Agri-businesses urged: ’90 days to Brexit – are you ready?’

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed, has appealed to agri-food businesses, traders and hauliers of agricultural commodities to act immediately to ensure that they have taken the necessary steps to prepare for a no-deal Brexit.

Speaking today, Thursday, August 1, the minister said: “Ireland does not want a no-deal Brexit.

“The Government and the EU believe that the best way forward is for the UK to ratify the withdrawal agreement, including the backstop provision.

“Ireland, the EU and the UK have stated that they don’t want a hard border on the island of Ireland.”

Earlier this week, the minister visited Dublin Port to inspect the purpose-built infrastructural projects which will allow government officials to conduct the necessary regulatory controls post Brexit.

As part of Government preparations for a no-deal Brexit on October 31, 2019, Revenue has intensified its engagement with businesses who trade with the UK.

Preparation steps

In addition, it is issuing letters to traders on a phased basis outlining the most critical Brexit preparation steps including the necessity to register for an EORI (Economic Operators Registration and Identification) number and the need to register with the Department of Agriculture if they move animals, plants or animal and plant products to or from the UK.

Continuing, the minister said: “Today, I am calling on businesses in the agri-food and related sectors to make sure that they know exactly what they will need to do in a no-deal scenario and make the necessary preparations now.

Make sure you are registered with Revenue and my department; make sure you know what documents and certificates you have to submit, to whom you have to submit them and what are the time limits for submission.

“Decide who is going to be responsible for the submission of documents and certificates – you or a customs agent.

“All goods traders who use wood pallets or wood packaging for the movement of goods to or from the UK should ensure that their wood packaging meets the ISPM 15 standard and is clearly stamped as meeting that standard.

Events

“As part of our efforts to keep people informed and to help businesses to take all the steps needed to prepare for Brexit, my department will have a presence at some agricultural shows including: the Tullamore National Livestock Show; the Virginia Agricultural Show; as well as at the National Ploughing Championships.

“We will also be holding a number of agriculture-focused events in September where we will engage directly with individuals/businesses in the sector.

“These will also be held around the country, and details will be available on my department’s website in the coming weeks,” the minister said.

There is no hiding from the fact that a no-deal Brexit will be a challenge and will impact on trade. Hoping that it won’t happen is not a sound strategy and will not make it go away.

“It is far better to prepare now and to do everything that you can to make sure that you’re ready.

“Check your supply chain. Review your regulatory obligations. Engage with your suppliers and clients.”

Supports

A series of practical steps have been introduced by the department to assist the sector in preparing to address the challenges posed by Brexit, the minister said.

Information on supports is available on the department’s website, the minister concluded, noting that those unsure of what to do or what impact Brexit will have on them can find further information on the issue at: www.agriculture.gov.ie/brexit; and: www.gov.ie/brexit.

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