Brexit: Watching and waiting

At time of writing it seems that the UK will not have a trade deal with the European Union once the transitional exit period expires on December 31.

Businesses therefore still need to plan for either a deal, no deal, or the potential of a further extension of the period, possibly to December 31, 2022.

For businesses involved in trade with EU countries his means keeping a keen eye on government guidance, which currently includes advice on:

  • The need to make customs declarations to move goods in and out of the EU from
    January 1, 2021, obtaining an EORI number and seeking specialist help in dealing with customs
  • How buying things from Europe from January 1, 2021 may affect an individual’s consumer rights and their obligations to pay taxes such as VAT
  • The export of particular products

Should the UK leave the EU without a deal all exports will face EU tariffs and customs checks.

That means that businesses exporting will require production of documents to prove that their consignments comply with the EU’s standards and payment of taxes, which will depend on the classification of the goods.

On the plus side, reduced regulatory requirements may make trade with non-EU countries far more attractive than at present and businesses should be looking to identify new markets.

Talk to your customers, suppliers and your professional advisors and network. Your solicitors will be able to advise and help you review your contracts to incorporate ‘Brexit clauses’ where possible in the best interests of your business.

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