Brexit Deal: Summary & guidance

Posted on: Thursday 21 January 2021 | IAB UK

Explore the business support available post-Brexit and review the Government’s six-point checklist for companies that trade with the EU

The UK-EU Trade and Cooperation Agreement was published on Christmas Eve 2020, passed through the UK Parliament on 30 December and came into force at the end of the year.  EU leaders are now set to consider the full deal and give their approval – allowing the European Parliament to give its overall approval for full application – before 28 February 2021. 

The Government’s summary of the deal can be viewed here, and the EU’s explainer guide on the new relationship is available here

The question of the UK’s data adequacy and its impact on data transfers from the EU/EEA to the UK has been a particularly key issue for IAB UK members, and we have provided a separate update on the interim arrangements

The Government has urged businesses who have not yet taken steps to prepare for the UK’s trade deal with the EU to act now and follow a checklist of six key actions:

  1. Goods: If you import or export goods to the EU, you must get an EORI number, make customs declarations or employ an agent to do them for you, check if your goods require extra papers (like plant or animal products) and speak to the EU business you’re trading with to make sure they’re completing the right EU paperwork. There are also special rules that apply to Northern Ireland. Hauliers must obtain a Kent Access Permit and have a negative COVID-19 test before they head to port in Kent

  2. Services: If you deliver services to the EU, you must check whether your professional qualification is recognised by the appropriate EU regulator

  3. People: If you need to hire skilled staff from the EU, you must apply to become a licensed sponsor

  4. Travel: If you need to travel to the EU for business, you must check whether you need a visa or work permit

  5. Data: If your goods are protected by Intellectual Property (IP), you will need to check the new rules for parallel exporting IP protected goods from the UK to the EU, Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein. You risk infringing on IP rights if you do not follow the new rules

  6. Accounting & reporting: If your business has a presence in the EU you may need to change how you undertake accounting and reporting to ensure compliance with the relevant requirements

More detailed advice is available through the Government’s checker tool.

The Government is also launching a series of advice videos - on subjects ranging from trade to data, to helping companies understand the new rules. These will be on-demand and available here.

There is new guidance that businesses will need to familiarise themselves with around things like tariffs and audit and accounting. The Government’s Business Support Helpline (0800 098 1098) is a free service operating across England, which can provide information on a wide range of business issues from starting up, business continuity, growth and access to finance - including the range of business support available from Government. Similar services are available in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales.

The Confederation of British Industry (CBI) has also created a Transition Hub, which is a useful tool for more specific issues.

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