Key facts: 

  • Supply chains may be affected by new rules following the end of the transition period.
  • Importing and exporting (consumer) goods, semi-finished products and raw materials requires compliance with new rules and potentially an EU presence.
  • CE marking will become UKCA for the UK market.

Examples include:

Furniture, household appliances, toys, fashion, shoes, food and drink manufacturers, cosmetics, automotive, aerospace, medical devices, medicines, satellite applications and businesses operating within the supply chains of ‘original equipment manufacturers’  (OEMs).

How we buy and sell products, provide services and hire staff from the EU changed after the transition period ended. Businesses are advised to consider their route to market and look at what it means for their margins when they export and import to and from European countries on different terms, and when costs of recruitment will rise.


  • EU nationals currently in the UK can apply for (pre-)Settled Status under the Settlement Scheme.
  • Since 1 January 2021, EU staff that come to the UK to work need to apply under the points-based immigration system, and businesses have to sponsor applicants they want to recruit.


  • Import and export of goods are subject to customs controls and may attract  tariffs.
  • Rules around placing products on the EU and UK markets are different. UK services providers are subject to more local rules in an EU country.


  • Recognition of harmonised goods and rules around importing and using chemicals is different.
  • CE marking will be replaced by a UK Conformity Assessment (UKCA) mark.
  • Conformity assessments and certificates for Europe-bound products will have to be issued by an EU-recognised notified body.
  • Product safety standards and metrology in the UK may also change.
  • The EU’s main chemicals regulation, REACH, has been replaced by UK REACH.

To do




Employing and managing staff

Useful resources to help businesses understand the implications of leaving the EU on employing and managing staff include:

  • Home Office guidance for EU, EEA and Swiss frontier workers who want to continue working in the UK
  • The EU Settlement Scheme enables EU,EEA and Swiss citizens and their family members who live in the UK before the end of the transition period to continue to live, work and study in the UK.

Go to the Government’s checker tool and the EU Readiness Notices for all other questions on EU exit and your sector.

What’s next?

The EU–UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement lays down the final conditions for UK-EU trade in (consumer) goods.


Related Resources