Business Readiness Bulletin - Brexit: New rules are here - 18 January 2021

Please see the latest Business Readiness updates below.


Act now to keep your business moving in 2021
Business Minister, Paul Scully MP, has urged businesses who have not yet taken steps to prepare for the UK’s new start since we left the EU’s Customs Union and single Market, to take action now. In his message to business, the Minister highlights six key actions that many firms need to take. They are:

  1. Goods - if you import or export goods to the EU, you must get an EORI number, make customs declarations or employ an agent to do them for you, check if your goods require extra papers (like plant or animal products) and speak to the EU business you’re trading with to make sure they’re completing the right EU paperwork. There are also special rules that apply to Northern Ireland. Hauliers must obtain a Kent Access Permit and have a negative COVID test before they head to port in Kent
  2. Services - if you deliver services to the EU, you must check whether your professional qualification is recognised by the appropriate EU regulator
  3. People - if you need to hire skilled staff from the EU, you must apply to become a licensed sponsor
  4. Travel - if you need to travel to the EU for business, you must check whether you need a visa or work permit
  5. Data - if your goods are protected by Intellectual Property (IP), you will need to check the new rules for parallel exporting IP protected goods from the UK to the EU, Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein. You risk infringing on IP rights if you do not follow the new rules
  6. Accounting and reporting - if your business has a presence in the EU you may need to change how you undertake accounting and reporting to ensure compliance with the relevant requirements

These 6 key actions should act as a guide for every business affected by the new rules, with more detailed, personalised advice available through the checker tool on gov.uk/transition. For more information, click here. To access the Brexit checker tool, click here.

New: How to keep your business moving - on-demand videos launched
To further support firms, the Business Department has launched a series of new, on demand videos, to help businesses familiarise themselves with the new rules. Topics include importing and exporting, trade, Rules of Origin, tariffs, data, and audit and accounting.

Businesses can select which videos to view from the list or can choose their sector and see videos that are recommended for them. To view the new videos, click here.

UPDATED: UK trade agreements with non-EU countries: An up-to-date list of the UK’s trade agreements with non-EU countries is available here. The latest addition is the full ratification of the UK-Andean agreement with Peru.
UPDATED: Trading with Singapore: Guidance on trading with Singapore, from 1 January 2021, has been updated with the latest business advice. For more information, click here.

Importing and Exporting
NEW: Trade with the UK tool: This tool provides information for international businesses exporting goods into the UK, covering taxes, tariffs, commodity codes and regulations. It also provides information for goods going into Northern Ireland.

NEW: The Check How to Export Goods tool, provides information for UK exporters about duties, rules of origin and customs procedures for over 160 markets around the world. It also provides detailed information about the UK border.

UPDATED: Reporting EU sales made on or before 31 December 2020 for VAT: Guidance has been updated to refer to EC Sales Lists for sales made on or before 31 December 2020. Businesses have until 21 January 2021 to submit EC Sales Lists made on or before 31 December 2020. For more information, click here.

UPDATED: How to import and export goods between Great Britain and the EU: Information for traders has been updated following the end of the Brexit transition period. Updated guidance includes ‘How to import goods into Great Britain from EU countries’ and ‘How to export goods from Great Britain into EU countries’. For more information, click here.

UPDATED: List of customs agents and fast parcel operators: To find customs agents and fast parcel operators who can help you to submit a customs declaration, click here.

Moving goods
NEW: Tell HMRC that you are going to be attending an inland border facility: Use this service, if you are a haulier, freight forwarder or driver, to tell HMRC, in advance, that you are attending an inland border facility. For more information, click here.

UPDATED: Moving qualifying goods from Northern Ireland to the rest of the UK: Guidance has been updated with information about what to do for goods that started their journey in the EU, and were declared for export in an EU country, leaving Northern Ireland. For more information, click here.

UPDATED: Carrying out international road haulage: Guidance has been added in order to help you ‘make sure you’re ready to import and export’. For more information, click here.

UPDATED: Moving goods through the Port of Holyhead: Guidance has been updated with information about transporting live animals under an ATA Carnet. For more information, click here.

Northern Ireland
UPDATED: Using CHIEF for declaring goods into or out of Northern Ireland: Guidance has been updated with information about when HMRC will tell users they must stop using CHIEF. For more information, click here.

Intellectual Property
UPDATED: Intellectual Property after 1 January 2021: Key information for customers and users of IP about how the IP system and the Intellectual Property Office will operate after the end of the transition period has been updated. Guidance on Parallel trade between the UK and the EEA has been updated. For more information, click here.
UPDATED: Address for service for intellectual property rights from 1 January 2021: The rules governing address for service for intellectual property rights in the UK have changed. Guidance has been updated with information about bulk change of address service. For more information, click here.

Sector specific guidance

Life Sciences
UPDATED: Exporting active substances manufactured in Great Britain, for use in EEA and Northern Ireland:
 The Register of Written Confirmations for UK active substance manufacturers has been updated. For more information, click here.

Food and Drink
UPDATED: Nutrition legislation information sources:
 Information to help food businesses comply with nutrition legislation has been updated. For more information, click here.

UPDATED: Importing or moving live animals, animal products and high-risk food and feed not of animal origin: Information has been added to the guidance on health certificate requirements for equines. For more information, click here.

UPDATED: Exporting livestock and poultry: Guidance has been updated with new information about the process for returning livestock and poultry rejected from EU border control points or NI points of entry. For more information, click here.


  • Webinars for businesses that trade with the EU: Click here to view a list of webinars you can sign up to watch live or on demand.
  • The Department for  International Trade are hosting a webinar on trading with the EU and Rest of World on Wednesday 20 January at 3.30pm. The webinar will cover the UK’s Global Tariff for imports, Trade Agreements, UK’s Generalised Scheme of Preferences, Government Procurement Agreement, Exports of duel use items from GB to EU and Trade Remedies. For more information and to register, click here.
  • HMRC customs declarations webinars: HMRC have launched multiple editions of this live webinar, covering how to complete customs import declarations and explaining how to make import declarations when importing goods between the EU and Great Britain. To register and find a date, click here.
  • HMRC webinars: Get help on UK transition with online webinars from HMRC on:
    • Importing: staged controls and how to prepare to use them
    • Exporting: actions you need to take to prepare for 1 January 2021

To register, and for more information, click here.

  • HSE and the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) will host a webinar on Wednesday 20 January at 10am, covering the actions businesses need to take now independent GB chemical regimes are in place. To register, and for more information, click here.

Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy 

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