Feature Article
Supporting Irish Businesses Preparing for Brexit
By Carol Lynch, Partner BDO
By Carol Lynch, Partner BDO
By Carol Lynch, Partner BDO
With Brexit talks now at crisis point and a future possible trade agreement in doubt most businesses are looking at what new structures they need to put in place to deal with the UK outside of the EU.
The worry is that Brexit might happen as early as 29th March 2019 and in this context we are advising businesses to adapt a “no regrets” policy.

We are finding that critical concerns surround the ability of businesses to continue to trade with the UK and the complexities which surround buying and selling in a non-EU market. Distribution chains are going to be seriously affected with businesses who were set up to buy and sell within the Single Market now having to plan to deal with Customs for the first time, incorporate VAT into their contracts and look at the need for having an EU base (for GB/ NI businesses) or a GB/NI base for ROI businesses. HMRC have identified this as a particular issue for businesses who will be lodging Customs Declarations for perhaps the first time.
The difficulty for businesses however is establishing what minimum requirements should be in place should March 2019 happen.


Working with our clients we have identified the following as the key requirements that businesses need assistance with right now:

  1. Customs Advice on WTO Rates
  2. Assessment of Customs Compliance costs
  3. Understanding Border Controls
  4. Review of contracts and terms of trade
  5. Should you obtain a UK Vat registration? Are you legally obliged to?
  6. Should a new company be established in NI or GB?
  7. Should you be tax registered in the UK?


Brexit Strategy Analysis
All of the above issues lead into the requirement to complete a Brexit Analysis report, analyse the costs associated with trading post Brexit and identify and prioritise the means for reducing these costs.  



Support with Grant and Loan applications for Brexit planning.

Identifying the key risk areas, establishing a time line to ensure you have all necessary authorisations in place and implementing the required solutions to Brexit Proof against a worst case March 2019 exit can be complex and time consuming.


There are a number of grants and loans available from Government Bodies, Support Agencies and the Banks. We can guide you through this process to ensure you can defray some of the costs involved in planning, innovating and continuing to sell in the UK market.


We would advise that as most restructuring and planning requires a minimum 6 month lead- in this work needs to be carried out now to be prepared for a worst case scenario of a UK deadline of March 2019.

For further information contact: Carol Lynch


Direct: +353 1 470 0491


Beaux Lane House

Mercer Street Lower

Dublin 2

Tel: +353 1 470 0000

Fax: +353 1 477 0000




About Carol Lynch

Carol is a Partner at BDO Customs and International Trade Services. Carol has more than 25 years’ experience in customs and international trade.


Carol is currently heavily involved in advising clients on the impact of Brexit and is working with a number of high profile companies in this regard.

She has been requested to present to the Oireachtas Finance Committee on the impact of Brexit for traders in Ireland and also presents on behalf of Chambers Ireland and InterTrade Ireland. She is part of a number of working groups including that of the British Irish Chambers of Commerce and the Revenue Commissioners. She contributes to various media (print and radio) with regard to the Customs issues which may arise post Brexit.


Carol has significant expertise in customs, excise, export controls, anti-dumping, audits and investigations. She also has significant experience working with clients in the aviation and aircraft leasing, food and drink, pharmaceutical companies, consumer electronics and software sectors along with general manufacturing.




More News
Ontario: Your Post-Brexit Gateway to North America - 2nd October

Join us at this breakfast briefing hear about the support on offer to help you to tap into North America and what the latest CETA, NATFA and Brexit developments mean for future business opportunities in Ontario.

Join us at this breakfast briefing hear about the support on offer to help you to tap into North America and what the latest CETA, NATFA and Brexit developments mean for future business opportunities in Ontario.

Date: 2nd of October 2018
Time: 8am - 9:30am
Venue: Dublin Chamber, 7 Clare Street, Dublin 2

Speakers from the Ontario Investment Office and accountants RSM will outline the current trends, market and practicalities at this timely business breakfast.


Adam Breeze, a transatlantic business specialist who advises businesses and governments on global expansion issues. He is currently an advisor to the Government of Ontario.

Robbie Beak, representing the Ontario Investment Office in Europe, Robbie has helped dozens of clients to setup in Canada from all types of industries and sectors.

Aidan Byrne, lead tax partner at RSM with particular specialism in advising clients on international tax structures relating to global expansion and foreign direct investment.

Annual Trade Mission to Hong Kong (13th- 18th January)

New direct flights between Ireland and Hong Kong by Cathay Pacific open up many new opportunities for Irish firms, the purpose of this mission is to identify new opportunities for companies in the lucrative Asian Market.  The mission is organised by Dublin Chamber and The Ireland Hong Kong Business Forum in partnership with the Consulate General of Ireland to Hong Kong and Macau and Hong Kong Trade Development Council. 

The Ireland Hong Kong Business Forum is pleased to announce expressions of interest for the annual mission to Hong Kong (January 2019) as now open. This year marks the first time a direct flight from Dublin to Hong Kong is in operation, which makes the prospect of long distance travelling  less daunting for delegates. Increased connectivity between Hong Kong and Ireland will mean the opportunities that exist in Hong Kong, the Pearl River Basin and indeed in Asia are set to increase exponentially.  Last year, 22 representatives from Irish companies and semi state bodies travelled  to Hong Kong on this mission which included high level networking events organised by and  one-to-one meetings with companies based in Hong Kong. As part of the mission, Hong Kong Trade and Development Council (HKTDC) provided dedicated advisory services and tailored B2B matchmaking services. Delegates were also given the option of a day trip to visit either Shenzhen or Macau, depending on their sector of interest. Contact valentina@dublinchamber.ie to reserve your place. 

Mission highlights:

  • Market briefing roundtable on Hong Kong Market
  • Sector specifics seminars ( Smart tech, ICT, Finance, Fintech; Tourism, Food & Bev)
  • Site visits to local companies including Crown Worldwide Group and Cyberport
  • Assistance setting up targeted meetings with potential partners
  • Networking reception at Consulate of Ireland with Irish Minister & Consul General of Ireland to Hong Kong
  • Day trip and market briefing in Macau for those operating in Food & Bev and Tourism sectors to hear about opportunities there, followed by networking lunch with key local contacts
  • Day trip to Shenzhen for those operating in ICT & Fintech sectors, including planned visits to Huawei, Tencent
  • Admission to the Asian Financial Forum (usual ticket cost $1300 (first come, first served basis)  

Mission cost: €700 including all above elements, one dinner and two  lunches

EUROStart Project: Supports for Start-ups Erasmus Plus


We are delighted to be part of a new Erasmus+ programmed with seven EU partners aimed at capacity building for entrepreneurs and start-ups.


 For more details please contact Valentina valentina@dublinchamber.ie

19th Hong Kong Forum 2018 (4-5 Dec)

The Federation of Hong Kong Business Associations Worldwide is a unique network of 42 Hong Kong Business Associations in 31 countries and regions with over 13,000 individual associates.  These Hong Kong Business Associations were started by overseas traders, buyers and professionals, who have strong business links to Hong Kong in their respective countries, for the purpose of networking and exchanging of business information and ideas.  Each of these Associations has their own individual members who are top business executives in their home country.  They are Hong Kong's closest allies and partners in the world market.


Asian e-tailing Summit – You can attend the concurrent Summit for FREE (please register here. 

Funding Advisory Service Workshop 16th October

Are you an established ambitious company, planning to grow your business and in need of new funding?  The workshops are part of InterTradeIreland’s Funding Advisory Services for Established Businesses and will be delivered at various locations across the island. The FREE regional workshops aim to encourage established SMEs seeking finance to do so in a strategic manner with a well-prepared business plan and to explore all finance options available to them.

Supported by SBCI.


We are now in the final stage of the InterTradeIreland Funding Advisory services programme 2018. InterTradeIreland have engaged the services of Grant Thornton to assist with the delivery of these workshops on Funding for SMEs.


The programme is aimed at SMEs who are looking for new or alternative sources of funding to finance business growth. The short workshop will give you the opportunity to find out about the main sources of funding for growth suitable for your business and will include information on both traditional bank funding and the newer types of funding that are now available in the market.  


Some of the topics that will be discussed on the morning include:

  • overview of the current funding landscape including active funders;
  • how providers of funding make their funding decisions and discussions around the types of SMEs they have funded;
  • advice on how to make your business ready for funding

We do hope you can join us at this workshop for what promises to be an informative session.


PLEASE NOTE :This event is NOT aimed at start-up businesses & only SMEs with a trading history of at least 18 months and a turnover in excess of €110,000 can attend.