HomeInsightsGovernment launches new campaign entitled “Time is running out” to encourage businesses to prepare for the end of the transition period


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The Government is urging business leaders not to get caught out by new rules at the end of the transition period. This follows a direction from the Prime Minister that the whole UK must prepare to leave the EU on “Australia-style terms” based on simple principles of global free trade.

Recognising the impact of coronavirus on businesses’ ability to prepare, the Government has decided to introduce new border controls in three stages up until 1 July 2021.

The Government says that there are basic actions businesses need to take now in order to be prepared for the UK leaving the EU’s Single Market and Customs Union at the end of the year. These actions are required whether the UK ends up with Australian or Canadian-style trading arrangements:

  • if you sell goods to the EU you must prepare for new customs procedures. Visit GOV.UK to check duties and customs procedures for exporting your goods worldwide from 1 January 2021;
  • if you travel to the EU for work purposes you will need to check if you need a visa or work permit and apply if necessary;
  • if you employ overseas nationals you will need to prepare your business for the implementation of the new immigration system. From 1 January 2021, if you want to hire anyone from outside the UK, including from the EU, you must be a Home Office licenced sponsor;
  • if you are a UK business or organisation that receives personal data from contacts in the EEA, you may need to take extra steps to ensure that the data can continue to flow legally at the end of the transition period; and
  • if you provide services in the EU, you must ensure that your qualifications are now recognised by EU regulations to be able to practice or service clients in the EU.

The Government has also launched an online survey tool that businesses can use to get a personalised summary of the actions they need to take: gov.uk/transition. To read the Government’s press release in full and for further information, click here.