Key facts: 

  • Placing products on the EU and UK markets are subject to new rules following the end of the transition period.

Examples include:

Shops, online sellers, wholesalers, distributors.

How we buy and sell products, 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.


  • Rules on labelling, CE marking, product standards, chemicals, pesticides, testing, cosmetic products, medicines and pharmaceutical products, fireworks, fertilisers, detergents and the EU Ecolabel are different for the EU and the UK markets.
  • UK to EU e-commerce is governed by the rules of the customer’s country.

To do



  • Find out about changes to exporting goods to EU countries.
  • Find out about changes to importing goods from EU countries.
  • Call the UK Export/Import helpline for support: 0300 3301 331.


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.

What’s next?

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

Related Resources