Brexit & Your Business

Brexit & Your Business: Key actions you need to take 

To help make sense of the new changes to EU trading, we have read the extensive Government documentation and compiled a list of four key areas which we believe are most relevant to the businesses in the Norwich BID area. These takeaways will require immediate or imminent action, but do not represent an exhaustive list, as we know all businesses have different needs. Please use the Brexit Checker for a full list of actions to take.

For a short presentation from the Government on key transition actions, follow this link.

For sector specific guidance from the Government, follow this link.

You can read the full Trade and Cooperation Agreement here.

Employees & Free Movement

Leaving the EU means the end of free movement. This results in a number of changes regarding working regulations for staff from the EU, or UK residents working in the EU, even if only for short periods.

EU Settlement Scheme
If you have current staff who are EU, EEA or Swiss citizens, they must apply via the EU Settlement Scheme to continue living in the UK after 30 June 2021. They can apply on the Government website.

Sponsor License
If you will be hiring people from the EU or EEA in future, who have not already successfully applied for the EU Settlement Scheme, you will need a sponsor license. You can apply for this on the Home Office website.

UK Citizens Working in the EU
If your staff work in the EU, even if for a short period, they may need a Visa or Work Permit. You can find full details on Visas and Work Permits here.
You can find full guidance on selling services in the EU & EEA here.

UK Professional Qualifications
UK Professional Qualifications may no longer be recognised in the EU. You’ll need to have your UK professional qualification officially recognised if you want to work in a profession that is regulated in the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein, even if you’re providing temporary or occasional professional services.
Find out more on the Government website.


Customs Declarations

If you import or export goods from the EU, EEA or Switzerland, you will need to ensure you have all the correct documentation, including commodity codes. Different rules apply in Northern Ireland, as The Northern Ireland Protocol has come into force, so if you move goods into, out of, or through Northern Ireland, you must check the latest guidance – sign up for the Trader Support Service for more advice.

 If you import or export goods, you will also need an EORI number. Visit the Government website for full details on the Trade Tariff. 

Commodity Codes for Imports & Exports
You will now need a commodity code for customs declarations when you bring goods in or send goods out of the UK. This includes goods sent to you from abroad. Use the Tariff code tool on the Government website to find the right code.

Import Goods into the UK 
Find out how to bring goods into the UK from any country, including how much tax and duty you will need to pay and whether you need to get a licence or certificate. Find out more here.

Import VAT
If you import goods into the UK from the EU, you may need to pay import VAT. Import VAT will not be due at the border if goods in a consignment are worth less than £135, unless the consignment includes excise goods. You can find out more on the Government website.

You will also need to decide how to account for Import VAT. You may be able to declare and recover import VAT on the same VAT return, rather than having to pay it upfront and recover it later. Find out more.

Preferential Rates of Duty
Depending on the goods, and the point of import or export, you may be able to reduce the duties on your goods. This is through a preference agreement, or the Generalised Scheme of Preference. Check if you can claim a preferential rate of duty. 

The SME Brexit Support Fund
A new grant is available to help small and medium-sized businesses to get professional advice so your business can meet its customs, excise, import VAT or safety and security declaration requirements. You could received 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. Read more. 

Product Markings

If you sell products in Great Britain, Northern Ireland, or the EU, you may need to update your product markings, labelling, and packaging. There are different requirements for each market, and depending on the products. This is a legal requirement, and for most goods this must be implemented from Jan 1 2022, but some products will need their markings updated immediately. Find out which product markings you need.


If your business or organisation receives personal data from the EU/EEA you may need to change your data protection procedures. Personal data includes details such as names, addresses or payroll details. You may need to update your contracts, or put extra steps in place. Find out more.


Remember, this is not an exhaustive list of changes that may impact your business. Use the Government’s Transition Checker to see all the actions that you need to take.