With January 1st 2021 a little over a month away, there is still much ambiguity around Brexit and the impact it will have on our industry. Regardless of how ongoing negotiations pan out, there is undoubtedly going to be delays and frustrations as the UK and EU get to grips with the new normal.
On the bright side, however, there is still time to be proactive, and there are government supports in place to assist our industry.
Our friends, the Chartered Institute of Logistics, shared a piece written by former CILT President Tom Ferris, who explained what the “Brexit Readiness Checker” is and how it can assist companies. “This Checklist highlights key actions that companies should take to get ready for the changes that Brexit will bring. It includes links to the relevant Agencies who can provide the necessary guidance and support to businesses,”says Ferris.
You can read the full article here.
As the Vendor Manager of ATC, there are three key areas that I feel have been imperative for helping us to get prepared for Brexit which I want to share with you;
(1) Customers First
We all must engage with our customers to ensure that they have a clear understanding of the possible impacts that Brexit will have on their flow of goods; particularly making them aware of any potential delays and additional paperwork required. For example, it will be important to highlight the need to pre-lodge custom declarations to avoid hold-ups further downstream.
We are in regular communications with our clients to gain an understanding of their needs and to ensure we can uphold these requirements to the highest of standards as we always have done. For some time now, we have been working in the background on new processes and infrastructures to ensure we areas prepared possible.
(2) Moments of Truth Ownership
Now would be a good time to review your “Moments of Truth” within internal flows such as your Admin staff, Transport Planners, Drivers and implement some training programs to ensure the team are comfortable with the new systems and processes that are coming into effect.
We embrace mentoring and cross-training within our teams and always question our methods to see how we could make further improvements to our technology and skillsets to re-define our services. By doing so, we have proactively strengthened our Brexit preparation.
Despite the delays due to COVID-19 and ongoing negotiations that are still taking place on Brexit, new custom procedures will still go ahead regardless. “From January 1st 2021, our trading relationship with the UK will change fundamentally. One of the most urgent issues facing Irish business is that exporting goods to or importing goods from the UK (excluding Northern Ireland) will require a customs declaration” Enterprise Ireland.
There is however funds available right now to support businesses. The Enterprise Ireland Ready for Customs grant is a €20m fund developed to assist Irish businesses with IT investment, training and other items related to this transition. Please note, the deadline to apply for this grant is December 15th.
I would also advise that all stakeholders take the time now to become familiar with the revised custom declarations and decide how you will engage with future customs touchpoints. Enterprise Ireland have put together fantastic resources to avail of here
I hope this article has given you some helpful advice and resources to assist you in your preparations for next year. Remember, we’re all in this together, and we will enjoy sharing the stories of this period around the dinner table in years to come.