02 Sep
Brexit guide for businesses January 2021

Brexit: How to get ready for the end of the transition period? Guide for businesses

Brexit: Hoy to get ready for the end of the transition period? European Commission has launched a Business Guide.

The United Kingdom (UK) left the European Union (EU) on 31 January 2020. Officially, the UK is no longer an EU country and does not take part in EU decision-making.

The EU and the UK have a Withdrawal Agreement that allows for a transition period until 31 December 2020.

During the transition period, rules and procedures for customs and taxation stay the same as before. However, this will change from 1 January 2021.

Once the transition period ends, there will be major changes in taxation and customs for companies doing business with the UK

Brexit will affect your company if:

it sells goods or supplies services to the UK
it buys goods or receives services from the UK
it moves goods through the UK
it uses UK materials and goods to trade under preferential schemes with EU partner countries.

This means, for example:

  • You will need to file customs declarations when importing or exporting any goods to/from the UK or when moving your goods through the UK.
  • In addition to the customs declaration, you may need to provide security and safety data.
  • You will need a special licence to import or export certain goods (e.g. waste, certain hazardous chemicals, GMOs).
  • You will need to comply with additional formalities if importing or exporting excise goods (alcohol, tobacco, or fuel) to/from the UK.
  • You will generally have to account for VAT in the EU country where you import goods from the UK. You will be exempt from VAT in the EU on any goods that you export to the UK, but you will then need to comply with any VAT rules for imports in the UK.
  • You will have to comply with different VAT rules and procedures for transactions with the UK than for transactions within the EU.

If there is no EU-UK Agreement

The changes may be even more substantial if there is no EU-UK Agreement by the end of the transition period. In this case, in addition to the formalities above:

You will also have to pay customs duties on goods that you bring into the EU from the UK.

You may be affected by quotas for certain goods entering the EU from the UK.

Additionally, you should be aware that if you are using any UK materials or processes, these will not be considered as ‘originating’ under existing EU preferential schemes anymore.

The sooner you start to get ready for these changes, the lower the risk that your business will face major disruption after the transition period.


The checklist provides some practical steps you should take to get ready:

  • TALK to your business partners. The end of the transition period might also impact your supply chain, so you need to be aware of what it means for your suppliers, intermediaries, or transporters, too.
  • CONTACT your local authorities and advice centres to get full details and explanations on what you need to do to be ready for the end of the transition period. The contact details for each Member State can be found below
  • CONSULT the ‘readiness notices’ on a wide range of topics, to help businesses get ready for the full impact of Brexit.
  • ACT now! Do not wait until the end of the transition period to think about how you need to adapt. Some of the processes and procedures you need to follow take time, so you should start as soon as possible to avoid unnecessary difficulties for your business.

Click here to access the Guide for businesses

By: Estela Martín

Linkedin TopVoices España 2020. DirCom & RSC en ...


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