Brexit – Are you ready?


With just over a month to go until the end of the transition period we have been getting many questions about what is needed to be done to prepare for the new rules from 1 January 2021.  The UK government has been sending out emails and reminders for businesses and there is a useful tool on the website –


For businesses, the government’s guide is also a helpful checklist – Prepare.


It is important that you allocate some time over the next few weeks in order to understand the changes in areas that will affect you and your business.


Whether you are exporting or importing, labelling goods, travelling overseas, employing individuals from the EU, there will be changes to prepare for, a few of which are highlighted below:


  • EU Trading – The rules for importing and exporting to the EU will change after the transition period. Even if zero tariffs and zero quotas are agreed, UK businesses will still need to complete customs documentation, and importers may need to pay customs duties and VAT. Businesses importing from or exporting to the EU should implement changes to their processes and systems well in advance.
  • Your EU customers and suppliers may have different interpretations of the rules following the end of the transition period.  Avoid any misunderstandings by clarifying processes and responsibilities now.
  • Of interest to many businesses will be the ability to zero-rate goods exported to countries in the EU, as long as you meet certain conditions relating to evidence of supply and time limits.
  • You’ll need a UK EORI (Economic Operator Registration and Identification) 12-digit number that starts with ‘GB’ to continue to move goods in or out of the UK. HMRC has already issued EORI numbers to VAT-registered businesses.  If you are not VAT-registered you will need to apply for an EORI number, which can be done online.
  • The additional administration burden of doing things such as changing contract terms and customs documentation may mean you need more resource, at additional cost.  Or, there may be higher tariffs on imports and exports, in the event of a no-deal Brexit.  These costs should be factored into budgets and cash flow forecasts.
  • Customs checks at border inspection posts will be needed after the transition period for certain goods including food and drink products, animals and animal products.  Take account of the additional costs and delays this will entail.
  • Recruitment from outside of the UK will need to meet new job requirements in some cases.  Businesses may need a licence to do this.


These are just a few considerations; there are many others which affect every business in different ways.  Please make use of all of the information available from the government.


We have seen that HMRC are running a series of live webinars in the coming days – you may be interested in registering for one of these which you can do here – Please register.


Please get in touch if you have any questions.


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