Following the signing of the UK – EU Free Trade Agreement, there are new rules for businesses which came into force on 1 January 2021 which require immediate action. Your business needs to act now to comply with these new rules. If you do not take action, there is a risk your business operations will be interrupted. You should use the Brexit checker tool for a personalised list of actions that your business needs to take.

How will the UK Transition affect you?

Businesses that Import and Export goods

As the process for importing and exporting goods will change from 1st January 2021, the government have devised two step-by-step guides to help businesses to prepare for this.

Click here to see what actions you will need to take to import goods from the EU.
Click here to see what actions you will need to take to export goods to the EU.

Travelling to the EU

You may need to do extra things before you travel to an EU country, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein, such as:

Things you may need to do before you go include: checking your passport, ensuring your travel insurance covers your healthcare and checking you have the right driving documents.

If you are a business you may need to make a customs declaration if you take goods with you to sell abroad or use for business.

To read the full guidance on visiting Europe click here.


Business travel: extra requirements

There are extra actions if you’re travelling for business. Business travel includes activities such as travelling for meetings and conferences, providing services (even with a charity), and touring art or music.

You may need a visa, work permit or other documentation if you’re planning to stay for longer than 90 days in a 180-day period, or if you’ll be doing any of the following:

  • transferring from the UK branch of a company to a branch in a different country (‘intra-corporate transfer’), even for a short period of time
  • carrying out contracts to provide a service to a client in another country in which your employer has no presence
  • providing services in another country as a self-employed person

For more information on business travel CLICK HERE

Staying in the UK if you are an EU Citizen

You will need to check if you need to apply to the settlement scheme if you or your family are from the EU, or from Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein.

Use the GOV.UK tool to find out what you need to do to stay in the UK.

Continue living and working in the EU

Living and working in an EU country depends on the rules in that country as you may need to register or apply for residency. You should also check that you’re covered for healthcare and you may also need to exchange your UK driving licence for a licence issued by the EU country where you live.

For official guidance and information on UK nationals moving to or living in a European country click here.

UK Transition Webinars

New rules for exporting goods to Europe from Great Britain

If you export goods from Great Britain to countries in the EU, or move goods between Great Britain and Northern Ireland, there are new customs and tax rules you need to follow.

Trader responsibilities when using an intermediary

This video looks at the benefits of using an intermediary and explains your responsibilities should you decide to use an intermediary to submit import and export declarations on your behalf.

Exporting: what you need to do to keep your goods moving

This video provides an overview of what you need to do now to export goods from Great Britain to the EU and move goods between Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

News Updates

Apply for a grant to help small and medium-sized businesses new to importing or exporting

The SME Brexit Support Fund could give you up to £2,000 to help with training or professional advice, if your business has up to 500 employees and no more than £100 million annual turnover.

Published 15 March 2021

Government focuses on recovery from Covid with new timeline for border control processes on import of goods

A new timetable for introducing import border control processes has been set out by the government to enable UK businesses to focus on their recovery.

Published 11 March 2021

Support for Exporters: Standard Buyer Loan Guarantee

UK Export Finance (UKEF) today launches a new guarantee scheme that will help importers of UK goods and services obtain the financing they need, unlocking trade and boosting exports. The Standard Buyer Loan Guarantee (SBLG) allows UKEF to guarantee a loan of up to 85% of the contract value, with a UK company – typically worth between £1 million to £30 million.

Published  23 February 2021

Help & Support

Stoke-On-Trent & Staffordshire Growth Hub are well positioned to provide tailored support to all businesses, helping them to adapt to the changes Brexit has brought. We have tight connections with a range of organisation such as the Department of International Trade who we can connect you with. We also provide access to a specialist team of advisors including HR, Marketing, Digital, High growth & Recovery, along with access to funding throughout this period and beyond.

The government have set up a Business Support Helpline that can help you identify the actions you need to take regarding trade with the EU. Please call 0800 998 1098


For business queries around the UK Transition and how this will affect international trade, please contact Staffordshire Chamber’s of Commerce International Trade Team on 01782 202222.