SMEs: Product Safety and Preparedness for Brexit

The Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC) commissioned Ipsos MRBI to conduct research into SME preparedness for Brexit, particularly those businesses trading in areas that fall under the remit of the CCPC through product safety legislation. The research was conducted across a nationally representative sample of 500 businesses by phone between August and September 2020.

Those surveyed are importers of products that fall under the CCPC’s Product Safety remit, including:

  • Face masks, helmets or other personal safety equipment
  • Cigarette lighters, stationery or other general equipment
  • Footballs, bicycles and other children’s toys or sports equipment
  • Chargers, toasters or kettles and other domestic electrical equipment
  • Gas appliances for personal use
Summary Findings
  • 70% of those surveyed are importing products from the UK.
  • 26% of businesses obtain the majority of their goods from the UK.
  • 63% of businesses surveyed sold goods distributed from the UK.
  • 39% of businesses surveyed sold goods manufactured in the UK.
  • Of the non-EU goods that were imported to Ireland via a UK distributor, around half were distributed directly without going through another EU country.
  • Over half of goods sourced from the UK, and around a third of those sourced from the EU, originate in non–EU countries.
  • Majority of those sourcing goods from outside the EU are doing so from China (60%).
  • Among businesses who source products from the EU, almost 40% source from Germany.
  • Just over a quarter (26%) of eligible respondents did not know where a product distributed through the EU was originally manufactured.
  • Over 40% of businesses surveyed are currently envisaging reducing imports via the UK, depending on the final agreed arrangements.
  • Over half of businesses surveyed (52%) currently trading with the UK have taken no action to prepare at the time of the survey.
  • 87% of those businesses importing or selling goods, or parts of goods, manufactured in, or distributed from, the UK were aware of potential changes to customs rules after the Brexit transition period ends.
  • 80% of those businesses that trade with the UK are aware that goods solely transited to Ireland from the UK would have to comply with European product safety rules.
  • 67% of businesses report having no procedures in place for assessing the compliance of goods from outside the EU with product safety legislation.
  • Around 75% of businesses surveyed, including those who do not currently trade with the UK, are aware that from 2021, UK Product Safety Law will potentially differ from Irish Product Safety Law
SMEs Product Safety and Preparedness for Brexit
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