This page will be updated when appropriate. Last updated 26 November.
The UK is leaving the EU’s Single Market and Customs Union. Whether or not there is a negotiated outcome, businesses will need take action if you are planning on:
These actions include:
- ensuring you can meet Member State requirements;
- complying with customs requirements by either completing full customs declaration or delaying declarations where applicable; and
- completing any additional requirements such as SPS obligations, e.g. pre-notification and Export Health Certificates.
All businesses moving goods across the GB-EU border will need to take account of these and adapt accordingly. The Government has published a helpful transition checker tool so that businesses can find out what actions they specifically need to be taking.
Many of the actions you will need to take are not dependent on a trade deal with the EU and so can be done now. However, in some cases, advice will be updated later in the year. When you use the transition checker, you will be able to subscribe to email updates about changes to the guidance that may affect you and I would strongly encourage you to do this.
At the bottom of this page, I have attached the Border and Protocol Delivery Group’s guide to changes at the border which goes into detail about importing and exporting goods after 31 December 2020.
There are also a number of other publications which businesses may find useful:
- The Institute for Government has published explainers on the transition period here.
- The British Chambers of Commerce has published a checklist to support businesses prepare for the UK transition. You can download it here.
- The Federation of Small Business has published guidance for small businesses here.
- The Institute of Directors has a designated hub on Navigating Brexit for Business here.
- Make UK has published guidance for manufacturers here.
Businesses can also sign up to the Government’s programme of webinars which offer direct support from experts in a number of fields.
If a business Would like more information about any of the above, please do contact me directly at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Alternatively, you can contact our local:
- Chamber of Commerce at email@example.com
- Confederation of British Industry at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Federation of Small Business at email@example.com
- Business Gateway Growth Hub at firstname.lastname@example.org
What is the transition period?
After we left the EU on 31st January, we entered into a transition period until 31 December. This is a period of time in which we are no longer a member of the EU but continue to be subject to EU rules and a member of the Single Market and Customs Union while we negotiate what our future relationship will look like.
As we transition to our new relationship, our new start will involve a series of changes and opportunities for businesses.
When does it end?
The transition period ends on 31 December 2020. This date is written into our laws and will not change or be extended. Changes will, therefore, come into force on 1 January 2021.
Do I need to do anything?
Yes, you do. Your business will have to make a number of changes to ensure continued flow of people, data, goods and services between the UK and the EU. These actions are required for businesses regardless of whether or not a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) is agreed - there is no benefit in waiting for the outcome of negotiations.
- sell goods to the EU you must prepare for new customs procedures
- travel to the EU for work purposes you will need to check if you need a visa or work permit and apply if necessary
- employ overseas nationals you will need to prepare your business for the implementation of the new immigration system
- are a UK business or organisation which receives personal data from contacts in the EEA, you may need to take extra steps to ensure that the data can continue to flow at the end of the transition period
- provide services in the EU, you must ensure that your qualifications are now recognised by EU regulators to be able to practice or service clients in the EU. This is not EU wide, you will need to get the qualification recognised in the relevant country to practice/ service clients
You can check what you specifically need to do at the UK Transition Hub.
Will I be able to hire EU nationals in the future, and under what conditions?
Yes - but the way you hire from the EU is changing. Free movement is ending and the UK is introducing a new points-based immigration system.
From 1 January 2021, if you want to hire anyone from outside the UK you must be a Home Office licenced sponsor. This includes recruiting people from the EU. Anyone coming to the UK to work will need a job offer from a licenced sponsor in advance, and will need to meet certain skills and salary criteria.
You can find out more information about this here.
How can my company continue to move goods between Northern Ireland and Great Britain?
As the Government set out in its Command Paper on 20 May, it is committed to working closely with businesses as it implements the Northern Ireland Protocol. This is reflected in the commitments it has made to: unfettered access to the whole UK market; no tariffs on goods remaining in the UK’s customs territory; Northern Ireland benefiting in full from the UK’s FTAs with third countries; and streamlining the processes under the Protocol to the maximum extent - to ensure there is no new customs infrastructure.
The Government has set up a new Trader Support Service, providing an end-to-end service which will guide traders through all import processes at no additional cost. This is a unique intervention, backed by £200 million in Government funding, ensuring that businesses of all sizes can draw on the support it provides.
My business is primarily based in the EU - what do I need to do?
If you run an EU-based business, you need to check the new rules and prepare for the changes so that you can continue trading with the UK from January 2021.
Rules are changing and there will be border requirements placed on the movement of goods between the EU and UK.
Check the guidance and find help and support here.
I have already carried out some of the actions when you asked me to prepare in the past. Do I have to do them again?
Yes – the Government is updating its guidance on a regular basis. To ensure you know what is changing, go to the UK Transition Hub, use the transition checker and make sure you are registered for updates.