Follow up from our Brexit Webinar: Brexit Readiness Webinar addresses custom supports and Ireland’s preparedness for UK departure

Brexit Readiness Webinar addresses custom supports and Ireland’s preparedness for UK departure

27th November 2020: With less than 35 days to go to the Brexit transition deadline, Mullingar and Athlone Chambers of Commerce, jointly chaired a Brexit Readiness webinar today to assist Westmeath businesses in getting prepared for Brexit.

Many Irish businesses who trade with the UK will be negatively impacted as a result of Brexit. Many companies still need to take the necessary steps to prepare for the start of new checks and controls on trade that come with the end of the transition period. Brexit will mean new customs procedures and regulatory requirements for anyone trading with the UK (excluding Northern Ireland).

The event was sponsored by the Local Enterprise Office, Westmeath and businesses from across the county had the opportunity to learn about the changes that will come and how they can best take action now.

Speakers from the event included Simon McKeever of the Irish Exporters Association, Emer O’Byrne, Enterprise Ireland and Christine Charlton, Westmeath LEO.  John Geoghegan [President Mullingar Chamber] chaired a Q & A session at the end.

Opening the event, Minister for Trade Promotion, Digital and Company Regulation, and T.D. for Longford-Westmeath, Robert Troy, said “It is not too late to begin ramping up preparations for Brexit. I know this has been a year like no other, with another unwanted challenge for businesses only weeks away.

However, I am concerned not enough businesses are ready for the change as evidenced by Enterprise Ireland’s recent survey, in which only 42% of companies feel fully or significantly ready for customs changes.

Now is the time to take decisive action on how to manage your customs arrangements and avail of the many supports available, including the Enterprise Ireland Ready for Customs Grants, worth up to €9,000.  Time is of the essence, so if you are wondering where to start, I urge you to check out the website and follow their ‘Six Steps to Preparing your Business’ or contact your Local Enterprise Office for more information.”


Simon McKeever, CEO of Exporters Association said “Brexit poses an enormous challenge.  While the outcome of negotiations seems unclear at this point, we do know that trading arrangements with the UK will be different from 1 January 2021.  Businesses will need to get up to speed on customs documentation and procedures in order to continue, or start, trading with the UK.

Business should ensure that a key member of staff understands the necessary customs requirements and can carry out the procedures. The Government is supporting free Clear Customs training and Enterprise Ireland is managing a new €20m fund to assist business meet the customs challenges.

Enterprise Ireland’s Ready for Customs fund is a grant of €9,000 to support the recruitment or deployment of a full or part time worker to carry out the necessary customs procedures. I would urge businesses to avail of these supports.

My advice to businesses is prepare for what will happen.  Preparations can be made now, even if we do not know what exact trading arrangements we can expect from 1 January of next year.”

Christine Charlton, Head of Enterprise for Local Enterprise Office, Westmeath in her address outlined the supports available from the Local Enterprise Office and urged businesses to avail of these supports to mitigate against any negative impacts arising from the fall out of Brexit.


John Geoghegan, President of Mullingar Chamber of Commerce said “This morning’s conversation and presentation was highly informative and very timely. The outcome of the US election appears to have put the final pressure on the current UK administration to do a deal on Brexit.  Unfortunately, any Brexit in any form looks like disruption and costs to all concerned, but we remain optimistic for a positive outcome.

“Many thanks to Minister Robert Troy for his participation today and Orla Duncan in Mullingar Chamber for hosting it online, as well as the interesting presentations from Simon McKeever of the Irish Exporters Association, Emer O’Byrne, Enterprise Ireland and to Christine Charlton, Westmeath, LEO for her closing comments”.

Alan Shaw President of Athlone Chamber of Commerce said: “ Much about the Brexit process is outside the control of individual businesses, however this does not mitigate the urgency on each business owner who is involved in trade outside of Ireland to complete the Brexit checklist and ensure that your business is protected, in so far as possible, against the risks that Brexit poses, when we know its final shape.”


For more information:

Athlone Chamber: or 086 17482222.

Mullingar Chamber: or 044 93 44044

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