Government Guidance on Brexit
The Government has updated its guidance on the new rules that apply to travel and doing business with Europe. Clearly there are problems with the administration just now and we will keep you up to date of any issues as they arise.
You can check using the website below on what you need to do differently if you are:
- importing goods from the EU
- exporting goods to the EU
- moving goods to or from Northern Ireland
- providing services to EU countries
- travelling to the EU
- living and working in the EU
- staying in the UK if you are an EU citizen
Selling Services to the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein
The UK-EU Trade and Cooperation Agreement ensures that UK firms in a variety of service sectors can continue to access the EU market, including as business travellers and cross-border services suppliers or investors, while being treated no less favourably than either EU businesses or competitors from third countries.
While the Agreement sets out expectations of the treatment and level of access to each Party’s domestic market, there will still be some changes for business as a result of no longer operating under European Economic Area (EEA) regulation covering cross-border trade in services. These changes are different for each sector and differ in each member state of the EU.
For Government guidance for UK businesses on rules for selling services see: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/providing-services-to-any-country-in-the-eu-iceland-liechtenstein-norway-or-switzerland-after-eu-exit
There are country guides and Information for UK businesses providing services and travelling for business to countries in the EEA and Switzerland: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/providing-services-to-eea-and-efta-countries-after-eu-exit
How this affects your business will depend on several factors, including the nature of your business and where your customers are located. Data sharing with the EEA is one of the key areas to consider.
The Government has legislated so that UK firms can continue to lawfully send personal data from the UK to the EEA and 13 other countries that the EU has deemed to provide an adequate level of protection of personal data. They have also announced that the UK-EU Trade and Cooperation Agreement provides for the continued free flow of personal data from the EU and EEA to the UK until adequacy decisions are adopted, for no longer than 6 months.
The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) states that the agreement between the UK and the EU enables businesses and public bodies across all sectors to continue to freely receive data from the EU (and EEA). However, as a sensible precaution, the ICO recommends that businesses work with EU and EEA organisations who transfer personal data to them, to put in place alternative transfer mechanisms to safeguard against any interruption to the free flow of EU to UK personal data.
This means that businesses and organisations can be confident in the free flow of personal data from 1 January, without having to make any changes to their data protection practices.
The new rules will take some time to “bed in” and we will keep you updated on practical actions to take and as new rules or agreements are made between the UK and the EU.
If you have been trading internationally you should already have an Economic Operator Registration and Identification (EORI) number.
You would not usually need an EORI number if you only:
- provide services
- move goods between Northern Ireland and Ireland
- If you use a post or parcel company they will tell you if you need an EORI number.
From 1 January 2021 you need an EORI number that starts with GB to move goods to or from the UK. Check your EORI number. Apply for a new one if yours does not start with GB. If you do not yet have one, you can register for free by going to www.gov.uk/eori
To apply you may need your:
- VAT number and effective date of registration – these are on your VAT registration certificate
- National Insurance number – if you’re an individual or a sole trader
- Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR)
- Business start date and Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) code – these are in the Companies House register
- Government Gateway user ID and password
If you need a Government Gateway user ID, use either:
- the one for your business or organisation
- your own if you’re applying as an individual
If you do not already have a user ID, you’ll be able to create one when you apply.