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Doing business with the EU in post-Brexit times

Even though the trade agreement with the EU allows for continued free movement of most goods from 1 January 2021, importers and exporters trading with the EU have been warned to expect a significant increase in red tape. Changes in regulations are summarised below but affected businesses are recommended to seek professional advice in order to ensure continued safe passage of imports and exports of goods.

Transport of goods

Hauliers moving goods across the Channel in either direction will need to ensure that drivers carry any required international road haulage permits, operator’s licenses or other travel documents.

Additionally, HGVs of over 7.5 tonnes travelling from the UK from the Port of Dover or Eurotunnel will need to carry a valid Kent Access Permit (KAP). Without a KAP, travel will not be permitted, and hauliers may be fined.

Transport firms are urged to consult with their professional organisations to ensure they are compliant with the new regulations before shipping goods.

Importers and Exporters of goods

Although the movement of goods will continue to be tariff free in most circumstances, importers and exporters will be required to comply with a raft of new regulations. Some, but not all, are listed below:

  • You will need an EORI number to move goods into and out of the EU.
  • Deal with customs declarations.
  • Comply with any new requirements for the movement of specific goods.
  • Check the rates of taxes and duties you may be required to pay.
  • Check if the EU business you are importing from is compliant with their regulations.

Unless your business has a qualified customs person on staff to deal with these requirements you may be advised to seek out the services of a qualified customs agent.

Miscellaneous concerns

Additionally, exporters will need to ensure that their hauliers have all the necessary documentation and permits in place; otherwise, shipments may be delayed.

If you want to work in a regulated profession in the EU, you will need to get your professional qualification recognised.

If you employ EU nationals, you may be advised to encourage them to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme.

Further action

We advise that all businesses that continue to trade with EU organisations seek appropriate advice about changes in regulations and key points to consider when trading with the EU to ensure they continue to be fully compliant and to minimise any disruption to their activities.

Andrew Picker



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