1st March 2019

The Europe Direct Information Centre (EDIC) for the North Highlands & Islands, hosted by Caithness Chamber of Commerce, held a well-attended business breakfast at the Pentland Hotel, Thurso on Friday 1 March to give businesses across the region the latest information on what they should be doing to prepare for Brexit.

Featuring speakers from the Local Export Partnership for the Highlands & Islands, Highlands & Islands Enterprise, Skills Development Scotland, and Enterprise Europe Network, the event was attended by representatives of a range of local businesses.

The strong message on the day was the need for businesses to prepare for the possibility of a “no deal” Brexit. All of the speakers emphasised that businesses trading with the EU should as a minimum apply for an Economic Operator and Registration Indicator (EORI) number, and that those importing goods should register for HMRC’s new Transitional Simplified Procedure for import VAT.

Other issues and actions discussed on the day included the challenges to the labour market, particularly for businesses in the tourism and hospitality sector, and the difficulty of pricing future contracts given potential changes to tariffs and the value of the pound.

Speakers also signposted the resources available to businesses to help them prepare, including the Customs Training and IT Grants Scheme, prepareforbrexit.scot, and the Skills for Growth service.

The event was also livestreamed on Facebook to allow businesses across the region to take part, and the archived video can be viewed online at facebook.com/edicnhi. In addition, all of the presentations from the day have been made available at slideshare.net/CaithnessChamberofCommerce/

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