In just 71 days there will be guaranteed changes to doing business and there are many actions you can take now to prepare.

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

This week the government is launching 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.

Support is available, including sector-specific webinars to walk you through the changes. If you missed our webinars for the Services and Investment, Retail, Automotive, Materials and Metals, Electronics Machinery and Consumer Goods sectors, they are available to watch on demand now.

As Business Secretary I encourage you to:

  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.

I know these are challenging times, but the transition period is ending on 1 January and there will be no extension. It is vital your business prepares for our new relationship with the EU, outside of the single market and customs union. The Government will be there to support and help you to take advantage of the many new opportunities that being an independent trading nation will bring.

Yours sincerely,

Rt Hon Alok Sharma MP

Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy

Yours sincerely,

Rt Hon Alok Sharma MP
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy

Additional Brexit Updates from the Department of Business Energy and Industrial Strategy

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.

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.