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EU trade rules have now changed. But what does this mean for your business?

The UK has entered into a new trade agreement with the EU. The EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA) has applied since January 1st 2021. This agreement changes the trading relationship with the EU. If you’re not sure about how these changes affect your business, it’s important you find out as quickly as possible . Failure to comply with new regulations and standards could result in your business facing either financial or statutory penalties.

To mark the launch of Growth Platform’s Post-EU Transition Support Service – a new service which aims to provide businesses based in the Liverpool City Region with all the guidance, tools and advice they’ll need to navigate new EU trade rules – we’ve shared some tips below for ensuring your business gets off on the right foot to compliance.

Importing or exporting?

If your business is importing from, or exporting to Europe, then it’s vital that you look carefully at the new trade rules.

As part of the EU, the UK had freedom to move goods between borders with a minimum of administration. However, new trade rules now mean that there is an increase in the administrative burden when moving goods between borders. Considerations include:

  • EORI Numbers (GB/ NI / EU)
  • VAT
  • Rules of Origin
  • Incoterms

Additionally, driver and vehicle permits and documentation will be required for all goods vehicles entering UK ports, even before crossing the border.

Those traders using third party hauliers to move goods into the EU, will also need to ensure that the organisations they are dealing with are fully compliant with the new rules, standards and procedures to minimise the risk of liability to themselves.

These pages will provide you with more information and guidance on the steps you need to take if you’re trading with the EU.

Manufacturing in the UK and selling to the EU

There are many businesses which manufacture goods in the Liverpool City Region and sell them into the EU market. As of January this year, all goods being sold into the EU are subject to rule changes in marking, labelling and the marketing of goods.

One important step regional businesses need to take is to check that the goods they are supplying to the EU market are compliant with relevant EU rules based on the types of goods being supplied. In addition, you may be required to draw up documentation such as the EU declaration of conformity.

Some of the administration can be delegated to an authorised representative, however, it’ll pay to get up to speed with how the particulars of the new rules affect your business’ operations as they can vary from business to business.

Government information for UK manufacturers can be found on the below links:

Recruiting from the EU?

The freedom of movement between the UK and EU has now ended. The UK now has new rules relating to immigration from EU member states. This will impact any business looking to source talent from the EU. Recruits from outside of the UK will need to meet certain requirements and apply for permission to enter the UK first (this currently excludes individuals coming into the UK from Ireland).

Those businesses looking to recruit from the EU will now need to make themselves familiar with new rules covering right to work checks, the EU Settlement Scheme, and the finer details of the UK’s new immigration system.

The Government has provided some useful guidance on recruiting from the EU in the below resources:

Use the free tools, resources and advice available

If you want the peace of mind that your business is fully compliant with new EU trade rules, or aren’t sure where to start, there’s a whole raft of resources, tools and guidance available.

The Growth Platform Post-EU Transition Support Service has a diverse range of general business and sector specific guidance designed to support Liverpool City Region businesses in becoming fully harmonized with EU rules.

In addition, the Government’s EU-Transition pages are also provide resources and guidance. A good start for any business that is unsure of the changes it needs to make to become compliant, is to use the Government’s Brexit Checker tool. This tool asks you a series of questions and then provides you with a detailed list of the areas you may need to consider when it comes to EU trade compliance.

Speak to us

If you want to speak to someone directly, the Post-EU Transition Support Service is also offering Liverpool City Region business free access to its team of EU Transition Advisors. You can book an advice session by emailing:

Ben Flanagan, Export Manager, Growth Platform