Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on European and Foreign Affairs Seán Haughey has raised concerns that 57,000 companies still do not have an EORI (Economic Operators Registration and Identification) number.

An EORI number, issued by Revenue, is the minimum requirement for businesses that wish to trade with, or through, the UK post Brexit.

Deputy Haughey said: “Businesses and SMEs have been focusing all of their time, energies and resources on trying to address the challenges arising from the Covid-19 Pandemic. However, Brexit is still a very real threat and I am concerned that thousands of businesses are ill-prepared for the UK exiting the transition period in seven months’ time.

“Information revealed to me by way of parliamentary question shows that 96,000 businesses traded with the UK in 2019 and approximately 57,000 of these do not currently have an EORI number. Of the larger businesses with annual UK import or export trade in excess of €50,000, and therefore with a potential significant supply chain exposure to trade with the UK, the number without an EORI number is approximately 3,000.

“Whilst I understand that some businesses may have reoriented their supply chains which may negate the need for an EORI number, these figures are nevertheless concerning and underscore that work still needs to be done to ensure that our businesses and SMEs are prepared in as much as feasibly possible for Brexit.

“Understandably, the focus has been on the Covid-19 Pandemic, but it is imperative that we do not lose sight of Brexit and that preparations continue apace for same’.

‘Applying for an EORI number is a simple and free online process and I would urge all businesses that have or are planning to trade with the UK to apply for one as soon as possible. Ireland is potentially facing a hard Brexit in approximately seven months’ time and a concerted effort is required to ensure our businesses and SMEs are prepared in as much as feasibly possible for what lies ahead”, concluded Deputy Haughey.