The UK is leaving the EU single market and customs union and the end of the transition period will happen on 1 January 2021. Therefore businesses which import and export with EU countries need to start preparing themselves. We will gather information relevant to our industry on this page with links to government advice and we would urge you to bookmark this page and check it regularly.
- The transition period – UK Government hub
- Information on how the border will work after 1 January 2021.
- Use this checker tool to work out what your business needs to do to get ready for 1 January 2021.
- Find Government webinars to help businesses prepare.
- Help & support if your business trades with the EU
- Importing goods – a step-by-step guide to check what you need to do.
- Importing animals, animal products and high-risk food and feed not of animal origin from a non-EU country, from 1 January 2021. What businesses need to do to import animals, animal products, high-risk food and feed into the UK from 1 January 2021. Find out more here.
- Importing live aquatic animals. Find out more here.
- Importing plants and plant products from 1 January 2021. How to trade in plants and plant products, including trees, inside and outside the EU from 1 January 2021. Find out more here.
- UK Plant Passport requirements – information sheet, templates, Plant Health Portal.
- Trading & moving CITES species (eg corals). Find out more here.
- Designated land, sea and air ports for trading or moving CITES-listed endangered animals, plants, or their parts and derivatives from 1 January 2021. Find them all here.
- UK Border Control Posts: contact details.
- List of controlled goods that require a custom declaration.
- Find UK approved customs agents and fast parcel operators
- Apply for grants if your business completes customs declarations.
- Watch this video to help you prepare to import from the EU.
- Exporting goods – a step-by-step guide to check what you need to do.
- Export licences. Find out more here.
- Read Defra advice on what you need to do to export plants to the EU.
- Watch this Government video to help you prepare to export to the EU.
- Register for webinars if you export live animals to the EU
The new UK domestic regime will cover most goods currently subject to the EU’s CE marking. The technical requirements for these goods will be the same on 1 January 2021 as they are now. However, there will be certain changes, including the introduction of the UKCA marking and a system of third-party conformity assessment by UK-recognised approved bodies, in place of the current EU system of notified bodies. Manufacturers need to be aware of the ‘standstill period’ which for most CE marked goods will last from 1 January 2021 to 31 December 2021. During this time businesses are encouraged to be ready for full implementation of the new UK regime as soon as possible after 1 January 2021. However, to allow businesses time to adjust, CE marked goods in scope of this guidance that meet EU requirements (where these match UK requirements) can continue to be placed on the GB market until 1 January 2022 where EU and UK requirements remain the same. This includes goods which have been assessed by an EU recognised notified body. These transitional measures will only apply until 1 January 2022. From this point the UKCA mark will be required to be displayed on products, where the CE mark is currently used, to show compliance to the UK domestic regime. To ease the burden on businesses, until 1 January 2023 for most UKCA marked goods you have the option to affix the UKCA marking on a label affixed to the product or on an accompanying document. The economic operators (whether manufacturer, importer, or distributor) should take reasonable steps to ensure the UKCA marking remains in place. From 1 January 2023, the UKCA marking must, in most cases, be affixed directly to the product. You should start building this into your design process ready for this date.
- Conformity assessment bodies: change of status from 1 January 2021
- Using the UKCA mark from 1 January 2021
- Placing manufactured goods on the EU market from 1 January 2021
- Placing manufactured goods on the market in Great Britain from 1 January 2021
The Northern Ireland Protocol will take effect from 1 January 2021 and means there are different rules. So if you provide goods to Northern Ireland from Great Britain you need to get ready for these different process.
- Moving goods from Northern Ireland to Great Britain should take place as it does now – there will be no additional process, paperwork, or restrictions on Northern Ireland goods moving to Great Britain, delivering unfettered access.
- Changes for goods moving from Great Britain to Northern Ireland will be kept to an absolute minimum – with a new Trader Support Service, available to all traders at no cost, to be established to provide wraparound support, alongside guidance on the processes for food and agricultural products designed to uphold the longstanding status of the island of Ireland as a single epidemiological unit.
- Trade in goods between Northern Ireland and Ireland, and between Northern Ireland and EU Member States, will continue unaffected, with no change at the border, no new paperwork, and no tariffs or regulatory checks.
- For trade with the rest of the world, Northern Ireland will benefit from UK Free Trade Agreements – ensuring the benefits of those agreements are felt right across the United Kingdom.
Employing people from the EU
Information for EU businesses which trade with the UK
The UK Government has produced this website to help EU businesses get ready to continue to trade with UK businesses after 1 January 2021. Please share with any EU businesses you do business with to help them.
At the end of the transition period, the eCommerce Directive will no longer apply to the UK. You should begin to prepare for these changes now. Rules relating to online activities in European Economic Area (EEA) countries may newly apply to UK online service providers who operate in the EEA from 1 January 2021. The eCommerce Directive currently allows EEA online service providers to operate in any EEA country, while only following relevant rules in the country in which they are established. This framework will no longer apply to UK providers as the UK will have left the EEA. This is likely to affect you if you sell online.
Personal data is any information that can be used to identify a living person, including names, delivery details, IP addresses, or HR data such as payroll details. Most organisations use personal data in their daily operations. So if a UK company receives customer information from an EU company, such as names and addresses, to provide goods or services you need to make sure you are up to date on the changes.
Using your mobile in the EU
Surcharge-free roaming when you travel to EU and EEA countries will no longer be guaranteed from 1 January 2021. This would include employees of UK companies travelling in the EU for business.