Sinn Féin councillor Ruairí Ó Murchú attended a Brexit briefing event on Wednesday morning in the Imperial Hotel, Dundalk, hosted by ISME, the Irish Small and Medium Enterprise representative body.
Councillor Ó Murchú said,
“The Brexit briefing was well attended. I spoke to a number of these business people and I know they found the session useful and informative.
“InterTradeIreland have reported that only a tiny percentage of businesses are prepared for Brexit. I can understand that owners of small enterprises are often busy juggling many roles within the business and don’t necessarily have the luxury of employing a Brexit co-ordinator or contracting in specialist assistance.
“The message from ISME’s Neil McDonnell is that small firms need to examine supply chains two suppliers up, and two customers down and plan accordingly.
“InterTradeIreland’s Denise Marron highlighted to attendees their Brexit voucher scheme, valued at €2,250 which is available to SMEs to purchase specialised expertise. I encourage business owners to follow up on this as it could save them money and add to their Brexit preparedness.
“Businesses should contact the Local Enterprise Office or InterTradeIreland in relation to this or other Brexit aids. Info relating to these combined with other Brexit preparation resources are easily available on the LEO, InterTradeIreland and Enterprise Ireland’s websites.
“The event also focused on the customs implications of a no deal Brexit.
“This scenario looks increasingly likely following Boris Johnson’s dreadful decision to suspend the British parliament for 5 weeks.
“The advice from Customs Broker, Derek Dunne is that businesses involved in cross border and cross channel imports and exports need to prepare for the customs declaration system they will have to operate.
“The requirements will be to have a EORI number (European Union registration and identification number) alongside a ROS digital certificate from Revenue. They also need to identify their commodity codes to know the appropriate tariffs applicable to the goods they use. People should use the tariff checker facility on the InterTradeIreland website.
“Irish businesses should not trust in the promises of British politicians regarding the free flow of goods and services across the border after Brexit, particularly after the recent leaks from the British side.
“There is no good Brexit for Irish business but I urge companies to do all they can now to mitigate against the known issues Brexit will present.”