Brexit is now effective since the 1st January 2021.
Businesses must take immediate action to make sure that they comply with the new rules and that their strategy is aligned with the UK’s new trade agreements after Brexit.
We will keep this page updated with the latest actionable advice from the UK Government.
Brexit is one of the most significant political events in recent UK history, and it will shape the country’s future for decades to come.
As the UK leaves the EU single market, there will be widespread effects throughout many business sectors, and companies who trade or provide goods, services, and even data between the UK and the EU will be affected.
We summarised the key changes which have come into force since the 1st January 2021 in these topics.
- Brexit EU Deal, explained
- Brexit & VAT
- Brexit & Import/Export
- Brexit & Intellectual Property
For a more in-depth insight into the Key Changes for VAT after Brexit, we recommend downloading our VAT Expert Martin Kaney’s guide through the form below.
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Below is the latest Brexit checklist for businesses.
Read it carefully to make sure you are ready for changing regulations.
Preparing For Brexit
- Make sure that your employees will still be eligible to work in the UK
If you employ any EU citizens with non-UK citizenship, you should make sure they retain their right to work in the UK on 1 January 2021, to avoid potential disruption with their work.
Most of them will be eligible to apply for pre-settled or settled status, which will allow them to remain in the UK and retain their rights after the 1st of January.
- Check the latest Data Protection guidance
The UK is now adopting GDPR as law in its current form, but depending on trade agreements and further amendments, there may be additional steps to take in order to move personal data between the UK and the EU.
We recommend to check the end of transition guide from the Information Commissioner’s Office.
- Check the regulations for UK firms providing services in the EU
From 1 January 2021, UK businesses no longer assume operation under the European Economic Area (EEA) regulations for trading services across borders. There are different rules for each specific country.
If you provide digital services to EU customers, you will not be able use the UK’s VAT Mini One Stop Shop (MOSS) to declare sales after Brexit. You may need to register for VAT MOSS in a EU-member state.
The rest of this checklist applies to businesses moving goods between the UK and the EU.
- Make sure you know how to make custom declarations
From 1 January 2021, you must make custom declarations when moving goods between EU-member States and Great Britain.
The rules are the same that are currently in place for the rest of the world, including Switzerland, Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein.
Customs Freight Simplified Procedures (CFSP) are available for controlled goods subject to excise duty, such as tobacco or alcohol.
You can always outsource custom declarations to an external agent or freight forwarder.
- Check if you need a licence to import or export goods
Depending on the type of goods you are moving, you may need a licence or certificate from 1 January 2021.
These rules usually apply to animal, plants, food and agricultural products – which also require correct labelling – or to drugs, chemicals and waste. Some goods may require you to pay an inspection fee before they are allowed in the UK.
You should check the full guidance on the GOV.UK website for full information on import and export.
- Make sure you have an EORI number starting with GB
From 1 January 2021, you will need an EORI number that starts with GB in order to move goods between Great Britain and other countries, likely including Northern Ireland.
You can apply for a EORI number on the GOV.UK website. It normally takes 5 to 10 minutes to obtain it, you may need your Government Gateway ID and other company information such as your VAT number.
- Check how much you have to pay in tax and duty when importing
The UK Global Tariff will apply to goods imported into the UK, except goods imported from a developing country, or countries that have a separate trade agreement with the UK.
You can check the UK Global tariff for the relevant goods on the GOV.UK website.
- Make sure you are using the correct VAT rate
From 1 January 2021, pay the appropriate VAT rates for all goods imported from EU-member states.
From 1 January 2021 UK businesses will be able to charge customers zero-rate VAT (0%) on most goods exported to the EU.
- Check if you can delay custom declarations to make the import process quicker
You may be allowed to file custom declarations with HMRC up to 6 months after importing the goods, which may make your process more streamlined. Check the details in the guidance from HMRC.
- Ensure that your customers and suppliers are ready
If you trade goods with other businesses in the EU, ensure that they make the appropriate custom declarations and comply with the new rules, in order to avoid disruption in your supply chain.