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Chartered Accountants Ireland Launches Bespoke Customs & Trade Qualification as Brexit Transition Period Draws to a Close

  • Programme developed to guide those working in business and practice after January 2021 deadline
  • Half of businesses surveyed by the Institute report significant concern about Brexit disruption and customs administration in the coming months
  • Programme designed and delivered by Tony Buckley, Head of Revenue’s Customs Division up to 2018



Chartered Accountants Ireland launched a Certificate in Customs and Trade to equip advisors and those working in business with the information and tools needed to navigate the new customs regime that Brexit will introduce in 2021.

Negotiations between the EU and the UK on a future relationship will conclude as the transitional period ends on 31 December. Regardless of whether a trade agreement is reached, customs administration will be imposed on exporters and importers north and south and beyond these shores. 

Engagement with members by Chartered Accountants Ireland has revealed a significant deficit in general awareness among its members and the wider business community of the skills and knowledge required to meet the legal and regulatory requirements of international trade, specifically trade between Ireland and Northern Ireland/Great Britain post-Brexit. In addition, half of businesses surveyed by the Institute reported significant concern about dealing with customs administration in the coming months.


Commenting, Programme Lead Tony Buckley said,

“We are critically short of expertise on the island of Ireland to manage this unprecedented change. Long-established trading relationships will need to be renegotiated, the costs of trade will inevitably rise, and supply chains will have to be critically re-appraised.  In practice, there are few businesses whose supply chains will not be affected, directly or indirectly, and all will need advice from professionals familiar with the complex new rules and procedures.” 

The Certificate has been designed in line with the EU Customs Competency Framework and successful participants will reach Proficiency Level 2 (Trained) in the areas relevant to post-Brexit trading. This will enable them to offer customs advice, to support applicants for customs authorisations and permissions, and to develop plans and strategies for businesses facing Brexit-related challenges. The Level 9 qualification is awarded under the statutory authority of Chartered Accountants Ireland. 


The syllabus will cover:

  • New challenges resulting from Brexit
  • Trading across borders – structure and operation of international trade
  • Customs law, regulation and processes
  • Fulfilling regulatory requirements – documents, processes and permissions
  • Managing the supply chain – terms of trade, ensuring delivery, reducing risk
  • Case studies of sectoral challenges and possible solutions.


Commenting, Cróna Clohisey, Public Policy Lead, Chartered Accountants Ireland said,

“We are delighted to launch this much needed qualification. It has been in planning for some time now, and the process of syllabus design in partnership with stakeholders has been a comprehensive one.

It comes at a time when businesses right across the island of Ireland need access to expertise and reassurance on customs and trade issues that many have never had to even consider in their business lives to date. It is a qualification for a changing landscape and through it, Chartered Accountants Ireland wants to empower businesses to recover and succeed despite considerable challenge in the wider operating environment.”

The programme will be delivered through four modules over eight weeks commencing on 7 October 2020.  Each module is centred on one day of interactive live delivery via video-conferencing (face-to-face workshops may be added/substituted if circumstances permit).  Assessment will include multiple-choice assignments on each module and a final summative written assignment.

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