Brexit Trade Agreement

The transition period for the UK leaving the EU has ended. The EU and UK have struck a trade deal, and this 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 to get to grips with, but we have every confidence once we get used to the new systems, imports and exports will continue to flow.

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.

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.


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 we will keep you informed of the practical measures that follow.



Changes to sales of goods to the EU from 1 July 2021

With effect from 1 July 2021, the VAT treatment will change for goods imported into the EU and Northern Ireland where the consignment value is below €150. From that date, the seller will be required to charge and account for VAT based on the country in which the customer belongs. That means that VAT will be chargeable at 21% for sales to Belgium, 25% for sales to Denmark, 20% for sales to France, and so on.

To save a business having to register in each EU state to which they make sales, there will be a new opt-in Import One Stop Shop (IOSS) which will allow monthly reporting and payment of the VAT. This will usually need to be done via an EU intermediary and Bevan VAT are currently working on being able to offer this service.

For more information contact Hilary at Bevan VAT Consultancy on

For sales made via online market places (OMPs), the VAT and IOSS return will usually be dealt with by the OMP.


Exporting – Getting an EORI number

From 1 January 2021 you need an EORI number to move goods between the UK and the EU.

You can apply for your EORI number in advance. It can take up to a week to get one.

You will 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.

Download the factsheet here


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

From 1 January 2021, you will need to make customs declarations when exporting goods to the EU. These rules currently apply to exporting goods to the rest of the world, including Switzerland, Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein.

You can make the declarations yourself or hire someone else such as a courier, freight forwarder or customs agent.

Download the factsheet here


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

The process for importing goods from the EU has changed. Businesses in Great Britain need to complete the following actions to continue importing from EU countries from 1 January 2021.

Download the factsheet here


Customs declarations for goods you bring or receive into the UK

From 1 January 2021, if you are a UK-based business bringing or receiving goods from the EU, you must complete an import declaration to get your goods through customs.

You can do this yourself, but as completing a customs declaration can be complicated and you will need compatible software to do it, many smaller and medium sized importers typically use a specialist. Please see our guide entitled “Importing goods from the EU to Great Britain from 1 January 2021” if you are thinking of this approach.

Download the factsheet here


Importing goods by post (From the EU into Great Britain) from 1 January 2021

The Government has issued guidance on importing goods from the EU to Great Britain from 1 January 2021.

Download the factsheet here


Government Guidance

As might be expected, the Government has provided guidance and information on its website including an interactive tool  which could help you identify the areas where you may need to take action before transition. If you have any links at all to the EU, EEA or Northern Ireland, we suggest you undertake this helpful check to identify areas for further action.


Free Government Webinars

To support business preparations the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy has added free webinars to its website to help you check the new rules and understand the actions to take.

The webinars are useful and cover sectors that may be particularly affected by Brexit, including.

  • Chemicals
  • Manufactured Goods,
  • Services and Investment
  • Retail
  • Automotive
  • Materials and Other Materials
  • Electronics and Machinery
  • Consumer Goods
  • Life Sciences
  • Construction
  • Aerospace
  • Holders or users of Intellectual Property.

You can click on a sector or topic and watch the on-demand webinars which will provide information on key actions for businesses to take.


Please note that whilst the above is accurate as of the date of publication the situation is very fluid and changes will inevitably occur. We advise that you consult with the government’s official guidance for the latest available information.

Every effort will be made to update the following information as new announcements are made and the situation evolves. However, please visit the relevant information sources provided to check the most current information before taking any action as a result of the information provided.

The information which is summarised herein does not constitute professional advice and is general in nature.

Please contact our team for further detail of how these initiatives could help you and your business.



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