Wednesday, 20 May 2020

Questions (100)

Seán Haughey

Question:

100. Deputy Seán Haughey asked the Minister for Finance the number of companies without an EORI number; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [6275/20]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Finance)

I am advised by the Revenue Commissioners that there are currently 65,946 businesses registered for a Customs EORI number. The Revenue Commissioners noted that 92.7% of the value of imports from the UK in 2019 and 95.8% of the value of exports to the UK in 2019 was carried out by businesses who now have an EORI number.

In relation to businesses who trade with the UK, the Revenue Commissioners have analysed the VAT Information Exchange System (VIES) returns and identified some 96,000 businesses that traded with the UK in 2019. Of these 96,000 businesses, approx. 57,000 do not currently have an EORI number. Of the larger businesses with annual UK import or export trade in excess of €50,000, and therefore with a potential significant supply chain exposure to trade with the UK, the number without an EORI number is approximately 3,000.

The Revenue Commissioners have engaged closely with businesses during 2019 and this has continued in 2020. This engagement has contributed to the positive picture portrayed by this data. However, I am aware that many businesses have been and continue to be adversely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, and that social distancing requirements, while essential to prevent the spread of the virus, are unfortunately significantly impeding their ability to carry out many operational tasks.

Nonetheless and with this is mind, there are a range of actions that the Revenue Commissioners have encouraged and continue to encourage relevant businesses to consider, to ensure that businesses can trade with the UK after the transition period. This includes:

- Undertake supply chain and cash flow assessments so as to fully understand and identify the impact of Brexit, 

- Register for customs by getting an EORI number, if not already registered,

- Ensure they have the capability to lodge customs declarations, by either getting customs software or engaging a customs agent,

- Understand the impact of and make arrangements for paying import duties,

- Know the origin and commodity code(s) of the goods traded,

- Ensure compliance with product certification requirements, 

- Understand the obligations involved if trading in animal or plant products, and

- Consider what customs related simplifications or authorisations might be relevant and that would further ease the smooth and efficient flow of trade and goods at import or export.

I very much support this engagement by the Revenue Commissioners and I urge all businesses to take the necessary steps to ensure they can trade with the UK post the transition period.