Clear Customs online training platform launches!


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Clear Customs online training platform launches!

17 September 2020

Clear Customs online training platform launches!

Launch of Clear Customs online training platform to prepare businesses for customs changes post-Brexit

  • Clear Customs offers eligible customs agents, customs intermediaries and affected businesses a free training programme to build capacity in the customs sector.
  • Skillnet Ireland has developed the Clear Customs initiative in partnership with CILT Ireland and CILT Skillnet in the trade and logistics sector.


Skillnet Ireland, in conjunction with the Government’s ‘Getting Ireland Brexit Ready’ campaign, is launching Clear Customs, an online training programme to support Irish businesses deal with increased customs requirements as a result of Brexit. The programme is provided free of cost.


The programme was developed in partnership with ourselves (CILT Ireland) and will be delivered by CILT Skillnet as part of the Government’s ‘Getting Ireland Brexit Ready’ initiative.


Designed in collaboration with key industry bodies in the trade and logistics sector, 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 1st, 2021.


By the end of 2020, businesses, trading either with or through Great Britain, will be subject to a range of new customs formalities and other regulatory requirements. It is estimated that the number of customs declarations required will increase, from 1.6m annually at present, to an estimated 20m after the UK’s departure from the Customs Unions and Single Market. These changes will happen regardless of the outcome of the ongoing negotiations and businesses will find it increasingly challenging, without the necessary arrangements in place or required skills in-house, to deal with these additional responsibilities.


Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment, Leo Varadkar TD said: No matter what happens at the end of the year, free trade agreement or no free trade agreement, things are going to be different.  The UK will no longer be in the Single Market or Customs Union and there will be increased bureaucracy and costs for business. We want to minimise it and make the transition as seamless as we can. Making sure your business is prepared for any changes to customs is a crucial part of getting ready. This online training programme from Skillnet Ireland is part of an overall package we have put in place to help businesses at this critical time.”


Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science, Simon Harris TD said: “It is clear businesses are facing a range of challenges this year in light of Covid and Brexit. Skillnet Ireland offers businesses vital supports in preparing for the challenges Brexit will inevitably bring. Skillnet Ireland will help businesses upskill rapidly to deal with new customs procedures. There is a Clear Customs mobile app and virtual classroom sessions, to provide an engaging and impactful learning experience for businesses. We are calling on business owners to avail of this free training as part of the Government’s Brexit Readiness Action Plan and ensure their businesses are prepared for the new customs requirements from January 1st, 2021.”


Skillnet Ireland Chief Executive Paul Healy said: There are now less than 4 months to go before businesses that trade with Great Britain will see significant changes in the customs regime.  This poses serious challenges for many businesses, and they will need to ensure as soon as possible that they have the skills and tools to respond. The Skillnet Ireland Clear Customs programme, delivered through a new online format and mobile app, is available to businesses across Ireland that are looking to develop their customs capacity. Our collaboration with Carlow Institute of Technology to accredit this programme adds additional value to both participants and businesses, while our partnerships with key industry bodies such as CILT and Government agencies ensure that the Clear Customs programme fully addresses this important business need.”


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, will be delivered through a new mobile app and virtual classroom training sessions.


  • The Clear Customs mobile app provides a next-generation mobile learning experience with engaging and easy to navigate content on customs declaration completions. The content has been designed by industry for the industry as they prepare for the new customs requirements on January 1st, 2021.
  • Online learning delivered by expert customs practitioners is complemented with virtual classroom sessions. This deepens the learning experience and ensures that businesses can avail of the full range of training supports, wherever they are located.
  • The Clear Customs digital platform and mobile app also offer refresher training and a useful reference point for participating businesses going forward.


Mick Curran, CEO of CILT said: With the UK’s departure from the Customs Union and Single Market now imminent, there has never been a greater necessity to boost ‘in-house’ customs capacity amongst business that are regularly trading with or through the UK. It is essential that every business prepares to be customs ready to avoid any transitional period or standstill whereby goods are not moving. Taking action now enables businesses to future proof and be prepared.”


The Clear Customs programme is available free of charge and open to private sector businesses in Ireland who import goods from or export goods to and through the UK. Participants that successfully complete the programme will be eligible for a QQI Level 6 Certificate in Customs Clearance Procedures awarded by IT Carlow.


Businesses should visit to learn more and register for the initiative. 


The Clear Customs initiative is led by Skillnet Ireland, supported by the Government’s ‘Getting Ireland Brexit Ready’ campaign, responding to the growing skills needs of Irish businesses because of Brexit.



About Skillnet Ireland

Skillnet Ireland is a business support agency of the Government of Ireland, with a mandate to advance the competitiveness, productivity, and innovation of Irish businesses through enterprise-led upskilling. Skillnet Ireland partners with over 50 industry bodies and enterprise clusters, supporting over 18,000 businesses and 70,000 trainees annually.  Since 1999, Skillnet Ireland has had a positive impact on Ireland’s competitiveness and economic growth, by developing the capacity of Irish business and the workforce.  Skillnet Ireland is funded from the National Training Fund through the Department of Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science. To learn more about Skillnet Ireland, please visit  


About CILT Skillnet

CILT Skillnet, in partnership with other representative bodies, is delivering Clear Customs on behalf of Skillnet Ireland. The CILT Skillnet is promoted by the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport (CILT) and is open to private enterprises across these sectors throughout the Republic of Ireland. The objective of this national network is to support the growth of Ireland’s logistics, transport and supply chain sectors by enhancing the specialised knowledge and skills, increasing access to skills development opportunities and encouraging ongoing professional


For all information regarding Brexit, please see the Government website:



«January 2021»

Revenue reminds Hauliers of Importance of PBN + usage of Customs Channel prior to Arrival

Irish Revenue Customs have issued reminders for Hauliers and Truck drivers moving goods to, from or through, Great Britain (GB) into Ireland by Ferry in relation to the following:

  • Creating a correct Pre-Boarding Notification (PBN)
  • The importance of checking your customs channel prior to disembarking.

This guidance aims to ensure that Vehicles will be able to board their scheduled Ferry without any difficulties and, secondly, will mean Truck Drivers can present Goods for Customs Controls, if any, on arrival with the minimum of delay.

Creating a correct Pre-Boarding Notification

Those responsible for transporting goods to or from Great Britain by ferry are required to create a Pre-Boarding Notification (PBN) on the Customs RoRo Service before the goods start their journey, and in advance of Vehicles moving to the departure Port.

Revenue continues to support trade and business in adapting to the new Customs formalities arising from the UK’s departure from the EU. In this regard, a detailed step by step guide on how to create and correctly populate a PBN has been published and is accessible by clicking here.

Revenue has also set up a dedicated email support service to deal with all PBN related queries at

Additionally, Revenue put a temporary arrangement in place that allowed for the creation of a PBN for Goods movements that began before the end of the Transition Period (31 December) and ended after that date. This temporary arrangement was facilitated by allowing whoever was creating the PBN for a Goods movement into Ireland to select an option of ‘Other’. This ensured the continued movement of Goods as 1st January 2021 approached by providing the necessary details required to board the Ferry.

As the overlap period for such goods movements has now passed, Revenue confirmed this temporary arrangement will no longer be available for all sailings departing GB on or after 18:00 hours on 5th January 2021.

Highlighting this change to reflect the end of the overlap period, head of customs at Dublin Port, Tom Talbot, said:

“We had put a short-term arrangement in place to help trade in the initial days post 1 January to avoid movements getting caught between 2020 and 2021 requirements. However, this was of necessity a time limited arrangement which will come to an end later today. As such, it is important to note that in order to create a correct PBN, and ensure the efficient movement of the goods, it will be essential that the MRNs for each customs declaration for all consignments in a vehicle are included when creating the PBN. Ensuring this will avoid an unnecessary call to Customs.”

Customs Channel Look Up


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‘Hardships’ coming for traders at Northern Ireland’s post-Brexit borders, lobby groups say

FILE PHOTO: Lorry trailers are seen in the port of Larne, Larne Northern Ireland, December 30, 2020. REUTERS/Phil Noble

LONDON (Reuters) – Traders selling goods between Northern Ireland and the rest of the United Kingdom will face “real hardships” in the coming weeks after the post-Brexit regulatory border shattered normal operations, lobby groups said on Wednesday.

At a British parliamentary committee, representatives for the province’s farmers, retailers and logistics firms said British companies had not been able to prepare, or were not prepared, for new customs requirements after a last-minute trade deal.

Trucks have been sent back to Britain, some have been held for hours while they fill out forms and other suppliers have stopped servicing Northern Ireland until the new systems bed in.

“This is just the opening skirmishes,” said Aodhán Connolly, director of the Northern Ireland Retail Consortium.

“Retailers have been stocking up before Christmas for this first week, the flow of the first weekend was less than 20% of usual transport flow, so there are real hardships that are going to come in the middle of this month.”

Britain left the European Union’s single market and customs union at 2300 GMT on New Year’s Eve, introducing a raft of paperwork and customs declarations for those businesses that import and export goods with the bloc.

In order to keep the border open between the British province of Northern Ireland and EU-member Ireland, a separate agreement was struck that requires a regulatory border in the Irish Sea between Northern Ireland and the rest of the United Kingdom.

While stockpiling has helped suppress trade levels into Northern Ireland in the first week of the New Year, easing the switch, some gaps have already appeared on supermarket shelves.

One large food manufacturer with 15 trucks bound for Northern Ireland could not send them because they did not have customs declarations filled out, the committee heard.

Seamus Leheny, policy manager for Northern Ireland in the Logistics UK group, said the new customs demands were hitting companies throughout the supply chain.

“One operator sent 285 trucks to GB (Great Britain), they only got 100 of those back to Northern Ireland,” he said. “The knock on effect is they can’t service NI (Northern Ireland) exports going back to GB because they’ve got lorries and equipment sitting in England waiting for loads that aren’t ready yet.”

Similar problems have been detected on the busy cross-Channel border between Britain and France, and freight companies have said that a return to normal trade levels later this month will put a huge strain

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Brexit: opening the back door

While Covid-19 and the new lockdown continues to dominate the headlines, the aftermath of TransEnd (still referred to as “Brexit” by many media sources) remains the non-story of the year.

A media lorry watcher gives us some information from ferry-operator DFDS, which says that, on 1-2 January, 1,351 vehicles went through the Port of Dover. That compares with 3,239 last year, a cut of more than half in traffic volume over the year.

The agency Bloomberg gives us rather more information, although it amounts to the same thing. Between 7 am on 31 December and 7 am on 4 January, lorry crossings at Dover averaged a thousand daily, compared with 2019 when the average was 6,500. On Monday morning, the traffic was light, with no sign of hold-ups at the Eastern Docks.

However, Richard Ballantyne, chief executive officer of the British Ports Association says that this is “probably the calm before the storm”, observing that, “It’s always quite quiet after the new year”.

Apart from the New Year’s holiday, the relative quiet is put down to companies ordering early in anticipation of potential delays, and a reduction in demand because of the temporary closure of France’s border in late December.

Another factor has been a deliberate policy of some trucking groups to avoid Dover and to delay truck movements for a few weeks until there is some sense of where the problems lie.

This is confirmed by Jon Swallow, co-founder of Jordon Freight, which ships goods between the UK and the EU. But he sees trouble ahead after taking multiple calls from businesses on Monday which believed that the Christmas Eve trade deal relieved them of the need to file paperwork to cross the Channel.

Swallow notes that their optimism is misplaced. Firms will still need to file customs declarations and comply with other new formalities due to Brexit, he says, adding: “We’re so shocked. These are not small companies”.

Delays and diversions, however, seems to be having an effect. There have been reports (by Reuters and others) of empty shelves in a Paris branch Marks & Spencer. Items out of stock included sandwiches, salads and a turkey tortilla with curry. A spokesperson for M&S said the border controls were causing delays to deliveries, although it was working on the problem with suppliers.

Paris wasn’t the only location affected though. Other reports had the M&S branch in Dundrum Town Centre in Dublin running with empty shelves. A section of the chilled goods area, which usually contained pre-prepared chicken products, was bare and other fridges also contained empty sections.

That may have someth

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This Renault D Wide Z.E. EV Truck Has Solar Panels

Image sourced from @ and is subject to copyright 

But only to power the refrigeration units…..

Renault Trucks has recently deployed another all-electric D Wide Z.E. truck in Switzerland, which was acquired by the Swiss haulier Rhyner Logistik.

An interesting thing about this particular project is that Rhyner Logistik has retrofitted the truck with solar panels (26) on the roof to power the refrigeration unit.

We don’t know how much power they will generate (a few kW at peak we guess), but it’s a brilliant idea to convert the sunlight (which would normally heat the vehicle) to electricity to cool the cargo.

“To take its virtuous approach one step further, Rhyner Logistik decided to have solar panels fitted onto the vehicle body to provide green energy for the refrigeration unit. This system is particularly suited to temperature-controlled transport, because it is when outside temperatures are high – and the sun is therefore strong – that the cooling is most needed.”

Of course, it would be great to power the entire vehicle that way, but it will not happen even if the panels had 100% efficiency. For driving, it must be charged from an external electricity source.

Hopefully, the 26-ton D Wide Z.E. will meet the expectations. Rhyner Logistik operates a fleet of 100 trucks so electrification of the rest depends on the results of the first one.

Renault Trucks: 26-ton D Wide Z.E. specs:

  • Real-world operating range: up to 180 km (112 miles)
  • Energy storage: lithium-ion batteries, 200-265 kWh
  • GVW: 26 tonnes. Weight: 27 tonnes
  • Available wheelbase: 3,900 mm
  • Two electric motors with a total rating of 370 kW (260 kW continuous output)
  • Maximum torque of electric motors: 850 Nm
  • Maximum torque rear axle: 28 kNm
  • Two-speed gearbox
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New Rail Connection Melzo-Rotterdam Available To CLdN CARGO Door-To-Door Clients

In close partnership with C.RO Ports Rotterdam and Hannibal, door-to-door transport company CLdN CARGO is now able to ship their clients’ cargo through a new rail connection between Rail Hub Rotterdam Botlek (The Netherlands) and Rail Hub Milano (Italy). Commencing January 12, 2021, the connection sees three trains depart from Melzo and Rotterdam each week. The service is available for their trailer and container customers.

Thanks to Terminal Operator C.RO Ports and Italian Rail Operator Hannibal, CLdN CARGO has considerably improved their existing intermodal connectivity between the Benelux and Italy. The door-to-door transport company can now offer both their trailer and container clients an additional rail service between Rotterdam and Milan, with weekly departures from Milan as well as Rotterdam on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday, seamlessly connecting to CLdN’s shortsea services between Rotterdam, and the UK (daily) and Ireland (4 times each week).

The need for rail and shortsea transport as an alternative to road haulage has taken a huge flight since Brexit and the pandemic. By deploying additional transport options and freight capacity, CLdN CARGO was able to offer their clients peace of mind. They are and will be ready to accommodate any additional customer demand in a safe, clean and cost-efficient manner.

CLdN CARGO offers door-to-door transport services throughout Europe, based on their extensive fleet of containers, trailers and flatbeds. Thanks to a team of experts and through an extensive partner network, they act as a one-stop-shop for all their customers’ multimodal transport requirements.

Original article was published on

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