Breaking through Brexit
At Abbey England, we aim to keep our customers as informed as possible of what the Brexit changes will mean for businesses of all sizes.
We will be providing an ongoing roundup of the latest Brexit news, to help us all understand how this will impact our UK and European friends and customers.
(Please note, this article will be updated weekly, or as new information comes to light. We will endeavour to explain how this will affect you!).
(Last updated 11/01/2020)
What we know:
The United Kingdom (UK) successfully secured a ‘deal’ Brexit with the European Union (EU). The new treaty was finally agreed on 24 December, Christmas Eve, and became law in the UK on 30 December 2020.
The UK officially left the EU from the start of last year on 31 January 2020, but this new agreement was concluded just before the UK’s transition period ended at 11pm on 31 December 2020. This marked the final deadline for the UK to reach an agreement with the EU on trade, travel, work and more.
The new ‘deal’ Brexit has ensured that the UK and the EU can continue to trade without extra tariffs and taxes imposed on imported goods, despite the UK leaving the EU's single market and customs union.
Now that it's no longer in the EU, the UK is now able to determine its own trade policy, and is currently negotiating deals with other countries including the US, Australia and New Zealand.
What do we currently know about its business impact?
Over the coming weeks, further updates on the precise details of the agreement will be made available from the UK government. The European Parliament is currently reviewing the 1,246-page agreement document, following the unanimous approval of ambassadors of the deal from the 27 nations and the member states.
However, there will still be some disruption to businesses whilst the changes are put in place. This will particularly result in extra paperwork such as for customs declarations, export health checks, regulatory checks, rules of origin checks and conformity assessments. Some products will also require specific labelling, licences and certificates.
What does this mean?
In the UK:
Although the UK will be delaying making checks for the next six months in order to help businesses get used to the new system, the EU has already been making checks of goods and paperwork from the start of this year.
Businesses are therefore being encouraged to be prepared and fill in new paperwork correctly to prevent backlogs and delays at trade ports. However, regulations for each individual country must be complied with, rather than previously following one set of rules for dealing with the EU.
In Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland:
One of the main concerns about the impact of the Brexit negotiations was the possibility of a ‘hard border’ being created between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland, with checkpoints. However, this has been avoided.
Northern Ireland will remain in the EU single market for goods, and will therefore continue to follow EU customs rules at ports. There will instead be customs checks on goods moving between Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK across a new ‘regulatory border’.
Due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, travel from the UK is not currently permitted to the EU, unless for essential reasons. However, from January, UK nationals will also need a visa if they want to stay in the EU more than 90 days in a 180-day period. The exception to this is travelling to a Schengen area country - guaranteeing unrestricted travel across 26 countries (including most EU nations and Iceland, Norway, Switzerland, and Liechtenstein). At least six months should be left on a passport before travelling, except when visiting Ireland.
The UK and Spain have also agreed for the border between Gibraltar and Spain to remain open, removing controls between Gibraltar and the Schengen area. This will help to prevent queues at the border.
How does this affect you?
Although the EU and UK seem to be aligned for now, there is no guarantee that this will remain so in the future.
- Use the Brexit checker tool for a personalised list of actions to help your business continue to run smoothly.
- If your goods are transferred through Northern Ireland, review the latest Northern Ireland Protocol guidance.
- From 1 January 2021, all parcels must have an invoice attached, marked ‘Delivered at Place’ (DAP). This indicates to the courier that the recipient of the goods is responsible for paying the import tax.
- To ensure tax is calculated correctly, we have changed our invoicing format. Your invoice will now provide the courier with the correct commodity codes and country of origin.
- VAT will no longer be added to orders.
What we need from you:
- To export goods to your country, we need your EORI number. Please provide it to us by email ([email protected]) as soon as possible.
- We will be using our social media channels to share updates, as and when we receive them from our government. Please follow us to ensure you have the most up-to-date information.
Keep checking back for more updates on the impact of Brexit for our customers as we continue to learn more.