Brexit: new rules are here

Changes for businesses and citizens

Check what you need to do differently if you’re:

Prepare to import goods from the EU to Great Britain from 1 January 2021

The process for importing goods from the EU will change. Businesses in Great Britain need to complete the following actions to continue importing from EU countries from 1 January 2021.

From 1 January 2021, you’ll need to make customs declarations when you import goods from the EU. These rules currently apply to importing goods from the rest of the world, including Switzerland, Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein.

You can make the declarations yourself or hire someone else such as a courier, freight forwarder or customs agent.

From 1 January 2021, you’ll need to make customs declarations when you import goods from the EU.

In some situations, you can delay making a declaration for up to 6 months after you imported the goods.

Prepare to export goods from the EU to Great Britain from 1 January 2021

The process for exporting goods to the EU will change. Businesses in Great Britain need to complete the following actions to continue exporting to EU countries from 1 January 2021.

From 1 January 2021, you’ll need to make customs declarations when exporting goods to the EU. These rules currently apply to exporting goods to the rest of the world, including Switzerland, Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein.

You can make the declarations yourself or hire someone else such as a courier, freight forwarder or customs agent.

From 1 January 2021, you can charge customers VAT at 0% (known as ‘zero rate’) on most goods you export to the EU.

  • The EU business importing your goods will also need to prepare for 1 January 2021.

    Before sending the business your goods, check they can make the necessary import customs declarations. They’ll also need a licence or certificate to import some types of goods.

£20 million SME Brexit Support Fund opens for applications

The SME Brexit Support Fund could give you up to £2,000 to help with training or professional advice, if your business has up to 500 employees and no more than £100 million annual turnover.

Smaller businesses can apply for grants of up to £2,000 to help them adapt to new customs and tax rules when trading with the EU.

The £20 million SME Brexit Support Fund enables traders to access practical support, including training for new customs, rules of origin and VAT processes.

Small and medium sized businesses that trade solely with the EU – and are therefore new to importing and exporting processes – are encouraged to apply for the grants.

This follows the government setting out a new timetable for introducing import border control processes to enable UK businesses to focus on their recovery. Full import border control processes will now be introduced on 1 January 2022, six months later than originally planned.

What you’ll be able to use the grant for

You can use the grant for training on:

  • how to complete customs declarations
  • how to manage customs processes and use customs software and systems
  • specific import and export related aspects including VAT, excise and rules of origin

It can be used to help you get professional advice so your business can meet its customs, excise, import VAT or safety and security declaration requirements.

Who will be able to apply

Your business must:

  • be established in the UK
  • have been established in the UK for at least 12 months before submitting the application, or currently hold Authorised Economic Operator status
  • not have previously failed to meet its tax or customs obligations
  • have no more than 500 employees
  • have no more than £100 million turnover
  • import or export goods between Great Britain and the EU, or moves goods between Great Britain and Northern Ireland

Your business must also either:

  • complete (or intend to complete) import or export declarations internally for its own goods
  • use someone else to complete import or export declarations but requires additional capability internally to effectively import or export (such as advice on rules of origin or advice on dealing with a supply chain)

Small and medium-sized enterprises toolkit– trading with the EU and Northern Ireland

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy has produced a toolkit for small and medium-sized enterprises to help them identify the decisions and actions they need to make to continue trading with the EU and the European Free Trade Association (EFTA).

The document provides an overview of actions to take outlines support, helplines and resources that may be useful for SMEs and signposts to more detailed guidance on government websites.

Toolkit: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1MrffHqFVG_8OOnvSwkQ3VRHQHuIaumF9/view?usp=sharing

Keep your business moving

Doing business with Europe has changed. You need to follow new rules on exports, imports, tariffs, data and hiring. Watch the video to find out what the new rules mean for your business. You can also use the Brexit checker to get a personalised list of actions.

If your business falls under any of these sectors, click to see the changes that are happening