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Ministers Humphreys and Breen Launch Online Customs Training to Help Companies Prepare for Brexit

  • Online customs training course explains customs concepts and types of documentation needed to help #PrepareforBrexit
  • Customs to have the biggest impact for two out of three client companies – Julie Sinnamon, CEO Enterprise Ireland

Heather Humphreys TD, Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation, and Pat Breen TD, Minister for Trade, Employment, Business, EU Digital Single Market and Data Protection today launched the Customs Insights course, which is being rolled out by the Government through Enterprise Ireland. This is a new online training support to help all businesses understand how customs works including the documentation and processes required to operate and succeed post Brexit.

In the event of a hard Brexit, goods moving into and out of the UK would be under customs controls and would require customs documentations. For Irish companies selling into the UK, or importing from the UK, they may for the first time be required to deal with the various systems associated with customs. The Customs Insights course explains in clear and simple terms the main customs rules and includes the key actions companies can take to prepare for customs after Brexit and the options from Revenue that are available to make the customs process more efficient.

Open to all businesses on, the free online Customs Insights course takes 45 minutes to complete and covers both importing and exporting procedures.

Business Minister Heather Humphreys TD said: “The Government is focused on preparing SMEs for Brexit, building on the many measures we have already introduced, and responding to the evolving needs of business. We started this Strategy in 2017 with the introduction of a suite of measures and built on this with additional supports throughout 2018. I am once again stepping up our response to Brexit with free online customs training for all businesses delivered by Enterprise Ireland. The UK is our largest trading partner with 12,000 businesses exporting to the UK and 60,000 businesses importing from the UK annually. Businesses must prepare themselves in the event of a hard Brexit as full customs procedures will come into place whereby the UK will be recognised as a ‘third country’.”

Trade Minister Pat Breen TD, stated that, “The Government’s commitment to preparing the business community for Brexit is clear. Companies must prepare for all eventualities and we are making sure that we provide appropriate supports. Trade diversification is a vital strategy for any exporting firm seeking to minimise risks and to grow their business. While the Single Market will remain a major destination for Irish exporters, many firms will broaden their footprint to various third countries following Brexit. The Customs Insights course will assist those companies and small businesses to continue trading with Britain, while also preparing them for selling to other third country markets, such as the US, Japan, New Zealand and Australia, particularly as the EU expands its portfolio of Free Trade Agreements.”

Julie Sinnamon, CEO, Enterprise Ireland said “Customs is a primary concern for Enterprise Ireland client companies with nearly two thirds (62%)* citing customs as having the biggest impact on their business. The Customs Insights course has been developed for Irish SME’s and is an integrated part of Enterprise Ireland’s Prepare for Brexit campaign to encourage SME’s to be fully prepared for all eventualities.

From the outset, we have been advising companies to prepare for a hard Brexit and have put supports in place to equip companies meet the challenges and opportunities arising from Brexit head on. The Customs Insights course can be accessed on and is another highly practical tool to help companies break down the complexities around customs issues and pinpoint the areas that require immediate prioritisation and action.”
The Enterprise Ireland Customs Insights course is available now on


*Source: Poll of attendees at the Enterprise Ireland Brexit Advisory Clinics 2018
For further information, contact:
Press Office, Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation, 01-6312200 or
Nicola Corboy, Press & Media Relations, Enterprise Ireland 01-7272149 or 086 021 0114

Note to Editors
Enterprise Ireland is actively supporting Irish companies to respond to the challenges and opportunities posed by Brexit. Achieving market diversification is a priority. Key Initiatives include:
1. Enterprise Ireland launched its Eurozone Strategy with the strategic ambition to increase Irish exports to the Eurozone by 50% to €6.15bn by 2020. The Eurozone offers Irish exporters significant advantages given the lack of currency volatility, no trade barriers/customs and Enterprise Ireland recently announced that its clients recorded export sales of €22.71bn in 2017, representing a 7 per cent increase on 2016. Exports to the Eurozone region, which account for 20 per cent of all exports, saw strong growth of 9 per cent to €4.61bn in 2017. Enterprise Ireland supported 89 Irish companies to export to the Eurozone for the first time in 2017. In addition, close to 300 new contracts were secured for Irish companies in the Eurozone with Enterprise Ireland assistance.
2. Trade Missions – Approximately 200 international and domestic trade events will have taken place by the end of 2018 to accelerate the number of Enterprise Ireland clients diversifying into new markets, beyond the UK and into the Eurozone and global markets. The number of trade events being undertaken represents a 50% increase on 2017, reflecting the serious challenge that Brexit poses for Irish businesses.
3. New Market Discovery Fund - In support of the international trade event programme, Enterprise Ireland introduced the new Market Discovery Fund to support Enterprise Ireland backed companies when researching new markets for products and services. The new fund is designed to help companies of all sizes to meet the key challenges of market research. There are three levels of funding available to companies: up to €35,000, up to €75,000 and up to €150,000.

4. New Enterprise Ireland Brexit Unit established to support Irish companies to prepare for Brexit
5. Prepare for Brexit information campaign launched in 2017. We are leading a massive drive to support Irish companies to start preparing now. (Brexit Roadshow, Brexit SME Scorecard, Funding for Brexit Response Plan, Brexit Advisory Clinics).
6. New fast track Agile Innovation Fund launched in 2017, gives companies rapid fast-track access to innovation funding; up to 50% in support for product, process or service development projects with a total cost of up to €300,000. The fund allows companies respond more quickly to market opportunities and challenges, including those posed by Brexit.
7. Rollout of the Irish Advantage Campaign. As a Brexit response, and as a key Eurozone Strategy initiative, Enterprise Ireland’s Irish Advantage export promotion campaign ( targets international buyers across key sectors/sub-sectors to promote the advantages of sourcing from Irish companies, particularly in the context of Brexit. It promotes the competitive advantage that Irish companies deliver to international buyers/partners arising from our unique approach to People/Partnership, Innovation and Trust.
8. Operational Excellence Offer - To further strengthen the supports to Irish businesses in the face of Brexit, Enterprise Ireland launched a new Operational Excellence Offer to enable Irish companies trading internationally to develop or transform their wider business in order to compete more effectively. The Operational Excellence Offer covers funding, capability building, and capital investment offers for companies trading internationally, to incentivise companies to address their needs across key aspects of their value chain and business operations; from supply chain management, internal business and production operations, and through to logistics and distribution networks.
9. Prepare to Export Scorecard – designed to help Irish entrepreneurs and business owners with global ambition to self-assess how prepared they are to start exporting. The interactive online facility is a free, easy-to-use tool which acts as a starting point for companies interested in exporting and reaching overseas markets.

The Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation (DBEI) plays a key role in implementing the Government’s policies of stimulating the productive capacity of the economy and creating an environment which supports job creation and maintenance. The Department also has a remit to promote fair competition in the marketplace, protect consumers and safeguard workers.
For further information please contact Press Office, D/Business, Enterprise and Innovation, or (01) 631-2200