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BREXIT: Business Secretary urges businesses to prepare for the end of the transition period

Published on: 08 December 2020

brexit business sec

With just weeks left before the end of the Brexit transition period, the Business Secretary is urging all businesses to prepare for January 2021.

Boris Johnson and the EU have set a Sunday (13 December) deadline for a “firm decision” on the fate of their future-relationship negotiations after three hours of “frank” talks in Brussels ended in deadlock. 

Issues remain over level playing fields and fisheries, but the UK and EU have now reached an agreement on how rules in the withdrawal agreement will be implemented, particularly in relation to Northern Ireland. 

The UK Government says an agreement has been found for issues including border control and the supply of medicine. However, our members should note that the negotiations to reach a post-Brexit trade deal are still ongoing. 

Regardless of your business size, you will need to comply with new rules from 1 January. 

To find out what you need to do, business should:

There will be changes to:

  • the way you import and export goods;
  • the process for hiring people from the EU;
  • the way you provide services in EU markets.

This week the UK Government has also published specific guidance for businesses providing services to the EU. This has been broken down with tailored advice now available for each country. 

Importing and exporting

In addition, the UK has now signed the UK-North Macedonia agreement and further information about this agreement can be found on the GOV.UK website.

New guidance is now available on the Trader Support Service and when you can account for import VAT on your VAT return. 

Updates to sector guidance

Guidance has been updated for UK businesses on trading in services with Ireland from 1 January 2021. This guidance sets out how professional qualifications will be recognised and what the requirements will be. 

Information has been published on design standards after the transition period; with all harmonised standards that give a presumption of conformity to EU law becoming designated standards. Businesses will be able to use these designated standards to provide presumption of conformity with GB law. 

Further detail on the import and export of waste and details of future government webinars have similarly been published. These webinars focus on exporting, making customs declarations and future GB-EU border formalities. 

Further information on these updates can be found on the British Marine microsite. 

Members can also email Brexit related enquiries to