Irish companies preparing for Brexit
Are you an Irish company director who lives in the UK? Are you a director of an Irish company that trades with the UK? Do you know how Brexit will affect your business? We’re here to inform and help your company meet its requirements and make sure you are aware of any Brexit supports available for your business.
As of the 1st January 2021, Ireland’s trading agreement with the UK has changed. The UK’s Brexit transition period has ended, and business owners will need to make changes to their Irish companies if they haven’t already.
In this guide, you’ll learn what steps you need to take if your Irish company has only UK-resident directors, the tax and VAT implications of Brexit, and what Irish government Brexit supports are available for your business.
Irish company director requirements
To remain compliant with Irish company law, Irish companies with only UK-resident directors need to make changes to their company.
Your options include appointing an EEA-resident director or securing a Section 137 bond or applying for an exemption (rules apply).
We explain these options in more detail below and if you need help, feel free to talk to our Client Services Team about your business and we can recommend the best services for your needs.
Option 1) Appoint an EEA-resident director from the 1st of January 2021.
Under the Companies Act 2014, it is a legal requirement to have at least one EEA-resident director. Therefore, if you only have UK-resident directors in your Irish company, you can appoint an EEA-resident director to remain compliant with Irish company law.
If you would like us to help with the paperwork or for information about this option, talk to our Client Services Team. We’re here to help.
Option 2) Secure a Section 137 Bond from the 1st of January 2021.
The other option is to secure a Section 137 bond to the value of €25,000. The bond secures the company for two years against certain offences under the Companies Act 2014 and provides an exemption from the requirement of having an EEA-resident director.
If you would like us to take care of the bond application for you, our fee for this is €2,249+VAT. You can purchase this directly on our website here. Let us know if you have any questions and we’re happy to discuss the bond application process with you.
Option 3) Apply for an exemption from having an EEA-resident director and securing a Section 137 bond.
Finally, Irish companies with only UK-resident directors and “a real and continuous link to one or more economic activities being carried on in the State” can apply for an exemption from the requirement of appointing an EEA-resident director or holding a Section 137 Bond.
This option involves completing a CRO Form B67, which must be accompanied by a statement from Revenue confirming they have reasonable grounds to believe that the company has a “real and continuous link” with the State.
To get this exemption, your company must be able to prove that it has an established presence in Ireland (usually over one-year trading activity).
We can help with this application but please note that a Revenue Inspector checks each application on a case-by-case basis; therefore, there is no guarantee that a certificate will be issued.
Examples of proof of an established presence/real and continuous link with Ireland
- Regular submissions of tax returns
- Financial statements
- Customer/supplier lists
- Irish-based employees
- Offices in Ireland
A Revenue Inspector treats each application on a case-by-case basis; therefore, there is no guarantee that a certificate will be issued.
Can I still trade with the UK after a no-deal Brexit?
Yes, you can still trade with the UK after Brexit and the rules of trade with a non-EU country will apply. There will be rules for ‘moving goods to, from or through Great Britain (GB)‘ and different arrangements for businesses trading with Northern Ireland (NI).
You should talk to your accountant about your business if you need specific advice as each business may have different requirements depending on what you are moving to, from or through GB and/or NI.
Get Started by talking to our Client Services Team about your accounting and compliance needs. We’re here to help and match the best services for your needs.
Register for Economic Operations Registration and Identification (EORI)
If you deal with Great Britain for B2B transactions, these will now be treated as imports/exports and you will need an EORI number, and potentially customs advice.
An EORI number is a common reference number for interactions with the customs authorities in other EU-member states.
You can apply for an EORI online through ROS or you can outsource this to us and we’ll apply on your behalf. Talk to us about your business and we’ll send you a quotation for our accounting and compliance services.
Importing from the UK after Brexit
If you import goods from the UK, there will be a new process that involves using a customs software package or outsourcing to a customs broker to complete a customs declaration. VAT and customs charges may also apply to all imported goods.
The new process for importing goods from the UK will involve 2 steps:
- You must complete a customs declaration electronically before the goods arrive in Ireland.
- Revenue will carry out a risk analysis on the imported goods. They will check if the goods need a physical exam, a document check or if they can be released.
If you are looking for a customs broker, we recommend that you get in touch with a firm such as Easy Customs who offer technical expertise and guidance on the admin side of importing and exporting to and through the UK.
Exporting goods to the UK after Brexit
If you are exporting goods to the UK, you will also need to complete an export customs declaration electronically.
There are also different VAT rules and changes that need to be applied if you sell to the UK, so talk to an accountant to receive the correct advice regarding your business.
How do I move goods through the UK after a no-deal Brexit?
Transit is the movement of goods from one country to another. Under transit, there is a customs procedure whereby goods are allowed to move across international borders and customs controls and checks only take place in the country of destination. For example, if you were moving goods from Ireland through the UK with the final destination being France.
If your goods will be transitioning through the UK, you will need the following:
- Custom declaration to travel to the UK.
- Customs guarantee in case the goods do not make their final destination in the EU.
- Transit accompanying document which you will receive with the customs declaration. This will be scanned once the goods enter the UK.
What is needed in the customs declaration?
Some examples of the data that is required on a customs declaration include:
- Consignor EORI – The EORI number of the person/business sending the goods
- Consignee EORI – The EORI number of the person/business receiving the goods
- Commodity Code – This code is for exports outside the EU
- Valuation (Including Delivery Terms)
- Country Of Origin
- Truck Registration or Trailer ID
Brexit support from Irish Government organisations
- Local Enterprise Office – Brexit Support offers mentoring, training, and access to funding.
- Enterprise Ireland – Prepare For Brexit offers grants, funds, advice and support. Check out their new Ready for Customs grant worth up to €9,000, which can help you hire an employee engaged in customs work.
Summary of tax and customs implications
- You will need to fill out an electronic customs import/export declaration if you moving goods from or to the UK after Brexit.
- There are different rules and changes depending on if you’re selling to Great Britain or Northern Ireland. Speak to your accountant if you need specific advice.
- If you import goods from the UK, you may have to pay VAT and customs charges. However, these charges do not apply if you transit through the UK but you may need additional paperwork and a financial guarantee in place to cover the potential customs duties and other taxes at risk during the movement.
Rachel is a certified company secretary from The Law Society College Dublin and currently leads the Company Secretarial Team at Accountant Online. Areas of expertise include Company Formation in Ireland and the UK, Company Secretarial procedures and regulations, and the Companies Act 2014 relating to small business and company directors.