Plan­ning can help you make the most of EU exit

Belfast Telegraph - Business Telegraph - - News - @grant­thorn­tonni Bypeter­legge, Tax­part­ner For fur­ther in­for­ma­tion or ad­vice on any of th­ese is­sues, Peter Legge can be con­tacted at peter.legge@ Grant Thorn­ton (NI) LLP spe­cialises in au­dit, tax and ad­vi­sory ser­vices.

While the im­pact of Brexit will be dif­fer­ent for every or­gan­i­sa­tion, plan­ning across the three ar­eas of trade, peo­ple and talent, and fi­nance and op­er­a­tions, will help iden­tify the steps that may be taken to min­imise po­ten­tial risks and seize op­por­tu­ni­ties, what­ever the out­come.

In the first of our Brexit mini-series, we con­sider the wide-reach­ing trade im­pli­ca­tions of the UK’S exit from the EU for lo­cal busi­nesses.

While the UK Gov­ern­ment has stated its am­bi­tion to de­liver a com­pre­hen­sive free trade agree­ment with the EU, what this will look like, and mean, re­mains un­cer­tain.

De­spite this un­cer­tainty, busi­nesses should un­der­stand their own in­ter­ac­tions with the EU and seek to mit­i­gate sup­ply chain risk by de­vel­op­ing con­tin­gency plans and ex­plor­ing al­ter­na­tive pro­cure­ment op­tions.

Leav­ing the sin­gle mar­ket and cus­toms union will have im­pli­ca­tions on goods and ser­vices cross­ing be­tween the UK and EU. It will also im­pact trade out­side the EU.

At present, the UK has ac­cess to more than 50 free trade agree­ments with coun­tries around the world. How­ever, th­ese are EU agree­ments and there­fore the terms of th­ese deals and cur­rent ac­cess to those mar­kets are likely to change.

New cus­toms duty and im­port Vat might also be payable, not to men­tion the ad­di­tional ad­min­is­tra­tive cost aris­ing from the need to process im­port and ex­port dec­la­ra­tions and in­struct han­dling agents where nec­es­sary.

To mea­sure ex­po­sure and mit­i­gate risk, busi­nesses should take steps now to re­view their cus­toms com­pli­ance pro­cesses, un­der­stand the im­pact that World Trade Or­gan­i­sa­tions du­ties would have on the busi­ness (as a worst-case sce­nario) and explore Au­tho­rised Economic Op­er­a­tor ac­cred­i­ta­tion op­tions to en­able goods to be cleared faster.

How­ever, with change comes op­por­tu­nity.

We have al­ready seen how the de­pre­ci­a­tion in ster­ling, com­bined with the con­tin­ued full mem­ber­ship of the EU, presents a unique op­por­tu­nity for busi­nesses to max­imise their ex­port growth dur­ing the ne­go­ti­a­tions.

Fur­ther­more, fu­ture trade deals with new and emerg­ing mar­kets could of­fer lo­cal busi­nesses the chance to ex­pand their in­ter­na­tional foot­print fur­ther.

The UK Gov­ern­ment has al­ready stated its ea­ger­ness to agree quick deals with China, Brazil, the Gulf States, Aus­tralia, New Zealand, In­dia and the United States.

While much un­cer­tainty ex­ists, it is im­por­tant for busi­nesses to take steps now to de­velop con­tin­gency plans, as­sess the pos­si­ble risks and har­ness the op­por­tu­ni­ties.

Rather wor­ry­ingly, much com­pla­cency still ex­ists, with the most re­cent Busi­ness Mon­i­tor results re­leased by In­ter­trade Ire­land for the first quar­ter of 2018 in­di­cat­ing that 92% of busi­nesses sur­veyed, with cross-bor­der sales, still had no plans in place for Brexit. With less than 12 months un­til the of­fi­cial leave date, busi­nesses should utilise all avail­able sup­port.

As an ac­cred­ited In­ter­trade Ire­land ad­vi­sor, busi­ness can also even claim fi­nan­cial sup­port of up to £2,000/€2,000 to­wards pro­fes­sional ad­vice pro­vided by our Brexit spe­cial­ists.

Leav­ing the sin­gle mar­ket and cus­toms union will have im­pli­ca­tions for goods and ser­vices

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