Now that the UK has officially left the EU and we have entered the transition period, what has changed for businesses? And what should you be doing now to prepare your business for the new trading relationship with the EU from 2021?
Here are the key dates you need to know in the EU Exit timeline:
- 31 January 2020: EU exit day.
The UK officially left the EU and entered the transition period. Trade talks can begin within weeks.
- 31 December 2020: End of the transition period.
This is the deadline for UK and EU negotiators to agree a new deal.
- January 2021: New trading relationship begins.
If a new trade deal has been agreed and ratified, the UK starts its new trading relationship with the EU. If a new trade deal has not been agreed and ratified, the UK will trade on World Trade Organization (WTO) terms with the EU until a deal can be agreed.
During the transition period
The important thing to remember is that during the transition period the UK will still follow EU rules and regulations so not much will change for businesses.
The UK will remain in the single market, so importing and exporting systems and process will remain as they are. The same goes for the movement of people (immigration within the EU), data sharing regulations and employing EU nationals.
During the transition period, the UK can also negotiate trade agreements with non-EU countries like the USA and Australia.
How to get your business ready for 2021
Although little has changed for businesses so far, it’s important that businesses prepare for the changes that are to come at the end of the transition period.
The Government has provided an online tool which helps businesses to prepare. It includes guidance on the following topics, amongst others:
- Guidance on changes to food labelling requirements
- Information on licenses and permits for hauliers
- Approvals for businesses that sell vehicles or vehicle parts in the UK and the EU
- Details of systems that you will need to register with if you buy chemicals from the EU
You can access the online transition check tool here.
Where to access support to prepare your business
The North East Growth Hub’s EU Exit toolkit brings together advice, insights from experts and tools to help businesses in the North East prepare.
Access the free EU Exit toolkit here.