Brendan Smith welcomes increased support for cross-border trade post-Brexit

Fianna Fáil TD for Cavan and Monaghan, Brendan Smith has welcomed increased support for businesses to respond to the increased complexity of cross-Border trade post-Brexit.

Deputy Brendan Smith commented, “There is no doubt that Brexit has made cross-border trade a more intricate and complex task. I very much welcome the supports being provided to InterTradeIreland (ITI) in this regard.

“Since the signing of the Good Friday agreement in 1998 there has been a welcome development of business on an all-island basis and substantial increase in trade North South and South North which is critically important for employment in the border region.”

The Cavan and Monaghan TD continued: “InterTradeIreland is playing an important role as part of the Government’s wider Brexit response. ITI’s Brexit Advisory Service, which provides a range of advice and supports to eligible businesses, has this year alone engaged with almost 1,400 SMEs, out of a total of 15,000 businesses since its establishment.”

Deputy Brendan Smith added: “ITI’s Brexit Planning Voucher scheme is a particularly important form of assistance for Irish SMEs. These vouchers enable businesses to get professional advice on the new trading environment following the UK’s withdrawal from the EU. The Planning Vouchers are worth up to €2,250 (inclusive of VAT) each. This funding supports firms to access professional advice in relation to Brexit matters. To date, there has been over 3,300 approvals for Vouchers to a total value of over €7.5m.”

In 2022 an additional €1.225m will be allocated to ITI, bringing its total funding from Ireland to €11.586m. This will allow ITI to continue its existing programmes and expand its services.

The funding will further enhance ITI’s capacity and expand its Brexit Advisory Service into a new, technology-enabled cross-border Trade Information Service. This dedicated service aims to address the range of queries that are anticipated to arise in the cross-border trade of goods and services under the new trading environment for both the thousands of businesses that are already trading on a cross-border basis and those considering it for the first time.

It is envisaged that the proposed service will also consider supply chain issues that might be encountered by firms with supply chains, increase SMEs’ knowledge in multiple trade areas and update and digitalise ITI’s guides to cross border trade. The service will provide information and advice in many areas including customs, VAT, regulatory change, data, procurement, employment etc.