Planning for Brexit – How to source funding?

The need for capital for businesses investing in their Brexit strategy has been acknowledged by the Irish Government who announced in October 2017 the implementation of a ‘Brexit Loan Scheme’ to support Irish businesses and assist them in the preparation of their action plan. Through this program the government set aside up to €300 million available at competitive rates to SMEs. The government is aiming for an “easier access, more competitive price and more favorable terms than current offerings”.  To that effect, the proposed interest of 4% has been announced and the scheme should be available starting March 2018 which will run for two years. The scheme will be developed with the Strategic Banking Cooperation of Ireland (SBCI) and be delivered through commercial lenders.

Among the different eligibility criteria for the scheme, businesses should be able to demonstrate their exposure to Brexit as well as their business sustainability plan detailing their actions in response to Brexit.

Different conditions will apply but essentially will benefit:

  • Traders and / or Manufacturers,
  • Facing Cross Border issue / Brexit Impact, and
  • Small Business (> 499 employees)

Special attention has been given to the Agri-food Sector through the allocation of €25 million to the Department of Agriculture, to specifically help businesses in the sector as one of the most impacted by Brexit. The scheme excludes farmers and fishermen for whom alternative schemes should be further discussed.

In addition to the Brexit Loan Scheme, two major grant programs have also been set in place:

  • InterTradeIreland: InterTadeIreland offers up to €2,000 to help SMEs seeking support and advices in relation to Brexit. (Note that small businesses in the transportation, agricultural and retail sectors are excluded from this program)
    • Start to Plan Voucher (> 250 employees)
    • Brexit Readiness Voucher (> 50 employees)
  • Enterprise Ireland / Local Enterprise Offices: Enterprise Ireland launched the ‘Brexit SME Scorecard’ where SMEs can register and assess their ‘readiness for Brexit’. Enterprise Ireland installed the ‘Be Prepared Grant’ providing funding for up to €5,000 available for Enterprise Ireland client companies to help develop an action plan.

The message is clear don’t wait to plan for Brexit, resources are available.   For further information on how to prepare for Brexit or to arrange a meeting with Carol Lynch please contact BDO.

For more information about our partnership with BDO Ireland click here.

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Significant Freight Traffic Growth at Mid-Western Gateways

The IEA Supply Chain Group arranged a discussion meeting for Mid-West based exporters and freight infrastructure providers on September 27th.

Speaking to the Limerick meeting, Patrick Edmond, Group Strategy Director at Shannon Airport Authority talked about the current freight services through the airport including the three times weekly Turkish Airlines Cargo giving weekly direct shipments to Chicago, Atlanta and New York as well as thrice weekly to Istanbul and onwards. Active discussions are underway with other Carriers and the Airport is currently developing specialist warehousing facilities to meet export needs. Looking towards the development of further long-haul freighter and belly-hold services he said that the very long runway at Shannon together the availability of land there for further infrastructure development were strong assets.

Martin Morrissey, Commercial Director at Shannon Foynes Port Company spoke about the imperative to complete the development of the N69 route linking Foynes and Limerick and to get work underway on the M20 Limerick, Cork route. He welcomed the opening the M17 which could expedite the development of traffic through Atlantic Coast Ports. He also spoke about the successful development of traffic through Limerick Port with some 500,000 tonnes a year of cement being shipped through there to the London market. Shipments of scrap metal are also strong, at about 100,000 tonnes a year.

The Sustainable Freight Partnership, Mid-West which has been developed by a group led by Limerick city and county council and the Limerick Chamber of Commerce will be launched at the Strand Hotel, Limerick. The primary aim is to establish the Mid-West region as a centre of logistics and supply chain excellence. The IEA has been playing an active role in this development and will participate in its launch by Patrick Donovan TD, Minister of State at the Department of Finance and the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform with special responsibility for Public Procurement, Open Government and eGovernment.




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Customs Asking Shippers to Pay More Guarantees

The European Shippers Council, (ESC) together with the other associations, such as CLECAT and IRU, has asked the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Taxation and Customs Union to reduce the administrative and financial burden related to the guarantees against customs debts.

According to the Union Customs Code, an economic operator (a shipper) should provide a guarantee if there is a risk of a customs debt for the goods that this operator is transporting or processing; or, if the shipper does not have a secured warehouse. A “customs debt” means the obligation of a person to pay the amount of import or export duty which applies to specific goods under the customs legislation in force. Thus, if the goods get stolen from a warehouse or during transportation, and a debt occurs, customs authorities can recover the debt from the guarantee. This can be done even if the company is not solvent anymore.

This rule also applies to the companies that have a status of the Authorised Economic Operator (AEO). In this case, customs authorities have already a good view on the risks in solvency and compliance of these company. By asking for an additional guarantee from the reliable companies, customs are getting a double safety net which is a comfortable situation for customs but is a difficult situation for the operator (shipper).

Under the previous customs legislation, the guarantee was already applied and considered disproportionate. But under the present legislation (Union Customs Code) this is even more the case. The mitigation of a guarantee is accepted less frequently and more cases are subject to the guarantee deposit.  The companies providing the guarantee deposit or a guarantee from a bank, cannot use this money for internal investments, and the guarantee becomes “dead money.”

For this reason, ESC has co-signed a letter with other Associations such as CLECAT and IRU, to reduce the number of cases and the amount of the guarantee. Hopefully DG TAXUD will respond positively to this request.

The IEA has an active relationship with the European Shippers Council, a Brussels based organisation that shares many common objectives with the Association.

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Rosslare Europort Plans Ahead

Glenn Carr has been appointed by IEA Supply Chain Group sponsor, Irish Rail to the post of manager of the Rosslare Europort activity while retaining his responsibility for the Company’s Rail Freight and Navigator freight forwarding activity.

The company has undertaken a Strategic review of the Port business and is formulating plans for the further development of Rosslare Europort. Initial work has been done to upgrade certain terminal facilities and plans made to meet the expected facility requirements to meet a post-Brexit situation.

Meanwhile, Wexford based trailer operator, Perennial Freight has launched a weekly direct trailer service to Iberia using the Neptune Lines vessel operating out of Rosslare. The service, run in conjunction with Perennial’s Spanish partners, operates on an unaccompanied trailer basis with trailers boarding the Neptune vessel at Rosslare on Saturday and being discharged at Santander in Northern Spain early on Monday morning. Cargo in trailers destined for locations including Barcelona and Madrid can be delivered on Tuesday while that for further destinations including Valencia is delivered on Wednesday.

Chris Smyth, Commercial Director at Perennial spoke about, what he saw as a significant Brexit beating service. Perennial has a long history of continental trailer operations and this enables them to work the trailers back to Ireland from Spain with cargoes for France, the UK or Ireland. The Neptune Line vessel sails back to Ireland calling at Le Havre and Southampton and is not ideal for Spanish cargo for Ireland that requires fast transit.

Piraeus based Neptune Lines is a major player in the Trade car and commercial vehicle transport business. They operate a large fleet running services mainly in the Mediterranean area, while, in the Biscay Region they are now running the Rosslare service and one from Santander to Portbury, near Bristol.

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Dublin Port Traffic Powers Ahead

Dublin Port Company has issued its trade figures for the first three quarters of 2017 which show an overall growth during the period over the 2016 figures of 4.2%. This growth rate is similar to that for World ports through 2016 and for this year to date and is well ahead of the growth anticipated in the company’s 2012 Master Plan document.

Speaking at the announcement of the trade figures Dublin Port CEO Eamonn O’Reilly said, “Dublin Port’s volumes continue to grow strongly. It is clear that the trend of year on year increases that we saw in the decades before the crash of 2008 has returned.  We have now seen five years of consistent growth and each of the last three years has been a record year.

“Notwithstanding the uncertainty generated by BREXIT, Dublin Port has seen Ro-Ro freight volumes on routes to Britain grow by 6.2% over the first three quarters of 2017 with ferry passenger numbers growing by 2.4%.

“We are increasing the capacity of the port on the basis that growth will continue for many years to come.  Work is continuing on our first major Masterplan project, the Alexandra Basin Redevelopment (ABR) Project.

“We are seeing increasing demand for direct freight services to Continental Europe.  The introduction by CLdN of the 8,000 lane metre Celine will greatly increase the capacity on direct services to Continental Europe.  BREXIT is creating a lot of uncertainty and the introduction of the new ship shows the shipping sector beginning to provide additional capacity to create more options for importers and exporters.  We expect to see more new services to Continental Europe during 2018.

“Before year end, we will commence construction of a bridge over the Covanta and ESB cooling water outfall on the Poolbeg Peninsula now that the construction of the waste to energy plant is complete.  This bridge will bring unused port lands on the Poolbeg Peninsula into use and allow us to increase the capacity of our berths on South Bank Quay.  This is the first step towards the ultimate development of all Dublin Port lands on the Poolbeg Peninsula under our Masterplan 2012-2040.

“We welcome the recognition in the recently approved Planning Scheme for the Poolbeg West SDZ that port lands are for port uses.  This follows on from the recognition in the draft National Planning Framework of the importance for the country of the continued addition of port capacity in Dublin.”

Eamonn O’Reilly is currently chairman of the European Sea Ports Organisation. Speaking following his election he said, ““I am very honoured to have been elected as Chairman of ESPO for the next two years.  Over these years, ports will be challenged by the implementation of the Port Regulation and other legislative initiatives. There will also be a continuing need for ports to plan and finance major infrastructure investment at the key nodes of Europe’s transport networks.  Overarching these challenges, however, is the global problem of climate change and how our industry plays its part in addressing this enormous issue”.

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Brian Murphy, Head of Trade Services at the Irish Exporters Association will be speaking at Lifesciences Trends 2017: A National and Regional Perspective. Join us at the Radisson Blu Hotel & Spa, Ditchley House, Cork on November 15th, as we explore the topics that have shaped and impacted the Lifesciences sector in Ireland and in particular, the Munster region.

This is a free event and places are limited. Register early to avoid disappointment!


This conference is aimed at providing a forum for professionals in the Pharma, MedTech and Supply Chain industries in Ireland to learn about the emerging trends in their sectors, and to network with their industry peers. It provides an opportunity to encourage local sourcing in Ireland and stimulate growth in the Munster Region. The initiative is being supported by Exertis SCS, The Irish Medtech Association, BioPharmaChem Ireland, The Port of Cork, IBEC, KPMG, Enterprise Ireland, the Irish Exporters Association (IEA), UCC, PMTC, Crest Solutions, Acorn Regulatory, Orbsen Consulting, CPL, Real Staffing. Click here to download the Lifesciences Trends 2017 Event Flyer

The conference will feature expert speakers, panel discussions and industry case studies.

Click here to view conference agenda.


  • Brexit: The Potential Impact of Brexit on the Lifesciences Supply Chain
  • FDI: Growing Foreign Direct Investment Nationally & Regionally
  • Case Studies: Lifesciences Industry Presentations
  • Industry Outlook: Biopharma Sector & Policy Priorities 2018
  • Talent: Attracting and Maintaining Talent in Lifesciences

Don’t miss out on what promises to be an engaging and informative event. Join the conversation, connect with key industry leaders, extend your professional network and gain actionable insights and knowledge. Register at


To learn more about this event, email [email protected] or call +353 1 405 6586.

Vicki Caplin | | 0 comments

AbsorboPak – Keeping your cargo dry

12% of all container shipment damage is moisture related. Have you discussed moisture damage with your transport provider or shipping line?

We offer the solution. Our desiccant products are specifically designed for use in containers. We offer an extensive range that covers almost any moisture protection requirement. From rust and mould, to damaged packing and odour; the effects of moisture damage are unpredictable – and costly. However, it can be prevented. ABSOROPAK offers a range of products to protect your cargo from the effects of moisture damage. We help you to minimise RISK and PROTECT YOUR INVESTMENT.

Shipping in containers is an economical and safe way of shipping most types of cargo. But putting cargo into an enclosed steel box also entails a constant risk of moisture damage for almost every kind of cargo on every voyage. When damage occurs it may result in substantial losses and costs. Very small differences in the cargo and voyage conditions can have a huge effect on the outcome.

Moisture Damage can be Prevented

All containers contain moisture from the time of loading. No container is completely airtight. Moisture will move in and out of the container during the voyage known as “Container Breathing”. The objective of a moisture protection program is to prevent the build-up of moisture in the air to levels where it causes damage. This is done by reducing the amount of the moisture entering the container and by using desiccants to remove moisture from the air.

Finding the right solution for reliable protection against moisture damage requires understanding the causes. All desiccants have different capabilities to absorb moisture. When choosing your desiccants it is important to know that different substances have different characteristics. For example, the product’s ability to absorb moisture in relation to its own weight, absorption rate at different levels of relative humidity and the risk for re-evaporation. Passing through several climatic zones with wide temperature and humidity fluctuations, rough treatment and long transport times all affect the outcome.

Container Desiccants

High absorption with or with-out impact resistant water collector

All our products are based on the proven ability of calcium chloride to aggressively remove moisture from the air. They are easy to use and designed to occupy minimal container space with full functionality.






AbsorGel®Max and Compact

In-Box Desiccants

In-box desiccants are effective in controlling moisture inside of crates, cartons and other types of packaging. The absorbed water is bound into a gel so that no liquid water is formed.

AbsorGel® Pouch Hip – With humidity indicator

Absortech® Air-Tight – Solution for pouch storing

Supply Chain

Our customers avoid costly moisture damage by making moisture protection an integrated part of their supply chain. Our products maintain consistent high quality; we maintain complete control end to end in the chain from product design and manufacture to delivery of the right product with the right quality at the right place.

Contact Fintan Doyle +353 (0)87 250 9557 or Mark Darmody on +353 (0)87 235 5806

or the office on +353 (0)1 6978733 to discuss your requirements and the right product for you.



Vicki Caplin | | 0 comments

Over 200,000 illegal medicines worth €850,000 detained in Ireland

The IEA welcomes the partnership between the HPRA, Revenue’s Customs Service, An Garda Síochána and Minister for Health, Simon Harris TD following the announcement that they have detained over 200,000 units of illegal prescription medicines (2016: 60,000) valued at over €850,000 as part of the Interpol-coordinated Operation Pangea X. The IEA’s The Good Distribution Practice Passport (GDP) plays a key role in helping assure security in the life sciences supply chain through compliance and a better understanding of risk and responsibilities. For more information about the IEA’s GDP Passport click on our infographic or contact [email protected]. To read the announcement from the HPRA click here.

Vicki Caplin | | 0 comments

BIFA introduces new Terms and Conditions

BIFA, the British International Freight Association has introduced a new set of Standard Trading Conditions to be applied by its members from 1st October. The IIFA, Irish International Freight Association is completing a review of its own Standard Trading Conditions which are applied by its member Freight Forwarders in Ireland. The revised conditions are likely to mirror very closely those developed by BIFA.

In the BIFA revision one significant addition has been their extension to take account of the SOLAS rules relating to verified gross mass (VGM) requirements. The revised terms provide a warranty from the customer that they are giving an accurate and actual verified gross mass of any container packed with packages and cargo items. This means that if the Member is legally responsible for provision of this information to the carrier, then it is able to pursue the customer, if the mass is not accurate, under the indemnity given for any losses incurred as a result.

Clause 28, which covers the jurisdiction of any claim, has been amended so that any member can choose arbitration rather than litigation in order to deal with any dispute they may have with their customer. This improves the ability for members to pursue their customers in jurisdictions that may not give effect to an English law and jurisdiction clause in favour of English Courts, or may not have any reciprocal agreement in force with the United Kingdom regarding the enforcement of judgments.

Slight changes to the document include outdated wording being revised as well as the preamble and definitions being made tighter to reflect the new EU regulation number following the introduction of the Union Customs Code.

Clearly, the terms and conditions under which cargo is being carried are of vital importance to the exporter and the IEA will keep a watching brief on developments both in Ireland and elsewhere particularly in a Brexit context.

Blockchain could become a Supply chain reality by year end.

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Blockchain could become a Supply chain reality by year end

A large number of shipping Lines and ports, in particular, are currently engaged in trials regarding the use of Blockchain in the supply chain.  Hyundai Merchant Marine (HMM) says that it has completed its first voyage using blockchain, from booking to container delivery and this is the latest sign of the shipping industry’s adoption of the technology, which HMM aims to refine and deploy by year’s end. In a statement they said: “Adopting blockchain technology in shipping and logistics industry will enable all parties to securely share all the information such as the certificate of origin and customs clearance information, and will also reduce a tremendous amount of paperwork”.

Maersk Line has also developed a joint technology with its partner, IBM to enable the rapid adoption of this technology in all aspects of its container shipping operation.

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