Companies encouraged to seek supports in order to prepare for Brexit

Sep 28th, 2020

L-R; Skillnet Ireland Chief Executive, Paul Healy; Minister of State for Skills and Further Education, Niall Collins; and CILT CEO, Mick Curran


Minister of State for Skills and Further Education Niall Collins today encouraged Irish businesses to upskill their workforce to prepare for the increased customs regulations that will be needed from January 1, 2021.

The Minister was highlighting the support available through Skillnet Ireland’s Clear Customs programme, recently launched in conjunction with the Government’s ‘Getting Ireland Brexit Ready’ campaign. Clear Customs is an online training programme to support Irish businesses deal with increased customs requirements as a result of Brexit.


Minister of State for Skills and Further Education, Niall Collins TD said: “The government are sending out a strong message to businesses that no matter what, change will happen on Jan 1st and businesses must prepare now. Over 90,000 Irish businesses trade with or through the Great Britain every year. The Clear Customs programme is designed to address the needs of each of those businesses. It supports skills development that will help prepare your business for Brexit, and support future growth.”


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 1, 2021. Businesses, trading either with or through Great Britain, will be subject to a range of new customs and regulatory requirements from that date. It is estimated that the number of customs declarations required will increase, from 1.6 million annually, to 20 million after the UK’s departure from the Customs Unions and Single Market.


Skillnet Ireland Chief Executive Paul Healy said: Since its launch on 10 September there have been over 750 applications from companies for the Clear Customs programme. We want to increase the reach of the programme to those businesses that are not yet prepared for the changes underway. The Clear Customs course is comprehensive in the information provided and learning outcomes achieved. To ensure they have enough time to complete the course, which is 5 weeks in duration, we would urge companies to sign up sooner rather than later. The clock is ticking, the support is there so don’t wait.”


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, is delivered through a new mobile app and virtual classroom training sessions.


Mick Curran, CEO of CILT said: “We are seeing applications to the Clear Customs programme from a range of sectors but the majority of applicants come from those industries that will be most hit by Brexit and therefore will most benefit from this programme. Fourteen percent of the applicants are from businesses in the logistics/transport/haulage sector, 16% are in manufacturing while 12% come from the retail sector. We are calling on businesses across these sectors and others to sign up today.”


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. For information on other Government support available for businesses visit


The Skillnet Ireland Clear Customs programme, delivered by CILT Skillnet, was recently awarded the Best Not for Profit Collaboration or Partnership at the Irish Institute of Training & Development (IITD) National Training Awards 2020. Clear Customs was designed in collaboration with key industry bodies in the trade and logistics sector, and this award reflects their focus on quality assurance and delivering concrete value to businesses.

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