Minister of State for Skills and Further Education, Niall Collins TD with Paul Healy, CEO of Skillnet Ireland and Mick Curran, CEO of CILT, encouraging businesses to sign up for Skillnet Ireland’s Clear Customs programme. Companies can access free online training to deal with increased customs regulations as a result of Brexit. (Picture: Julien Behal Photography)

Irish businesses are being encouraged to upskill their workforce to prepare for the increased customs regulations that will be needed from January 1, 2021.

The support for companies available through Skillnet Ireland’s Clear Customs programme, recently launched in conjunction with the Government’s ‘Getting Ireland Brexit Ready’ campaign, was highlighted by Minister of State for Skills and Further Education Niall Collins.

Clear Customs is an initiative to support affected Irish companies develop the capacity to deal with the additional customs requirements that will be needed from January 1, 2021.

Businesses, trading either with or through Great Britain, will be subject to a range of new customs and regulatory requirements from that date. It is estimated that the number of customs declarations required will increase, from 1.6 million annually, to 20 million after the UK’s departure from the Customs Unions and Single Market. 

Led by Skillnet Ireland, the Clear Customs training programme is targeted at Irish businesses, or others acting on behalf of businesses such as customs intermediaries. 

The initiative, which is being made available immediately to eligible businesses free of charge, together with customs agents and intermediaries, is delivered through a new mobile app and virtual classroom training sessions.


Minister of State for Skills and Further Education, Niall Collins TD said: “The government are sending out a strong message to businesses that no matter what, change will happen on Jan 1st and businesses must prepare now. Over 90,000 Irish businesses trade with or through the Great Britain every year. 

“The Clear Customs programme is designed to address the needs of each of those businesses. It supports skills development that will help prepare your business for Brexit, and support future growth.” 

The Skillnet Ireland Clear Customs programme, delivered by CILT Skillnet, was recently awarded the Best Not for Profit Collaboration or Partnership at the Irish Institute of Training & Development (IITD) National Training Awards 2020. 

Clear Customs was designed in collaboration with key industry bodies in the trade and logistics sector, and this award reflects their focus on quality assurance and delivering concrete value to businesses.

Skillnet Ireland Chief Executive Paul Healy said: “Since its launch on 10 September there have been over 750 applications from companies for the Clear Customs programme. We want to increase the reach of the programme to those businesses that are not yet prepared for the changes underway. 

“The Clear Customs course is comprehensive in the information provided and learning outcomes achieved. To ensure they have enough time to complete the course, which is 5 weeks in duration, we would urge companies to sign up sooner rather than later. The clock is ticking, the support is there so don’t wait.”

For information on other Government support available for businesses visit