I propose to take Questions Nos. 25, 26, 28, 34 and 35 together.
I am advised by Revenue that 90% of the value of imports from the UK in 2018 and 97% of the value of exports trade in 2018 was carried out by businesses who now have an EORI number. This indicates that the businesses that are going to be significantly impacted by Brexit are responding to the call from Revenue to prepare for Brexit by acquiring a customs registration.
I very much welcome Revenue’s intensified Brexit engagement with businesses since July and I strongly urge all businesses that have received a Brexit preparedness letter from Revenue to take note of its advice thereby ensuring they are Brexit ready by 31 October. Revenue have written individualised letters to 102,000 companies who traded with the UK in 2018 and the first half of 2019.
I am advised by Revenue that its Brexit business and trade engagement has included direct discussion with businesses that had imports or exports in excess of €5,000 on an annual basis or had more than one import or export per quarter. Revenue will speak to 44,000 of these companies by telephone.
It is clear from those discussions that for some businesses their preparations for Brexit have involved steps to change their supply chain post Brexit so as to eliminate their exposure to customs formalities and consequently the need for an EORI number.
Some businesses are clearly planning on changing their trade patterns to source products within Ireland or from other Member States post-Brexit. Other businesses are part of larger groups that have customs expertise within the group and may transfer the customs operations to the more experienced part of the business.
In understanding prudent preparations for Brexit, Revenue has encouraged businesses to
- Register for customs by getting an EORI number (if not already done)
- Have the capability to lodge customs declarations, by either getting customs software or engaging a customs agent
- Undertake supply chain and cash flow assessments
- Understand and make arrangements for paying import duties
- Know the origin and commodity code(s) of the goods traded
- Ensure compliance with product certification requirements, and
- Understand the obligations involved if trading in animal or plant products.
- Consider what customs related simplifications or authorisations might be relevant to their particular business that would further ease the smooth and efficient flow of trade and goods at import or export
I am advised by Revenue that 59,069 businesses have an EORI number. 19,024 of these have obtained an EORI number in 2019.
Through analysis of the VAT Information Exchange System (VIES) returns, Revenue identified some 94,000 businesses that traded with the UK in 2018. Of the 94,000 businesses mentioned, approx. 58,000 do not currently have an EORI number. Of the businesses with import or export trade more than €50,000 on an annual basis, and therefore with a potentially significant supply chain exposure to trade with the UK, the number without an EORI number is approximately 3,500.
Table 1 at the link shows the breakdown of EORI registrations by sector. This table is based on the businesses that were identified by Revenue as having traded with the UK in 2018. Table 2 shows the number of letters, broken down by county, sent by Revenue to businesses that traded with the UK in 2018 who did not have an EORI registration. Table 3 shows the number of letters by county issued to the Agri-Food Sector (NACE Code – Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing). For data confidentiality reasons where the number of businesses in any county is less than 10, the number is rounded up to 10.
Table 1 EORI Registrations by sector (identified as having traded with the UK in 2018) (Data as per 4 October 2019)
Table 2 Number of letters by County issued by Revenue to non-EORI registered traders in July 2019 (that traded with the UK in 2018) for all sectors including the Agri-Food Sector.
Table 3 Number of Letters by County issued by Revenue in July 2019 to non-EORI registered traders in the Agri-Food Sector (NACE Code -Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing) that traded with the UK in 2018)