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Preparing your business for Brexit

The Transition Period

The UK left the EU on the 31 January 2020. There is now a transition period, until the end of 2020, while the UK and EU negotiate additional arrangements. The UK could still leave without a trade deal at the end of a transition period.

The current rules on trade, travel, and business for the UK and EU will continue to apply during the transition period.

New rules will take effect on 1 January 2021. 

Your business can take some actions now to prepare for 2021. To find the latest guidance and information on what you can do now, please go to

You can also sign up to receive email alerts about the Transition Period on GOV.UK: Transition Period E-mail Alerts  

EU Settlement Scheme: Introduction for Employers

thumbnail_EU_Settlement_Scheme_introduction_for_employers.pdfLearn about how you as an employer can support EU citizens and non-EU citizen family members apply to the EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS): 

Further information on local support available to help apply to the scheme can be found on our EU Settlement Scheme page.


No relaxation of border checks 

The government has confirmed plans to introduce import controls on EU goods at the border after the transition period ends on 31 December 2020. 

In the Brexit uncertainty of 2019, HMRC announced a series of relaxations in border controls and VAT payments to help ease the burden for businesses trading with the EU. However, it has been announced that these will now be withdrawn. With the end of the transition period set for 31 December 2020, the government believes businesses will have time to prepare.

Businesses will now need to prepare for EU trade on the same terms as the rest of the world. This will mean border controls, import & export declarations and the payment of VAT and duty. 

From 1 January 2021 you will need to make customs declarations to move goods into and out of the EU. You should:

Government grants are available to support Customs training and HMRC has extended the deadline for businesses to apply to 31 January 2021. 

Business Readiness

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy publishes a business readiness bulletin providing important information to help businesses prepare for the end of the transition period:


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