According to Simon Coveney - with less than 7 months to the end of the Transition period, the Government remains committed to ensuring businesses are as ready as they can be and Brexit preparation will necessarily be part of a wider business recovery agenda.
Phil Hogan, the EU Commissioner for Trade, has also advised companies to reactivate contingency plans they developed over recent years or risk a logistical nightmare.
So where does that leave us?
The UK has until 30th June to request or accept an extension to the Transition Period.
All the signals from the UK Government and the EU are that an extension will not be sought. It now appears that the UK would prefer a limited form of Trade Agreement than either accept an extension or a limitation of their sovereignty in the form of the Level Playing Field.
There also remains the difficult topics of Fisheries which remain to be resolved this year.
In addition, the UK has also opened negotiations with the US on a Free Trade Agreement. Entry of US goods to the UK and from there via Northern Ireland to the EU Single Market has always been an EU concern and this is worth watching also for developments.
What should Importers and Exporters do?
Our advice remains the same – continue to prepare for a “worst-case” scenario.
At this point, it appears unlikely that there will be any extension to the Transition Period. The future trading arrangement in sight appears to be, at best, a form of Trade Agreement (involving customs declarations and other SPS checks) and at worst, no Trade Agreement (involving declarations, other checks along with Customs duties).
As the Tanáiste has advised the Dáil;
“Even the best possible FTA will impact supply chain and trade flows and result in checks and controls in both directions… make no mistake change is coming and we need to be ready for it…”
At BDO, we recommend that you continue to take all steps to:
- Ensure you have the procedures put in place to Import and Export goods post Brexit,
- Have all documents and authorisations in place, and
- Have access to clearance either in-house or through a 3rd Party.
If you have any queries related to the above, please contact us by email at [email protected]