Following the UK’s decision to leave the EU, the UK currently faces the following alternative options:
1. The agreement and ratification of a withdrawal deal and a departure date of 31 October 2019 or earlier (followed by a period of transition).
2. Leaving the EU without a deal from 31 October 2019.
Businesses are therefore encouraged to continue to prepare for a ‘no-deal’ Brexit.
Do you import and / or export? HMRC has recommended three steps to prepare for a no-deal Brexit:
Register for an EORI number to continue exporting and/or importing within the EU
Appoint a customs agent (or make other customs arrangements)
Register for new Transitional Simplified Procedures (TSP), which allow businesses to import without having to make a full customs declaration at the border
Please note that if you have an EORI number that does not start with GB, you need to get one now if you’re going to trade goods into or out of the UK after the UK leaves the EU.
Government advice and guidance
The government has created an online tool for businesses to find the latest information on EU Exit, how you will be affected, and the actions you can take to prepare. New information will be published over the coming weeks so sign up to receive customised alerts or check in on a regular basis.
The government has also set out information to assist businesses preparing for a no-deal Brexit through:
A series of technical notices providing guidance on how to prepare for a no-deal Brexit.
A partnership pack to help with preparing for changes at the UK border after a no-deal Brexit.
A newly published leaflet is designed to help small businesses with their preparations for the UK leaving the EU. It offers suggested actions for small and medium-sized businesses on a range of topics like importing and exporting, data, goods and other topics. It also suggests further sources of support.
Sector specific advice
The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) has published sector guidance for businesses setting out how to prepare for EU Exit. Follow the links for: automotive, aerospace, construction, oil and gas production, retail, consumer goods, space, life sciences, professional and business services, science, research and innovation, chemicals, electronics, machinery and parts, steel and other metal manufacturing, non metal manufacturing, electricity sector and gas markets.
Sector guidance from other departments includes: health and care; food and drink, arts, museums and libraries, creative, cultural and sports, farming, fisheries; veterinary services; exporting of horses and ponies and exporting of active substances.
The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) has published guidance on several key areas affecting businesses. Follow these links for support on: food labelling, exporting animals, animal products, fish and fishery products, importing animals, animal products, high-risk food and feed to the UK, exporting and importing fish, transporting endangered species, working with chemicals, pesticides, importing and exporting plants and trading timber.
Exporting and Importing goods and services
The Border Delivery Group and HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) have published a series of short videos to help businesses prepare for changes at the UK/EU border in a no-deal scenario. The videos are all available here. HMRC have also published step-by-step guides to exporting and importing.
If the UK leaves the EU with no deal, you may need to pay different rates of customs duty on imports. The Department for International Trade has published details of the UK's temporary tariff (the rate of custom's duty that is paid) regime in the event of a no-deal.
The UK has signed continuity trade agreements with some non-EU countries so that trade can continue with minimal disruption after the UK leaves the EU. There is also guidance that sets out the status of the agreements that many not be in place when the UK leaves the EU.
If the UK leaves the EU with no deal, the UK will no longer operate under the European Economic Area (EEA) regulations for the cross-border trade in services. The Government has issued guidance on the potential legal, regulatory and administrative implications which includes guides to the rules in individual EEA and EFTA countries.
Transporting goods across the EU
If you drive for work in the EU, the Department for Transport has published guidance and specific guides for bus and coach drivers, lorry and goods vehicle drivers, and trailer registration. There is also BEIS guidance on parcel delivery services. Other information can be found at Transport – EU Exit guidance.
Climate change requirements
Guidance on meeting climate change requirements includes climate change regulations; emissions trading; energy using products; ecodesign and energy labelling.
Advice for employers
The Home Office has an employer toolkit which equips employers with the tools and information to support EU citizens and their families to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme. They also have guidance for EU, EEA and Swiss citizens who wish to stay in the UK for more than 3 months and on how professions and services will be regulated in the event of a no-deal Brexit.
The Department of Education has published advice for higher education institutions and further education institutions and apprenticeship providers on how to prepare for Brexit.
Guidance is available from the Food Standards Agency (FSA) on health and identification marks, importing high-risk food and animal feed and GM food or feed or animal feed additives. For more information visit the FSA’s Brexit business guidance.
The Intellectual Property Office has published a guide which offers information on the future of intellectual property (IP) laws following the decision that the UK will leave the EU. This includes copyright business guidance and trade mark business guidance.
Medicines and Healthcare products
The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency has published a series of guidance documents covering their proposed arrangements for the regulation of medicines, medical devices and clinical trials. The Department of Health and Social Care has issued guidance to businesses supplying medicines and medical devices on what to expect on day one of a 'no deal' scenario as well as a letter outlined how they plan to ensure a continuity of supplies.
Guidance and information for the health and care sector has been collated by the Department of Health and Social Care.
If you would like to keep up-to-date on what new government guidance has been published or what existing guidance that has been updated, you can go to Find EU Exit guidance for your business.
Advice and support available from other agencies
The Federation of Small Businesses' (FSB) Small Business Brexit pack provides information and advice on how small businesses can prepare for the different Brexit scenarios.
The Institute of Directors’ (IoD) Navigating Brexit hub has news, fact sheets and blogs providing updates and expert analysis, as well as details of the IoD’s programme of Brexit events and webinars.
You can go to the ICAEW’s Brexit Hub, to view their Brexit checklist as well as a range of information and advice.
The NFU have a Brexit Toolbox and Newsletter for members as well as a range of news and information for non-members.
The Agriculture and Development Food Board (ADHB) also has information and advice for farmers including a Brexit impact calculator, a resilience checklist and a Brexit toolkit.
CIPD has a Brexit HR Hub which provides news and updated resources to support employers to plan for Brexit.
8.00-10.00am, Thursday 12 September 2019 at Hauser Forum, 3 Charles Babbage Road, Cambridge CB3 0GT
Are you concerned about recruitment and retention of your employees as a result of Brexit? Julie Moktadir of Stone King LLP will lead this Cambridge Network session to provide you with a useful oversight of likely changes and help you consider a strategy to deal with them.
The Department for International Trade (DIT) has a range of upcoming webinars where businesses can:
- receive help and advice to sell overseas with confidence
- gain new skills and knowledge
- discover solutions to specific challenges to exporting
- get your exporting questions answered by the experts
1 August 2019: Navigating Latin America and the Caribbean
14 August 2019: Grow your Global Following using Twitter
14 August 2019 15:00 pm: Uruguay as a business gateway for LATAM
22 August 2019 15:00 pm: Learn about new opportunities for UK companies in Cuba
You can also find out about DIT opportunities to attend 121 advice sessions, trade missions, training and workshops including:
Meet the expert: Food & Drink Germany:, 31 July 2019, book a free online 30 minute 1:1 meeting with a DIT food and drink specialist from Germany.
Craft Beer Export Meet-up: Buyers, Digital and Branding, 31st July 2019, BrewBoard, B3 Button End, Harston, Cambridge CB22 7GX.
Low Carbon Vehicle and Connected and Automated Mobility event, 4-5 September 2019, Bedford.
YOU CAN: Do Business in Germany - Focus on North Rhine Westphalia, 16 October 2019, Trinity Centre, Cambridge Science Park.
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