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Preparing your business

The UK transition period comes to an end on the 31st December 2020. As one of our closest trading partners this will mean a big change for Irish businesses.

Don't wait for the changes to come in to effect – below are some key steps as well as useful tips to support your business as you prepare for the new year. 

Assessment tools and support

With Brexit just around the corner the Irish Government and Enterprise Ireland have a range of supports to enable Irish businesses to respond to this new trading environment.

Below are some key tools to help you to manage these changes and to minimise any disruption and cost to your business.


One of the most urgent issues facing Irish businesses is that exporting goods to or importing goods from the UK (excluding Northern Ireland) will require a customs declaration. 

In the July Jobs Stimulus package, the Government announced that Enterprise Ireland will manage a new €20m fund to assist Irish business meet this challenge – the Ready for Customs grant. More information on the support available to businesses can be found below.


If you trade with the UK after the transition period (excluding trade in goods with Northern Ireland), the rules of trade with a non-EU country will apply.

This means supplies and movement of taxable goods between Ireland and the UK (except Northern Ireland) will be subject to the Value-Added Tax (VAT) rules on imports and exports.

Trading with Northern Ireland (NI)

By virtue of special provisions applied in the Northern Ireland Protocol to avoid a hard border on the island of Ireland, there will be no substantive change for the movement of goods covered by the Protocol between Northern Ireland and EU Member States, including Ireland.

Data Protection

Currently, the free movement of personal data across the EU (including the Republic of Ireland and UK) is underpinned by a common set of data protection rules, including the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). 

After the 31 January 2020, the UK becomes a ‘third country'. For Irish companies transferring data to the UK, it will be the same as if they were transferring it to India or Brazil. This will require them to put in place additional safeguards in accordance with GDPR requirements.

Financial Supports

In response to Brexit, the Government of Ireland has put in place a number of financial supports to help address the challenges that it presents for Irish business. Below is an overview of some of the financial support measures in place.