EU Trade Hub

Despite Brexit, the European Union (EU) remains the UK’s primary trading partner. However, in line with the UK-EU Trade Cooperation Agreement, which came into effect on 1 January 2021, there are a number of changes to the way in which UK business now trade with EU counterparts. This resource will help your business navigate the new rules and regulations. 

Information and Resources

Employing staff

It is advisable to start considering your skills and hiring needs, and preparing for the steps you will need to take to hire people from outside the UK if necessary.

A new UK immigration system will be introduced from 1 January 2021. All EU and non-EU citizens who wish to work in the UK from this date will need to apply under the new points-based system. Check this Government information for further details. 

If you currently employ an EU, EEA or Swiss citizen, they must apply before 30 June 2021 for settled status in order to continue living in the UK. Application details are available here.

LCCI members can access free advice from an immigration expert through our ChamberConnect: Ask the Expert service.

Business Travel

Travelling to the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein will be affected after the transition period ends. The Government’s business travel guidance page outlines key factors to consider ahead of travel scheduled on or after 1 January 2021.

It is also advisable to check the following guidance to prepare for expected changes:

-Passport rules
-Advice on air, rail and sea travel
-General travel advice, including healthcare, roaming and insurance
-Driving in the EU

Exporting

For exporting to the EU after 1 January 2021, check this step-by-step guide. For exporting to non-EU countries it is advisable to check this country-by-country guide to find out how exporting goods and services might change as the UK negotiates new and continuity trade agreements.

Certificates of origin may be required for exported goods. Suppliers should consider whether customers need proof of where content is sourced, and businesses buying from suppliers should also review where materials are sourced.

LCCI is the largest issuer of export documents in the UK, providing a range of international business paperwork, including certificates of origin. Click here to find out how we can help you.

Businesses should also check if permission is required to export intellectual property protected products from the UK to the EU after the transition period ends.

Detailed advice on paperwork, costs and logistics is available further below.

Importing

From 1 January 2021, there will be standard rules for bringing goods into the UK from EU and non-EU countries.

In addition to acquiring an EORI number (see below), businesses will need to declare imports to customs and pay VAT and duty as appropriate.  An import license or other form of authorisation may be required for goods such as medicines and animal products. Check this Government guidance for more details.

This step-by-step guide will help you prepare for importing from the EU.  

Businesses that import goods regularly may benefit from a duty deferment account. This allows for a single monthly payment to be made through Direct Debit, instead of paying for individual consignments. To find out how to set up a duty deferment account, check this Government advice.

Detailed advice on paperwork, costs and logistics is available further below.

To learn more about the customs regulations in the European Union member states, please click the links below:

Get in Touch

We know that navigating the new rules can be complicated. LCCI Members can submit their queries below and a member on the team will be in touch: 

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Additional resources

You may find these guides and videos on customs, rules of origin and tariffs helpful. This content was published in October 2019 and members should contact the EU Trade Helpdesk for updated information.