The extra compliance requirements following the Brexit trade deal has the potential to be just as prohibitive for exporters to the UK market as any tariff or duty on goods, according to an international trade expert.

“Trade levels are still very low, but some companies have been woefully under-prepared for the changes brought about by the Brexit trade deal in terms of the extra paperwork needed for customs documentation and SPS certs needed by the Department of Agriculture,” said Carol Lynch, who is the partner in charge of customs and international trade at audit firm BDO Ireland.

Speaking during a live webinar organised by the Irish Farmers Journal on what Brexit means for Ireland’s agri-food industry, Lynch added that the extra paperwork on trade between the UK and Ireland has the potential to be just as big a burden for Irish exporters as any tariffs.

“Companies will never be able to remove all of the extra administration needed post-Brexit, but they will get better at doing it,” she added.


Lynch did note that all the delays at Irish points we’ve seen in the last week were related to imports of goods from the UK on to the island of Ireland.

She added that she had more confidence in the ability of Irish food exporters to adapt to the changing regulatory requirements on trade to the UK market because many companies already have experience exporting to third countries such as the US, Japan or the Philippines.

Also speaking on Thursday’s Brexit webinar, IFA’s director of European affairs Liam McHale said the Brexit trade deal was still moving through the ratification process in Brussels.

McHale said the Brexit trade deal agreed on Christmas Eve would be voted on by the EU Parliament during the month of March.

You can rewatch the full Brexit webinar HERE.