Retail

The transition period has now ended and new rules for business and trade came into force on 1 January 2021.

Key facts: 

  • 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.

Examples include:

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.

People

  • 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.

Trade

  • 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.

Regulation

  • 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.

To do

People

Trade

  • 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.

Regulation

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?

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.

Related Resources

EU Post-Transition Business Resource Hub
Resource
LBH Content

EU Post-Transition Business Resource Hub

Support for firms to prepare for new rules for business and trade.

Employing UK Staff in the EU
Resource
LBH Content

Employing UK Staff in the EU

Advice on employing UK nationals that work in the EU after the transition period.

Glossary of Brexit Terms
Resource
LBH Content

Glossary of Brexit Terms

An overview of common terms to help you prepare for the end of the transition.