I am advised by Revenue that they have estimated that an additional 600 staff would be required as a result of Brexit. Such staff are to be deployed on a phased basis in the period up the end of December 2020. It is estimated that approximately half will be assigned to import/export trade facilitation activities; and half to the national divisions, engaged in trade facilitation, and customs control and oversight activities, at specific trader case level.
Budget 2017 provided funding for 40 Revenue staff to prepare for Brexit; and by the end of last year, these new staff had completed their training and were deployed. A Government Decision of September 2018 approved the phased recruitment of additional staff. Internal; inter-departmental; and open recruitment campaigns began. The Public Appointments Service ran an open recruitment campaign, for Customs Officers to work on a 24/7 basis, which attracted more than 3,000 applications. Interviews began in October 2018 and successful candidates proceed onto a five-week training programme. Revenue has appointed over 110 staff to Trade Facilitation in the period September 2018 to 23 January 2019.
In preparation for a no-deal Brexit, I am advised by Revenue that they have accelerated and expanded their recruitment and training schedules to meet the end of March deadline and are on track to have over 400 additional staff in place by the end of March. The balancing complement of additional staff will be recruited by the end of 2019.