional 600 Revenue staff would be required.

In September 2018, the Government granted approval in principle for the phased recruitment of an additional 600 Revenue staff to meet the challenges posed by Brexit.

Budget 2019 provided Revenue with an additional €10 million pay provision, for 270 of the additional 600 staff to be recruited during 2019, to manage an orderly UK withdrawal. Following a Government decision in December 2018, it was agreed to accelerate Revenue’s recruitment programme in preparation for Brexit.

In 2019 to date, Revenue has assigned over 600 staff from open and interdepartmental competitions across a range of grades with the majority of these assigned to customs related roles in preparation for Brexit. As serving staff take up their new Brexit-related positions, Revenue backfills the vacancies created, from panels of candidates established in its general recruitment activity.

In the period from 2017 to date, Revenue has assigned and trained over 450 additional staff for customs related roles, deployed across a range of functions, with the majority assigned to import and export trade facilitation activities and policy and operational roles. Revenue will continue to adjust its recruitment and training plans in response to business needs, including Brexit-related developments.

Question No. 250 answered with Question No. 146.