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How to Prepare for Brexit: 6 Areas for Businesses to Consider
As you’ve probably heard, Government officials will be giving 1-to-1 Brexit readiness briefings on our stand at the Advanced Engineering Show on 30 and 31 October.
Based on conversations with ALFED members, the wider business community and the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), the main issues of Brexit confusion for companies are around:
- Importing and exporting
- Employment and travel
- Regulation and compliance
- Personal data use
- Intellectual property
- Access to funding
Here’s some preliminary guidance to help direct your Brexit preparation to-do list and shape the agenda for your 1-to-1 briefing. (You can also use the Government’s Brexit preparation checker tool, which helps identify factors to consider.)
Importing and exporting
To trade with the EU after Brexit, you’ll need a 12-digit EORI number starting with GB. HMRC sent one to all VAT-registered businesses, but it’s worth checking to ensure it’s been received and noted by the right people in your company.
You must also have the right licences and certificates (essential if you import certain classes of goods). Decide whether you will use a customs agent to manage declarations, and plan for transport, VAT and duties.
We recommend watching this HMRC webinar, which covers key import and export topics.
Employment and travel
With freedom of movement ending, you should check staff have the right to work in the UK and travel in the EU countries you do business with. This means reminding employees who are EU nationals to look into the EU Settlement Scheme. And it means checking immigration controls in countries people travel to.
Recognition of professional qualifications will also change after Brexit, so look into the rules for the relevant role and country.
Regulation and compliance
You should consider Brexit implications if you rely on approvals, conformity assessments and quality markings, among other areas.
For example, check your product approvals will still be valid in the EU (the UK will recognise EU ones, but it won’t be mutual). For most products, CE marking will be valid in the UK for a limited time. However, you may need to comply with the new UK Conformity Assessed (UKCA) marking straightaway.
If you deal in construction products, it’s essential you ensure the EU will recognise your third-party conformity assessments. If they’re not held by an EU-recognised body, you won’t be able to sell in member states. Tests held in the UK may not be valid, so prepare now for a new form of marking.
The same goes for UK companies using chemicals, with regards to REACH registration. You may need to open an account on the new UK REACH IT system and register with the HSE to use products from the EU and EEA.
Personal data use
Now that we’ve all recovered from GDPR preparation last year, it’s time to look at personal data again. After Brexit, some companies may not have the right contractual cover to receive personal data from EEA countries.
If you sell someone else’s intellectual property in the EEA, you may require permission to continue after Brexit. (An example would be selling goods with someone else’s trade mark.)
You should also consider your short- and medium-term plans for getting unregistered protection. Before Brexit, you get protection in both the UK and EU when you disclose; after Brexit, you’ll only have protection where it’s first shown.
This video from the UK IPO summarises the situation with unregistered designs. (View videos on how Brexit affects other forms of protection here.)
Access to funding
The Government has guaranteed many different sources of EU funding in the event of a no-deal Brexit. The guarantee covers the project’s lifetime if you’ve successfully bid into EU-funded programmes before the end of 2020. However, it doesn’t automatically cover awards where you’ve bid directly to the European Commission, so check your specific programme.
If you’re a Horizon 2020 grant holder, make sure you register with UK Research & Innovate, which will manage delivery of the Government’s funding guarantee.
Get Brexit planning advice specific to your company
Have a free 1-to-1 Brexit Readiness Briefing with Government officials at the Advanced Engineering Show – and get your questions answered:
No Deal Readiness Report
The content of the No-Deal Brexit Readiness report;
Foreword by the Prime Minister 3
Preface by the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster 5
Executive summary 7
1. Borders 13
A: Flow at the Border – Goods 13
B: Cross-Border Transport Operations 22
C: Import Tariffs 25
D: Export Tariffs 29
2. Citizens 32
A: EU Citizens in the UK 34
B: EU Citizens Coming to the UK after Brexit 37
C: UK Nationals in the EU 40
D: UK Nationals Travelling to the EU (Including for Work or Study Purposes) 45
E: Transport 48
F: Tax and Customs for Parcels Sent from Abroad 51
3. Data Protection 52
4. Energy and Environment 56
A: Civil Nuclear 56
B: Electricity and Gas Interconnectors 59
C: Fuel Supplies 61
D: EU Emission Trading Scheme (EU ETS) and Carbon Emissions Tax 62
E: Environment 65
5. Services 67
A: Service Sectors 67
B: Financial Services 71
C: Legal Services 75
6. Industry 78
A: Manufactured Goods Regulation 78
B: Medical Devices 83
Following the Queen’s Speech, the Environment Bill has been introduced into Parliament
Here is the link to the Bill documents.
The Bill now contains chemicals-related provisions with enabling powers to amend the Articles REACH as it applies in UK law and the REACH Enforcement Regulations. These provisions are clause 122 and Schedule 20 in the Bill. The relevant paragraphs in the Explanatory Notes are 967-969 and 1612-1624, and in the Delegated Powers Memorandum are 511-535.
The REACH Regulation draws a distinction between the Articles and Annexes of the Regulation. As REACH is carried into UK law the Annexes can be amended by the Secretary of State through Statutory Instrument but the Articles cannot generally be amended. However, this risks freezing the UK REACH Regulation in its current form. The power in the Bill will allow the Secretary of State to take further steps where necessary to ensure a smooth transition to a UK chemicals regime following the UK’s exit from the EU. It will also make it possible to keep the legislation up to date and respond to emerging needs or ambitions for the effective management of chemicals.
For example, the Secretary of State may want to amend the detailed operation of the regulatory processes such as evaluation, authorisation and restriction to ensure they remain efficient and effective and respond to the experience of applying them in a UK-only context. The Secretary of State may also want to amend the provisions on independent scientific advice if experience shows that they need to be refined to take account of the fact that they are operate more effectively.
The REACH Exit SI inserted provisions designed to provide a smooth transition into the UK system for existing dutyholders under the EU REACH Regulation. At the same time the policy intention is to preserve the underlying principles of the EU REACH regime, including ensuring a high level of protection of human health and the environment. It is important that it remains possible to amend the transitional provisions to ensure both a smooth transition into the UK REACH system and continued effective management of chemicals for the protection of human health and the environment.
A number of safeguards are included in relation to the exercise of this power. The Secretary of State must publish an explanation of why she considers any amendments to be consistent with Article 1 of REACH (aim and scope). There is also a series of protected provisions which cannot be amended. These relate to the fundamental principles of REACH, the role of the Devolved Administrations, and the transparency of the regime.
The REACH Enforcement Regulations 2008 were made under section 2(2) of the European Communities Act 1972. However, the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018 repeals the European Communities Act. This means that after exit day the only way to amend the Enforcement Regulations will be by providing new powers through primary legislation.
The next stage will be Second Reading in the House of Commons, which is the debate on the main principles of the Bill. We haven’t got a date for that yet but the convention is that there should be a minimum of two weekends between Introduction and 2nd Reading.
Please get in touch with Keith.Bailey@defra.gov.uk if you have further questions.
Edition: Brexit Business Readiness Weekly Bulletin
Issue 35: 3 October 2019
Next week The Department for Business is hosting a series of webinars in partnership with the British Library. Each webinar will have an individual focus and there will be the opportunity to ask questions to the officials in every webinar. These webinars are aimed at businesses, especially smaller businesses, and we encourage you to share details with your networks. Please see webinar details below.
Tuesday 8 October, 11am, Managing Personal Data
In the event the UK leaves the EU without a deal, any organisation that receives personal data from organisations in the EU – including addresses in delivery details, personnel files, and intra-company transfers of customer details – will need to take steps to ensure these transfers can legally continue. Officials from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media, and Sport (DCMS) are hosting a WebEx seminar to talk through steps organisations should take.
Wednesday 9 October, 11am Carbon Pricing RegulationTo help businesses understand how they need to prepare, officials from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), HM Treasury, and HM Revenue & Customs are hosting a WebEx seminar concerning carbon pricing policy in the event of no deal. Topics covered will include the implications for UK businesses of leaving the EU Emissions Trading System, emissions monitoring and reporting requirements in 2019 and 2020, and compliance with the Carbon Emissions Tax.
Thursday 10 October, 11:30am, Employing EU Citizens and Providing Services to the EU
To help businesses understand how they need to prepare, officials from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and the Home Office are hosting a WebEx seminar. The Home Office will be presenting on the EU Settlement Scheme. The presentation will cover background to the Scheme, as well as employers’ rights and obligations. We will also be providing information on the recently announced, European Temporary Leave to Remain scheme. The presentation will also cover information on services to EU based clients or exporting services to the EU. When the UK leaves the EU, UK businesses and professionals will be treated as originating from a ‘third country’ and will not have the same kind of access to EU markets. Investment in EU businesses or the establishment of businesses within the EU will also be affected. At this session we will outline new rules you may need to comply with if the UK leaves the EU without a deal, focusing on:
- Market access (including remote access)
- Recognition of professional qualifications
- Business travel
Friday 11 October, 11am, Importing and Exporting Services to the EU
The presentation will also cover information on services to EU based clients or exporting services to the EU. When the UK leaves the EU, UK businesses and professionals will be treated as originating from a ‘third country’ and will not have the same kind of access to EU markets. Investment in EU businesses or the establishment of businesses within the EU will also be affected. At this session we will outline new rules you may need to comply with if the UK leaves the EU without a deal, focusing on:
- Market access (including remote access)
- Recognition of professional qualifications
- Business travel
EU EXIT: Business Intelligence and Engagement Team
Conference call invitation Friday 4 October 2019 for 13:30: US tariff measures announcement (Airbus WTO Dispute)
The World Trade Organisation (WTO) has released its report on US retaliatory rights in relation to the Airbus dispute.
DIT’s Press Statement can be found here.
Take part in the information session that DIT will be hosting to inform stakeholders who will be affected by or have an interest in this report. This will take place on Friday 4 October 2019 at 13:30. To join the call and receive dial-in details please register here. The conference ID number is 2875695. If you would like to attend in person or have any questions regarding the call please email TradeDisputes@trade.gov.uk.
The UK will leave the EU on 31 October 2019
You are receiving this email from the Department for International Trade (DIT) because we support businesses to trade internationally.
If you are a UK business that imports and/or exports, you will need to act now to prepare for the changes that will affect your trading with Europe and the rest of the world.
Businesses are taking action and by following some simple steps, you can better prepare your business for Brexit.
You should check the latest guidance and steps to:
- Receive goods from the EU
- Export or transport goods from the UK to the EU
- Provide services to the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein
Further information and key actions for UK businesses in a no-deal Brexit:
- Check the status of the trade continuity agreements the UK has with non-EU countries to help you understand how trading may change and enable you to take appropriate action.
- You must register for an Open General Export Licence (OGEL) if you export dual-use (civilian and military) items to EU countries and the Channel Islands.
Further information and key actions for UK importers of goods in a no-deal Brexit:
- You may need to pay different rates of customs duty (tariffs) on imports. These temporary rates would only be in place for up to 12 months.
- See what preferential trade arrangements are in place under the Generalised Scheme of Preferences (GSP) to reduce or remove tariffs on your imports from certain developing countries.
The Government is holding events to help your business get ready for Brexit. Sign up to:
- Brexit Business Readiness Events to help businesses prepare for Brexit.
- DIT tailored Brexit Preparedness Workshops for businesses that export.
- DIT Webinars on 8 October for exporters of goods and services.
- HMRC Webinars for businesses involved in the movement of goods between the EU and the UK.
Keep up-to-date on Brexit and get tailored guidance:
Sign up for alerts (regular Brexit updates) on subjects including the Article 50 process, trade negotiations, and announcements about changes to trading.
EU Exit information and event links
EU Exit Advice for SMEs
EU Exit advice videos on a range of key topics including the UKCA mark, authorised representatives and importer labelling, business legal requirements: cross-border mergers and operating in the UK, business legal requirements: merger review and anti-competitive activity, use of personal data, EORI registration, transitional simplified procedures registration, using a customs agent, exporting, hauliers and business travel.
HMRC webinars with information for businesses importing and exporting between the UK and the EU
Sign-up for Brexit Business Readiness Events, being held across the country
A call for input to inform the UK’s approach to our future trading relationship with Japan
Brexit Business Readiness Forum
BEIS are pleased to confirm that the next Brexit Business Readiness Forum will be held at BEIS in the Conference Centre and broadcast. Please see the below agenda and registration details for the next two forums.
Please see the below registration details for this week’s forum on Thursday 3rd October at 14:45pm. Registration for attending in person and on Webex will close at 23:00 Wednesday 2nd October. Agenda items currently include and update from DExEU, Internal Markets, Energy and Exhaustion of IP Rights.
- If you would like to attend in person, please sign up here. The password is Oktoberfest. Arrivals will be from 14:15pm from the main reception where people will escort you down. Please show an ID and your invitation at the door.
- If you would like to dial in via Webex, please sign up here. The password is Oktoberfest. Webex details will be emailed the morning of Thursday 3rd October. Please note you can only dial in through a computer.
Brexit Business Readiness Weekly Bulletin
Issue 34: 30 September 2019
Welcome to the latest in a series of business readiness bulletins, aimed at keeping trade associations, business representative bodies and business intermediaries up to date on the latest information and guidance for business on the UK exiting the EU. This Bulletin aims to provide you and your networks with important information from Government and rally businesses to get ready for Brexit.
Brexit Business Readiness Events
As part of its new ‘Get ready for Brexit’ campaign, the Government is running a series of free business readiness events across the UK.
These free events will offer businesses help and advice on how to prepare for Brexit, enabling them to meet with government advisors to discuss what they need to do, understand what’s changing in their industry, and get information on specific rules and regulations. Each event will feature interactive support and advice stands and in-depth sessions led by subject matter experts. They will encourage businesses to use the new checker tool to quickly identify what they need to do to ‘Get ready for Brexit’.
More than 800 businesses have already attended and last week 85% of attendees left feeling better prepared for Brexit. The next locations are:
- Southampton – Monday 20 September
- Brighton – Tuesday 1 October
- Hull – Thursday 3 October
- Plymouth – Thursday 3 October
- Leeds – Friday 4 October
- Derry/Londonderry – Monday 7 October
- Cambridge – Monday 7 October
- Belfast – Tuesday 8 October
- Ipswich – Tuesday 8 October
- Newcastle – Wednesday 9 October
- Carlisle – Friday 11 October
- Cardiff – Monday 14 October
- Liverpool – Monday 14 October
- Bristol – Tuesday 15 October
- Wrexham – Tuesday 15 October
Please share this with your members and to find out more and book, visit Brexit Business Readiness Events.
Brexit Business Readiness Forum
Our next forum will be on Thursday 3rd October, further details have been sent to relevant organisations under a separate cover.
We would really like to hear of any particular topics you would find useful for our upcoming forums. Please share your thoughts with us via firstname.lastname@example.org.
British Library Webinars
We are working with the British Library to produce a series of webinars to help businesses prepare for Brexit. The next webinar will be next Wednesday 9th October at 11am covering carbon pricing policy in the event of no deal. Topics covered will include the implications for UK businesses of leaving the EU Emissions Trading System, emissions monitoring and reporting requirements in 2019 and 2020, and compliance with the Carbon Emissions Tax. There will be the opportunity to ask questions.
All details can be found here and the link will be live from 10:30pm on Wednesday 9th October. More webinars will be confirmed in due course.
On Monday 16 September, HMRC launched the EU Exit Import and Export Trader Helpline for traders and hauliers importing from / exporting to the EU after October 31.
The helpline number is 0300 3301 331. Lines will be open from 8am to 6pm Monday to Friday. Please make your members and stakeholders aware of this support line.
Border Delivery Group Webinars
Get Ready for Brexit! If you are an EU based business trading goods to or via the UK, please sign up to a webinar led by the UK Government Border Delivery Group to receive guidance and information on the steps you may need to take before 31 October.
To avoid disruption following the UK’s exit from the EU, traders, customs agents, hauliers and other intermediaries must take action and have the right paperwork in place to enable their goods to pass through controls at the UK and EU borders. The UK Government Border Delivery Group (BDG) is arranging a series of webinars targeted at EU businesses which will help to provide clarity on what is expected of them, their clients and their supply chain as they look to trade goods across the border.
Please note that attendance at each event will be capped. We invite you to register for these webinars via the Eventbrite link.
Supply Chain Engagement
As part of efforts to prepare SMEs for the 31 October, BEIS is offering to co-host workshops with companies with large supply chains on preparing for Brexit. We are particularly interested in reaching out to SMEs within supply chains who may not have otherwise undertaken the necessary preparations. This can include face-to-face events, webinars or other ways to effectively engage supply chains.
Should you be interested in co-hosting a supply chain engagement with BEIS, please email email@example.com for more information. For trade associations, as appropriate, please make your members with large supply chains aware of this initiative.
NEW – Office for Product Safety and Standards have produced detailed guides for businesses on specific product safety and metrology regulations in a no deal Brexit. UK product safety and metrology in a no deal Brexit
Cabinet Office have produced information for public authorities, businesses and other organisations on the outcome for public procurement policy in a no deal Brexit scenario. Update – section on what will change for businesses. Public-sector procurement after a no deal Brexit
NEW – Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency have provided guidance which clarifies the expectations on the application of the EU guidance on good pharmacovigilance practices (GVP) in a no deal Brexit. Exceptions and modifications to the EU guidance on good pharmacovigilance practices that will apply in a no deal Brexit.
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy with the IPO have produced guidance about changes to Supplementary Protection Certificates (SPCs) and patent law in the event of no deal from the European Union. Update – Changes to SPC and patent law in the event of Brexit without a withdrawal agreement. Changes to SPC and patent law in the event of Brexit without a withdrawal agreement
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy have produced guidance about what UK audit firms, UK auditors, and those with UK audit qualifications need to do. Update – Increased visibility of calls to action. Removed information about what EEA auditors and audit firms need to do after Brexit. This information has been moved to a new guide. Auditing for UK auditors and audit firms operating in the EEA after Brexit
Importing and Exporting
NEW – Department for Transport have provided a summary of the driver, vehicle, cargo and customs documents required to transport goods into the EU after Brexit. Hauliers and commercial drivers: you will need new documents to transport goods into the EU after Brexit.
NEW – Guidance has been published on the process for freight roll-on, roll-off (RORO) imports and exports between the UK and the EU for a no deal Brexit (excluding Northern Ireland). How to move goods through RORO locations in a no deal Brexit: EU to UK and UK to EU.
HMRC have produced guidance about simplified customs processes for UK businesses trading with the EU in a no-deal Brexit. Update – Information about moving goods with an ATA Carnet through the ports of Holyhead and Dover and Eurotunnel has been added. Using customs procedures in a no-deal Brexit
HMRC have produced guidance to find out what grants you can apply for to get funding for training and IT improvements if your business completes customs declarations. Update – Information about how to treat the grants for tax has been added. Apply for grants if your business completes customs declarations
Food and Drink
DEFRA have produced guidance on how rules for producing, processing, labelling and trading organic food will change if there’s a no deal Brexit. Update – Explained users might need to contact export control bodies in countries they’re importing from, and if any rules change following a no deal Brexit they will be published in this guide. Trading and labelling organic food after Brexit
GOV.UK has an online checker tool to help businesses prepare for the UK leaving the EU. Businesses can use the Checker Tool to find out:
- What their business may need to do to prepare for the UK leaving the EU
- What’s changing in their sector
- Information on specific rules and regulations
Businesses will need to answer 7 simple questions to get guidance relevant to their business.
Get Ready for Brexit Videos
Government has produced 11 ‘how to prepare for Brexit videos’ aimed at business. The topics they cover are:
- the UKCA mark,
- authorised representatives and importer labelling,
- business legal requirements: cross-border mergers and operating in the UK,
- business legal requirements: merger review and anti-competitive activity,
- use of personal data,
- EORI registration,
- transitional simplified procedures registration,
- using a customs agent,
- hauliers and
- business travel.
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy – Sector Primers
These sector primers bring together on one webpage the top 3 – 5 issues for each sector and provide guidance. The primers link through to more detailed material elsewhere on GOV.UK. Please could you pass on to your members and networks. The sectors covered are:
- Construction and Housing
- Consumer Goods
- Electricity incl. Renewables
- Electronics, Machinery & Parts
- Gas Markets
- Life Sciences Sector
- Mining and Non-metal Manufacturing
- Nuclear Sector
- Oil and Gas Production
- Parcel Delivery Services
- Professional & Business Services
- Research & Innovation
- Space Sector
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs – Sector Primers
Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS)
DCMS have issued new guidance on what to expect on day one of a ‘no deal’ scenario if you’re a creative business, small arts organisation or sports organisation that currently travels only to the EU, such as:
- touring professional choir
- touring chamber orchestra
- touring string quartet
- small touring ballet company
- small touring theatre company
- school football team
- amateur sports team
- pop or rock band
Ministry of Defence (MOD)
The defence sector and preparing for Brexit
There may be changes that affect businesses, if the UK leaves the EU without a deal. Please see details from the defence sector and preparing for Brexit here.
EU EXIT: Business Intelligence and Engagement Team
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy