On 24 December 2020, an agreement was reached between the UK and the EU setting out the UK’s future relationship with the EU. This is the first free trade agreement the EU has ever reached based on zero tariffs and zero quotas.
12 January 2021

Businesses that deal with Europe, who are not ready for these changes, could risk serious disruption.

● Head to GOV.UK/transition now and use the Brexit Checker Tool to get a personalised list of actions for your business.

● While the deal with the EU means zero tariffs and zero quotas, businesses still need to be ready for changes to trade and customs procedures with Europe. For trade with countries outside the EU, check for any changes to tariffs.

● From 1 January 2021, you'll need to make customs declarations when exporting goods to the EU. You can make the declarations yourself, but most businesses use an intermediary like a courier, freight forwarder or customs agent.

New border controls have been introduced in three stages up until 1 July 2021, and agreed with the EU to temporarily simplify Rules of Origin procedures for 12 months to the end of December 2021 by implementing a 12 month waiver on supplier declarations.

● However, you’ll need to take some key actions now, like making sure you have an EORI number starting with GB, checking the new rules for importing and exporting goods and being confident that your goods meet origin rules before claiming preference. If exporting, you’ll also need to check that the EU business you’re exporting to is also ready.

● If you’re due to travel to the EU for work, you may need a visa or work permit.

● If you receive personal data from the EU for business use, you may need to take action on data protection. 

From 1 January, if you want to hire from outside the UK, including from the EU, you must be a Home Office licenced sponsor under the UK’s new points-based immigration system. The new system doesn’t apply when hiring Irish citizens, or EU citizens already living in the UK.

● You may need to have your UK professional qualification officially recognised if you want to work in a regulated profession in the EEA or in Switzerland.

Businesses can find out which rules affect them and get personalised and prioritised actions for their business by using the Brexit Checker Tool at GOV.UK/transition

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