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Brexit trade agreement signed and sealed!

5 January 2021
Mark Friend
Brexit, Accounting & Compliance

As expected at the 11th hour a trade deal was struck! The transition period for the UK leaving the EU has now ended.  The trade deal has been ratified by the UK Parliament so from 1 January we are trading with the EU quota and tariff “free”. There are new Customs regulations and VAT requirements, which in the short term is bound to cause some confusion whilst businesses get to grips with the changes. However we expect imports and exports will continue to flow despite all the media scaremongering.

As advisors this will also be a learning curve for us and we catch up with all the VAT changes. Unfortunately we will be unable to assist you with the new Customs regulations but we hope that this article will at least direct you in the right direction!

The full agreement is entitled “trade and cooperation agreement between the European Union and the European atomic energy community, of the one part, and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, of the other part” and can be seen here.

The key points of the agreement are outlined below:

  • Travel – UK nationals will need a visa for stays longer than 90 days in a 180-day period and there will be new procedures for UK travellers at EU borders. European Health Insurance Cards, (EHIC) cards will remain valid until they expire. Mobile roaming charges may change so if you are using your phone abroad check with your plan provider first.
  • Trade – There will be no tariff charges on goods or quota limits on the amount that can be traded from 1 January. However there will be Customs checks at borders and customs declarations will need to be made by exporters from the EU and the UK.
  • Services – UK financial businesses lose their access to EU customers (many larger firms have already established subsidiaries within the EU to continue access) and whilst the UK has granted EU businesses temporary permission to continue servicing UK customers, there is no reciprocal EU agreement for UK businesses as yet.
    We expect regulatory discussions about “equivalence” in 2021 and hopefully, an arrangement whereby UK firms will get access to EU customers.

There is a Government Brexit checker to assist with the planning for business, family, and personal circumstances. Use the Brexit checker to get a personalised list of actions. You can also sign up for emails to get updates for what you need to do.

See: https://www.gov.uk/transition

There are other agreements on fishing, security, the Justice system and study which have been widely commented on in the last few days and it is now a question of moving forward with the agreement and dealing with the new lockdown rules and planning for recovery.

Trade with the EU

 There is a lot of documentation to go through so to help you we provide links to a further five blogs which we hope will make it a little easier to find what you are looking for:

Importing goods from the EU to Great Britain from 1st January 2021.

Importing goods by post

Exporting goods from the Great Britain to the EU from 1st January 2021.

Exporting- getting an EORI number

Customs declarations for goods you bring or receive into the UK

Post Brexit VAT

If you are unclear about the customs regulations we would recommend you direct your queries to HMRC directly. If you have any specific VAT queries then please contact your client manager at Friend & Grant.

The content in this blog is correct as at 05/01/2021. See terms and conditions.

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