The transition period has now ended and new rules for business and trade came into force on 1 January 2021.
- Placing products on the EU and UK markets will be subject to new rules after the transition period ends.
- The new terms of access to the UK and EU markets are being negotiated.
- EU and UK product standards may start to differ and UK conformity assessments may not be valid automatically in the EU.
Shops, online sellers, wholesalers, distributors.
How we buy and sell products, and hire staff from the EU, will change after the transition period ends. 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.
- After the transition period ends, EU staff that come to the UK to work, will need to apply under the points-based immigration system, and businesses have to sponsor applicants they want to recruit.
- Import and export of goods will be subject to customs controls and may attract tariffs.
- Rules around placing products on the EU and UK markets will be different.
- Rules on labelling, CE marking, product standards, chemicals, pesticides, testing, cosmetic products, medicines and pharmaceutical products, fireworks, fertilisers, detergents and the EU Ecolabel will become different for the EU and the UK markets.
- UK to EU e-commerce will be governed by the rules of the customer’s country.
- The legal basis for acquiring and monitoring personal data from EU customers may become a problem after the transition period ends.
- Support and encourage current EU staff to apply for pre-Settled Status or Settled Status under the EU Settlement Scheme to ensure that they maintain their right to work. Check out the EU Settlement Scheme Employer Toolkit.
- Read about the details of the new points-based immigration system.
- Find out what exporting goods to EU countries will mean after the transition period ends.
- Find out what importing goods from EU countries will mean after the transition period ends.
- Call the UK Export/Import helpline for support: 0300 3301 331.
- Find out how to comply with UK product safety standards and metrology when importing goods.
- Check labelling requirements for footwear and textiles.
- Understand changes to your VAT obligations and read specific guidance on VAT on goods.
- You may also want to read the EU Readiness Notices on e-commerce, chemicals, plant protection products, biocidal products, cosmetic products, fertilisers, detergents, EU food law, organic products and consumer rights.
- Check the ICO website on complying with GDPR.
- Go to the Government’s checker tool and the EU Readiness Notices for more information on EU exit and the retail sector.
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.
Trade under EU rules will continue as normal until the transition period ends. A new trade agreement will lay down the final conditions for UK-EU trade in (consumer) goods. This may include some degree of alignment of standards.
Disclaimer At the time of writing, the transition period ends on 31 December 2020, and the changes outlined in this fact sheet will occur from 1 January 2021. If that date slips, the changes will still happen, but at a later date. For latest updates go to www.gov.uk/transition.
EU Post-Transition Business Resource Hub
Support for firms to prepare for new rules for business and trade.
Employing UK Staff in the EU
Advice on employing UK nationals that work in the EU after the transition period.