Brexit: business toolkit
Britain has left the European Union and new rules apply for businesses and citizens from 1 January 2021. Business-wise, it’s vital that you are aware of these changes. This applies to all businesses, not just those that export or import goods to or from the EU. We’re keeping this page regularly updated for our Sandwell businesses.
This page was last reviewed on Friday 5 March 2021.
COMING SOON: The SME Brexit Support Fund could give you up to £2,000 to help with training or professional advice, if your business has up to 500 employees and no more than £100 million annual turnover. Applications are not yet open. Keep an eye on this page for more information and updates.
The UK government’s website includes a number of useful tools, including an interactive checklist where you can answer questions about your particular circumstances and generate a personalised list of suggested actions. There are also straightforward explanations of changes relating to importing, exporting, travel, living and working in the EU, and about staying in the UK if you are an EU citizen.
There are also online services to find commodity codes for products – one for goods being imported into the UK and one for exporting. There is also a regularly updated list of existing UK trade agreements with non-EU countries.
You can stay up to date with the latest developments by signing up to receive a weekly email bulletin from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.
Local Government Association
The LGA has compiled a selection of Brexit transition actions for business, including a number of sector-specific actions for the aerospace, automotive, chemicals, construction, consumer goods, electronics and machinery, life sciences, metals and minerals, professional business services and retail sectors.
West Midlands Growth Hubs
The Growth Hubs in the West Midlands have come together to establish a single point of information for Brexit and EU business support in the region.
Black Country Growth Hub
The Black Country Growth Hub has a Brexit page with links to a variety of resources. These include a checklist for businesses and a case study detailing how security systems firm KeyTracker, based on Station Road in Rowley Regis, prepared.
Black Country Chamber of Commerce
The Chamber of Commerce offers a range of services to its members to help make international trade as smooth as possible, such as translation services, export documentation services and currency exchange advice. Visit the website for more information. You can also watch short Brexit support videos on YouTube.
As well as localised Black Country Chamber resources, the national British Chambers of Commerce website has a Trade Hub with information and links, including a wealth of research and analysis on how Brexit is expected to affect British business.
There is also ChamberCustoms, a customs advisory, training and brokerage service delivered through the Chambers of Commerce across the UK. Find out more about the service on the website.
Federation of Small Business
The FSB has a Transition Hub designed to help small businesses and self-employed people understand and adapt to the new trading arrangements.
This accounting, consulting and technology firm have set up a Brexit hub with links to a range of clear, practical articles written by their experts. Topics include VAT implications for professional services firms, accounting for import VAT and the EU settlement scheme.
If you’re thinking of hiring people from the EU in 2021, the new points-based immigration system includes job, salary and language requirements. You may also need to register as a licensed visa sponsor. Read more on this website.
If you are an EU, EEA or Swiss citizen, you and your family can apply to the EU Settlement Scheme to continue living in the UK after 30 June 2021. You can also apply if you’re the family member of an eligible person of Northern Ireland. Read more on this website.
Citizen’s Advice also offers advice and information about staying in the UK if you are from the EU.
Rules of Origin: Could you trade tariff-free?
Rules of Origin concerns where a product was manufactured and determines the ‘economic nationality’ of a good for international trade. If your produce meets the relevant Rules of Origin, you can trade with the EU without paying tariffs. To confirm the requirements for your goods, and to find out more about the support available:
- Check for details on how to claim preferential (zero) tariffs, and see the documentation you’ll need to complete.
- Read the full guidance on meeting Rules of Origin when trading with the EU.
- Check the TCA legal text to see which rules apply to your goods (Chapter 2 as well as Annexes ORIG-1 to ORIG-4 will be most useful).
Wood packaging materials (WPM)
Businesses that import or export any goods using WPM (pallets, boxes, crates), or supply WPM to businesses, now need to meet ISPM15 international standards. Without this, businesses will not be able to move these goods between the UK and the EU. Read the government’s guidance page for more details.
There are special provisions which only apply in Northern Ireland, so if you move good into, out of or through Northern Ireland, make sure you read up on the UK Trader Scheme and check the latest guidance.
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