On the 31st January 2020 the UK left the European Union. This brought the UK in to an 11 month transitional period where much of the rules and regulations on trading with the EU remained mostly unchanged. Several days before the end of this transitional period, the months of negotiations came to an end when the two parties finally agreed to a trade deal.
This deal, known as EU-UK Trade and Co-operation agreement, came in to effect on the 1st January 2021 following the end of the transitional period. The deal, which guides the way for zero tariffs and zero quotas on goods moved between the UK and EU, also contains provisions on the supply of border services.
The zero tariffs and quotas, although very welcome, will now require UK businesses who trade with the EU to follow new rules and procedures when it comes to sending and receiving goods.
UK businesses received large volumes of information throughout 2020 from the Government, with warning that change is coming and action will need to be taken. Included in this communication was information on preparing for change on the importation and exportation of goods with the EU.
The agreement still allows UK businesses to access the EU market for services they supply. However, there will be changes for many businesses, some of which may have been seen from the 1st January, and businesses should take in to consideration the changes in business regulations as well as travelling in to and out of the EU.
There is further information on the Government website regarding selling services to the EU, and it is necessary for a business to check the regulations of the country they are doing business in to best understand how to operate.
Businesses who have not yet prepared are urged to do so now, and can refer to the Government guidance on Brexit – Importation and Exportation.
There is much information being rolled out by the UK Government to help businesses in understanding what Brexit means for them. Included in this is the online Brexit Checker designed for both individuals and businesses to answer a series of questions to find information on the changes which are relevant to them.
The UK will face many changes over the course of Brexit, and so it is important for all businesses small and large to be aware and understand how these changes will affect them.