News & Events

Launch of Clear Customs online training platform to prepare businesses for customs changes post-Brexit

  • New initiative launched to support Irish businesses trading with or through Great Britain in preparing for new customs formalities arising from Brexit.

  • Clear Customs offers eligible customs agents, customs intermediaries and affected businesses a free training programme to build capacity in the customs sector.

  • Skillnet Ireland has developed the Clear Customs initiative in partnership with key industry bodies in the trade and logistics sector.

Skillnet Ireland, in conjunction with the Government’s ‘Getting Ireland Brexit Ready’ campaign, is launching Clear Customs, an online training programme to support Irish businesses deal with increased customs requirements as a result of Brexit. The programme is provided free of cost.

By the end of 2020, businesses, trading either with or through Great Britain, will be subject to a range of new customs formalities and other regulatory requirements. It is estimated that the number of customs declarations required will increase, from 1.6m annually at present, to an estimated 20m after the UK’s departure from the Customs Unions and Single Market. These changes will happen regardless of the outcome of the ongoing negotiations and businesses will find it increasingly challenging, without the necessary arrangements in place or required skills in-house, to deal with these additional responsibilities.

Designed in collaboration with key industry bodies in the trade and logistics sector, Clear Customs is an initiative to support affected Irish companies develop the capacity to deal with the additional customs requirements that will be needed from January 1st, 2021. The programme, developed in partnership with the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport (CILT), will be delivered by CILT Skillnet as part of the Government’s ‘Getting Ireland Brexit Ready’ initiative.

Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment, Leo Varadkar TD said:

No matter what happens at the end of the year, free trade agreement or no free trade agreement, things are going to be different.  The UK will no longer be in the Single Market or Customs Union and there will be increased bureaucracy and costs for business. We want to minimise it and make the transition as seamless as we can. Making sure your business is prepared for any changes to customs is a crucial part of getting ready. This online training programme from Skillnet Ireland is part of an overall package we have put in place to help businesses at this critical time.”

Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science, Simon Harris TDsaid:

“It is clear businesses are facing a range of challenges this year in light of Covid and Brexit. Skillnet Ireland offers businesses vital supports in preparing for the challenges Brexit will inevitably bring. Skillnet Ireland will help businesses upskill rapidly to deal with new customs procedures. There is a Clear Customs mobile app and virtual classroom sessions, to provide an engaging and impactful learning experience for businesses. We are calling on business owners to avail of this free training as part of the Government’s Brexit Readiness Action Plan and ensure their businesses are prepared for the new customs requirements from January 1st, 2021.”

Skillnet Ireland Chief Executive PaulHealy said:

There are now less than 4 months to go before businesses that trade with Great Britain will see significant changes in the customs regime.  This poses serious challenges for many businesses, and they will need to ensure as soon as possible that they have the skills and tools to respond. The Skillnet Ireland Clear Customs programme, delivered through a new online format and mobile app, is available to businesses across Ireland that are looking to develop their customs capacity. Our collaboration with Carlow Institute of Technology to accredit this programme adds additional value to both participants and businesses, while our partnerships with key industry bodies such as CILT and Government agencies ensures that the Clear Customs programme fully addresses this important business need.” 

The Clear Customs training programme is targeted at Irish businesses, or others acting on behalf of businesses such as customs intermediaries.  The initiative, which is being made available immediately to eligible businesses free of charge, together with customs agents and intermediaries, will be delivered through a new mobile app and virtual classroom training sessions.

  • The Clear Customs mobile app provides a next-generation mobile learning experience with engaging and easy to navigate content on customs declaration completions. The content has been designed by industry for industry as they prepare for the new customs requirements on January 1st, 2021.
  • Online learning delivered by expert customs practitioners is complemented with virtual classroom sessions. This deepens the learning experience and ensures that businesses can avail of the full range of training supports, wherever they are located.
  • The Clear Customs digital platform and mobile app also offers refresher training and a useful reference point for participating businesses going forward.

Mick Curran, CEO of CILT said:

With the UK’s departure from the Customs Union and Single Market now imminent, there has never been a greater necessity to boost ‘in-house’ customs capacity amongst business that are regularly trading with or through the UK. It is essential that every business prepares to be customs ready to avoid any transitional period or standstill whereby goods are not moving. Taking action now enables businesses to future proof and be prepared.”

The Clear Customs programme is available free of charge and open to private sector businesses in Ireland who import goods from or export goods to and through the UK. Participants that successfully complete the programme will be eligible for a QQI Level 6 Certificate in Customs Clearance Procedures awarded by IT Carlow. 

Businesses should visit to learn more and register for the initiative. 

The Clear Customs initiative is led by Skillnet Ireland, supported by the Government’s ‘Getting Ireland Brexit Ready’ campaign, responding to the growing skills needs of Irish businesses because of Brexit.


Notes to Editors

Interviews and other media queries

Paul Healy, CEO, Skillnet Ireland is available for media interviews in relation to the Clear Customs initiative.

Soundbyte from Paul Healy

For media queries, please contact:

Fiona O’Connor, Drury, +353 87 694 9601,

Danielle Martin, Drury, +353 86 776 1592,

About Skillnet Ireland

Skillnet Ireland is a business support agency of the Government of Ireland, with a mandate to advance the competitiveness, productivity, and innovation of Irish businesses through enterprise-led upskilling. Skillnet Ireland partners with over 50 industry bodies and enterprise clusters, supporting over 18,000 businesses and 70,000 trainees annually.  Since 1999, Skillnet Ireland has had a positive impact on Ireland’s competitiveness and economic growth, by developing the capacity of Irish business and the workforce.  Skillnet Ireland is funded from the National Training Fund through the Department of Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science.

To learn more about Skillnet Ireland, please visit  

Facebook: @SkillnetIreland

Twitter: @SkillnetIreland


About Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport (CILT)

The Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport (CILT) is the professional body in Ireland for people in the logistics, transport, and supply chain industry. The institute’s key remit is to promote professionalism and enhance standards in the logistics, transport, and supply chain sector through the provision of education and services. CILT Ireland has 400 members and three regional sections. It is a territory of the wider CILT International organisation which has 33,000 members globally working in over 43 countries and a member of the European Logistics Association. To learn more about CILT, please visit

About CILT Skillnet

CILT Skillnet, in partnership with other representative bodies, is delivering Clear Customs on behalf of Skillnet Ireland. The CILT Skillnet is promoted by the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport (CILT) and is open to private enterprises across these sectors throughout the Republic of Ireland. The objective of this national network is to support the growth of Ireland’s logistics, transport and supply chain sectors by enhancing the specialised knowledge and skills, increasing access to skills development opportunities and encouraging ongoing professional development.

For all information regarding Brexit, please see the Government website: