Announcements, new & updated guidance

From 1 January 2021 there will be a number of new rules that you will need to be aware of, whether that's travelling for business purposes or employing EU nationals in your business. We will continue to update this page with relevant information as it is issued by the government.

Last updated: 12 November 2020

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Regardless of whether we reach a trade agreement with the EU, from 1 January there will definitely be changes to:

  • The way businesses import and export goods
  • The process for hiring people from the EU
  • The way businesses provide services in EU markets

The government has launched a major public information campaign to help firms prepare and keep business moving. It has one simple message:

Time is running out, so you need to act now.

Businesses should take action now to start preparing for new trading rules which will come into effect from January 2021. To help you prepare, here are the key things you should do:

  1. Check what actions you need to take by visiting uk/transition.
  2. Sign up for updates.
  3. Attend government webinars for additional support, sign up here.

Unless you take action, there is a risk your business operations will be interrupted. You should also check with your suppliers and customers that they are taking action.

Announcements

Added 12 November 2020:

HMRC urges traders to act now to prepare for 1 January 2021
HMRC has written to VAT-registered traders who trade with the EU, to encourage them to act now in order to avoid business disruption.  The Border Operating Model and tax rules will come into effect at the end of the transition period regardless of whether or not a Free Trade Agreement is negotiated.  

To continue trading with Europe from 1 January 2021, businesses should take some key actions: 

  • Appoint a specialist to deal with import and export declarations. This is important regardless of the amount or value of trade your business does with Europe. Most businesses use a third party such as a freight forwarder or fast parcel operator to deal with this, and do not do their customs declarations themselves. 
  • Check to see if you will be able to delay your declarations or duty payments. 
  • Register for the free-to-use Trader Support Service if you plan on moving goods into Northern Ireland from 1 January 2021. 

For more help and advice on preparing for the end of the transition period, please visit www.gov.uk/transition. 


Added 05 November 2020:

UK Trade Agreements with non-EU countries
UK signs a trade agreement with Kenya: Guidance on the trade agreements the UK has already signed and our discussions with countries the EU has a trade agreement with can be found here


Added 29 October 2020:

The UK-Japan Free Trade Agreement: benefits for the UK
The UK–Japan Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) is the first major trade deal that the UK has struck as an independent trading nation. This British-shaped deal is tailored to the UK economy, and goes beyond the existing EU agreement. This deal could boost trade between the UK and Japan by over £15 billion and drive economic growth in the long run. A summary document has been published, giving an overview of the benefits for UK businesses, by sector. 

Guidance on the trade agreements the UK has already signed and our discussions with countries the EU has a trade agreement with can be found on the Existing UK trade agreements with non-EU countries page at .gov.uk.


Border Operating Model
The updated Border Operating Model provides further detail on how the GB-EU border will work and the actions that traders, hauliers and passengers need to take. These steps will be needed regardless of whether we reach a trade agreement with the EU. The updated GB-EU Border Operating Model:

  • Maps out the intended locations of inland border infrastructure. The sites will provide the necessary additional capacity to carry out checks on freight.
  • Announces that passports will be required for entry into the UK from October 2021 as the Government phases out the use of EU, EEA and Swiss national identity cards as a valid travel document for entry to the UK.
  • Confirms that a Kent Access Permit will be mandatory for HGVs using the short strait channel crossings in Kent. The easy-to-use ‘Check an HGV’ service will allow hauliers to check if they have the correct customs documentation and obtain a Kent Access Permit. A preview demo of the Check and HGV service is available now.

Government launches plans to keep trade flowing after 1 January 2021
The government has announced a series of measures to help keep trade flowing by minimising the risk of disruption at the end of the transition period.


Exporters: sign up for the EU dual-use OGEL
Check now whether your business will need to register for the Open General Export Licence (OGEL), for export of dual-use items to EU member states from 1 January 2021. A full listing of sectors covered, and how to register for the licence with the Export Control Joint Unit is contained in this Notice to Exporters.


Letter to VAT registered businesses about new trade arrangements with the EU from 1 January 2021
HMRC has written to VAT-registered businesses highlighting actions they need to take to prepare for new processes for moving goods between Great Britain and the EU from 1 January 2021.


Sign up for the Trader Support Service
If you move goods between Great Britain and Northern Ireland the Trader Support Service will guide you through any changes due to the implementation of the Northern Ireland Protocol. It can help if you:

  • Are moving the goods yourself
  • Act on behalf of someone
  • Send parcels between Great Britain and Northern Ireland, or bring parcels into Northern Ireland from outside the UK

Sign up now using the Trader Support Service website.

New Guidance

Added 12 November 2020:

Trading with Non-EU countries from 1 January 2021
How you import from and export to non-EU countries will change from 1 January 2021. Guidance on the trade agreements the UK has already signed and discussions with countries the EU has a trade agreement with can be found here


Added 05 November 2020:

Using the UKNI marking from 1 January 2021: The UKNI marking is a new conformity marking for products placed on the market in Northern Ireland which have undergone mandatory third-party conformity assessment by a body based in the UK. To find out if you need to use it, and if so, how, click here


Added 29 October 2020:

Air, sea, road and rail transport from January 2021
New guidance on working in and travelling to the EU from 1 January 2021 for transport operators, workers, visitors and passengers.


International road haulage permits: ECMT permits 2021
New guidance explains criteria for allocating ECMT permits and what hauliers need to do.


Export groups of products of animal origin to the EU from 1 January 2021
New guidance for exporters and suppliers exporting multiple products of animal origin from Great Britain (England, Scotland and Wales) to, or through, the EU. How to register for groupage exports facilitation scheme (GEFS), eligible products, and requirements for exporters and suppliers including inspections.


The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency
Guidance has been issued about how the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency will process variations to marketing authorisations from 1 January 2021.


Changes to legal practice from 1 January 2021 – guidance for legal professionals
Guidance for legal professionals on how various areas of legal practice will change from 1 January 2021 has been published here.


Training fund launched to help vets prepare for 1 January 2021
The new Training fund for vets aims to boost the certification capacity for exports to the EU at the end of the transition period.


Supplying medicines to Northern Ireland from 1 January 2021
Find out what you need to do to supply authorised medicines from Great Britain to Northern Ireland from January 2021 here.

Updated Guidance

Added 12 November 2020:

Export Licencing: Exporters with an interest in various sectors should check to see if their items are on the dual-use control list by using the Goods Checker Tool. They can also use the Control List Classification Service on the online export licensing system. 

If you do not have a licence to export – your goods may be stopped by Customs. 

Sectors of interest are: 

  • nuclear materials and processing equipment 
  • materials processing – machine tools 
  • electronics 
  • computers – specific parameters 
  • telecommunications 
  • information security including cyber and crypto 
  • sensors and lasers including imaging equipment and radars 
  • navigation and avionics 
  • marine 
  • aerospace and propulsion 

For enquiries please contact exportcontrol.help@trade.gov.uk 

Food and Drink labelling changes from 1 January 2021: Further information about country of origin labels and food business operator (FBO) addresses for food and drink producers, manufacturers, retailers and suppliers has been updated here 

Regulating medical devices from 1 January 2021: UKNI guidance and clarification surrounding grace periods for placing medical devices on GB, NI and EU markets. For more information, click here 


Added 05 November 2020:

Applying for grants if your business completes customs declarations for funding for recruitment, training and IT improvements: Information has been added about General Block Exemption Regulations (GBER). Click here for more information. 


There is added guidance on the documents you will need to transport live animals with regards to exporting or moving live animals and animal products to the EU from 1 January 2021 and importing animals, animal products and high-risk food and feed not of animal origin from 1 January 2021. 


ECMT international road haulage permits: The guidance now includes a direct link to the service to apply for ECMT permits for 2021. The deadline to apply is 11:59pm on 20 November 2020. 


Accounting for VAT on goods and services provided by registered health professionals: Updated guidance on the zero rate of VAT for the supply of PPE equipment reverting to the standard rate of VAT from 1 November 2020. 


Added 29 October 2020:

What UK goods vehicle operators need to do to carry out international road haulage from 1 January 2021
Updated guidance is available with information about preparing to apply for ECMT permits for 2021 between 2 November and 20 November 2020.


Importing and exporting plants and plant products from 1 January 2021
Information about making advance notifications for all regulated consignments to the UK available here


Trading timber: imports and exports from 1 January 2021
New guidance is available on how to move timber from GB to Northern Ireland, and from Northern Ireland to GB, imports from Indonesia to GB and Northern Ireland, and how monitoring organisations' duties will change from 1 January 2021.


Complying with REACH chemical regulations when using, selling or importing chemicals in the EU
Updated guidance on grandfathering, tonnage deadlines and how UK downstream users can notify the HSE is available here.


List of customs agents and fast parcel operators
An updated list of customs agents and fast parcel operators who can assist with submitting customs declarations is available here.


Using personal data in your business after the transition period
Personal data is any information that can be used to identify a living person, including names, delivery details, IP addresses, or HR data such as payroll details. Most organisations use personal data in their daily operations. Updated information on the action you need to take regarding data protection and data flows with the EU/EEA after the end of the transition period is available here.


Trade remedies transition policy – Steel
Information on steel safeguard measures has been updated.


Food, Drink and Animals:


Trading and labelling organic food from 1 January 2021
Updated guidance is available that includes information on importing organics from the EU to Great Britain from 1 January 2021.


Fresh fruit and vegetable marketing standards from 1 January 2021
Updated information about importing and exporting fresh fruit and vegetables between the UK and EU and non-EU countries.


Importing and exporting wine from 1 January 2021
Updated information on labelling wine imported from EU and non-EU countries and updated details on importing and exporting wine between UK and EU and non-EU countries.


Updated marketing standards for Hatching eggs and chicks, Hops and hops products, egg marketing, poultry and beef and veal meat marketing.


Protecting food and drink names from 1 January 2021
Information about the new UK  geographical indication (GI) logos and when you should use them, how to secure protection for new products, and cross-border GIs has been updated.


Export composite food products to the EU from 1 January 2021
Guidance on exports of composite products containing honey, gelatine or snails has been updated.


Importing fish for human consumption
Find out here how to import fish for human consumption from 1 January 2021, the documents you may need and customs rules to follow.

Preparing for the end of the Transition Period - guidance for business sectors

Added 05 November 2020:

New guidance on preparing for the end of the transition period if you work in the electronics and machinery sectorFor more information about the 9-point checklist to understand what you need to do before 1 January 2021, click here


New guidance on preparing for the end of the transition period if you work in consumer goods sectorFor more information about the 13-point checklist to understand what you need to do before 1 January 2021, click here


New guidance on preparing for the end of the transition period if you work in the automotive sectorFor more information about the 10-point checklist to understand what you need to do before 1 January 2021, click here


New guidance on preparing for the end of the transition period if you work in aerospace sectorFor more information about the 9-point checklist to understand what you need to do before 1 January 2021, click here


New guidance on preparing for the end of the transition period if you work in science, research and innovation sectorFor more information about the 8-point checklist to understand what you need to do before 1 January 2021, click here


New guidance on preparing for the end of the transition period if you work in life sciences sectorFor more information about the 12-point checklist to understand what you need to do before 1 January 2021, click here


New guidance on preparing for the end of the transition period if you work in the construction sectorFor more information about the 11-point checklist to understand what you need to do before 1 January 2021, click here


New guidance on preparing for the end of the transition period if you work in arts, heritage and culture sector: For more information about the 7-point checklist to understand what you need to do before 1 January 2021, click here


New guidance on preparing for the end of the transition period if you work in the telecoms and information services sector: For more information about the 6-point checklist to understand what you need to do before 1 January 2021, click here


New guidance on preparing for the end of the transition period if you work in the tourism sector: For more information about the 6-point checklist to understand what you need to do before 1 January 2021, click here


New guidance on preparing for the end of the transition period if you work in the gambling sector: For more information about the 5-point checklist to understand what you need to do before 1 January 2021, click here


New guidance on preparing for the end of the transition period if you work in the civil society sector: For more information about the 4-point checklist to understand what you need to do before 1 January 2021, click here


New guidance on preparing for the end of the transition period if you work in the creative industries sectorFor more information about the 6-point checklist to understand what you need to do before 1 January 2021, click here


Contact us

As always, Dorset LEP’s Dorset Gateway team is ready to offer specific business support. We are available on the contact information below. We are happy to be able to help our local businesses at this time with our free bespoke business advice and signposting.

Make an enquiry with Dorset Gateway here