With the end of the transition period less than a month away we are encouraging businesses to prepare as best they can.
There continues to be a large volume of new government guidance for businesses to deal with. While Northern Ireland specific information has started to come through, many issues still remain outstanding.
Invest Northern Ireland’s free information and advice resource nibusinessinfo.co.uk provides a gateway to information and support through its EU Exit: Support for your business section. It hosts all of the latest information and is updated as soon as new guidance is published.
This includes guidance on the new rules that will apply to local businesses, an EU exit readiness checklist, plus access to the latest support and events.
We are also encouraging businesses to complete Invest Northern Ireland’s EU Exit Resilience Tool to assess where they might need to make changes. The tool is free and available to all businesses. It covers seven critical areas to address contingency and long term competitiveness – business strategy, operations, innovation, sales and marketing, finance, people and management, and legal and regulatory compliance.
Completion of the tool generates a personally tailored report which will highlight those areas in which a business may need to take action and signposting to potential other sources of support and guidance.
Invest Northern Ireland’s dedicated pages on Prepare for EU Exit house frequently asked questions, and a calendar of free webinars, online advice clinics and workshops. There are also a lot of practical steps that businesses can take now.
From the new year, there will be changes to the rules on goods moving from GB to NI. By registering for the Trader Support Service, businesses can get free training and support including help with registering for an EORI number, understanding Incoterms and in making declarations for goods moving from GB to NI. You can register online: www.export.org.uk/mpage/trp
If you buy from/sell to GB, you will need to know the commodity codes for the goods you purchase and sell. For goods you purchase, you should speak to your supplier, who may be able to tell you the code or use www.gov.uk/trade-tariff to check the code.
If you move goods to or from GB, ask your haulier what information they will need from you. If your goods routinely move via Ireland, there will be different processes.
Ask your suppliers what preparation they have made. If your supplier is in GB find out if the Incoterms (the terms which define the responsibilities of buyers and sellers) will remain the same and who will be responsible for declaring goods to customs. You should also suggest that your supplier registers for the Trader Support Service.
Check whether your goods must meet EU standards and how these goods are approved for the EU market currently. Ask your supplier whether they will continue to ensure the products meet the requirements for the EU market.
Make a list of all the data flows into and out of your business. If you receive personal data from the EU, you may need to take action. If you or one of your staff is an EEA national (excluding Ireland), you or they will need to apply to the EU Settled Status Scheme. Your employees risk not being able to continue living or working in the UK if they do not apply to the scheme.
If you wish to hire foreign nationals (EU and non-EU, excluding Irish nationals) you will be required to apply for a sponsorship licence from the Home Office.
Invest NI’s dedicated pages on Prepare for EU Exit house frequently asked questions, along with a calendar of free webinars, online advice clinics and workshops which are open to all businesses.