Friday, 6 September 2019

Questions (240)

Robert Troy

Question:

240. Deputy Robert Troy asked the Minister for Education and Skills the number of participants in the clear customs initiative by eligible customs agents, customs intermediaries and affected businesses up to 31 August 2019 by county in tabular form; and the amount expended on the initiative to date. [36854/19]

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Written answers (Question to Education)

The Clear Customs Scheme is a new support measure launched on 7 August 2019 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.

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. Up to €2 Million has been allocated by my Department for the scheme in its first phase.

- 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.

There has been a positive response from industry to the Clear Customs scheme which is being delivered by Skillnet Ireland in collaboration with industry bodies in the exporting, freight and logistics sectors. As of close of business on 31st August 2019, there were 654 expressions of interest from businesses for the scheme. Approximately 40% of expressions of interest received emanate from the customs agents/

customs intermediary sector. The expressions of interest per county are in the attached table.

Skillnet Ireland Clear Customs Scheme Expressions of Interest by County

County

Unique Number of Expressions of Interest

Carlow

9

Cavan

11

Clare

19

Cork

53

Derry

1

Donegal

31

Dublin

214

Galway

19

Kerry

5

Kildare

28

Kilkenny

20

Laois

5

Leitrim

3

Limerick

13

Longford

4

Louth

63

Mayo

9

Meath

22

Monaghan

20

Offaly

6

Roscommon

6

Sligo

8

Tipperary

22

Waterford

16

Westmeath

13

Wexford

24

Wicklow

16

Grand Total

654