There is now less than a month before the end of the transition period; the UK’s withdrawal from the EU following Brexit.
On 1 January 2021 new rules come into effect about how we do business with the EU. Whilst many businesses may be ready, there may be things that have been overlooked and still many who need to put in place systems, processes and procedures so that they can continue to trade and do business.
Understandably the Government is urging all to act now to avoid business operations being interrupted when the transition period ends.
Whilst advice and guidance can be accessed by going to gov.uk/action-2021, the key actions that businesses need to take now to prepare are:
- Check the new rules on importing and exporting goods between the EU and Great Britain from 1 January 2021. Different rules will apply in Northern Ireland. Your business could face delay, disruption or administrative costs if you do not comply with new customs procedures from 1 January 2021.
- If you are planning to recruit from overseas from 1 January 2021, you will need to register as a licensed visa sponsor. You may not be able to legally hire people from outside the UK if you do not have a licence. New employees from outside the UK will also need to meet new job, salary and language requirements. Irish citizens and those eligible under the EU Settlement Scheme are not affected.
- Use Gov.uk to identify changes affecting manufactured goods, such as new marking requirements or approvals needed, to ensure your business is ready to sell them in the UK and EU. You may not be able to sell your goods in the UK and EU from 1 January 2021 unless you act.
- If you are moving goods into, out of, or through Northern Ireland, check the latest guidance. At the end of the transition period, the Northern Ireland Protocol comes into force. There will be special provisions which only apply in Northern Ireland, so if you move goods into, out of, or through Northern Ireland make sure you check the latest guidance at gov.uk/northern-ireland-trade
The Government is providing a range of support, including webinars to guide businesses through the changes. These are available to watch on demand at gov.uk/transition-webinars. Advice is also available through local Growth Hubs, Chambers of Commerce and via a National Helpline on 0800 998 1098.
Further information and guidance is available through a series of special recordings of The Streets Sessions, our new business podcast. We discuss the end of the transition period with the firm’s Head of Indirect Tax, Gerry Myton. The sessions are as follows:
- The end of transition and importing to the UK post 1st Jan 2021
- The end of transition and exporting to the EU post 1st Jan 2021
- The end of transition and trading with Northern Ireland post 1st Jan 2021
- The end of transition and the issues that might rise when the transition period ends with a particular focus on distance selling
The transition period ends on 31 December 2020; the Government advises that there will be no extension. It warns that those businesses that don’t take action or are not prepared are at risk of business interruption.