Exporting after the Brexit transition period: 2-minute guide for startups

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The key information and guidance you need to know if your startup exports to the EU and how that process will change next year.

Read time: 2 minutes

  • What will change from a legal and process standpoint on 1 January 2021

  • A checklist that includes, EORI number, good declarations

  • New paperwork to complete, licences and procedures are likely

What we know

The Brexit transition period will end on 31 December 2020, bringing in a new set of rules around exporting goods to the EU for businesses of all sizes. There is currently no trade deal agreed between the UK and EU agreed.

In the event of no deal being agreed, , the UK will leave the EU Customs Union and bilateral tariffs will revert to World Trade Organisation ‘Most Favoured Nation’ levels for all UK-EU trade in goods.

As it stands, from 1 January 2021, UK businesses trading with EU countries will need to follow processes they currently use when trading with non-EU countries that have no existing trade agreement in place.

In addition, UK businesses who trade internationally may be affected from 1 January 2021 even if they do not trade with the EU. This is because any trading agreements between the EU and non-EU countries will no longer apply to UK businesses from 1 January.

This means UK exporters will have to complete a significant amount of new paperwork including customs and safety declarations and work through more layers of IT systems to trade with the EU. Some goods will also require additional licenses or will need to go through additional procedures.

For startups and small business exporting services, issues such as changes to VAT levels and intellectual property (IP) protections, currently covered by EU conventions and agreements, are part of the Brexit negotiations, so could change.

We’ve created a comprehensive checklist to help you prepare for the end of the transition period which you can read here, but if you’re a startup exporting, here are some of the key things for you to consider:

Brexit export checklist

  • Make sure you have an Economic Operator Registration and Identification (EORI) number. You need this in order  to move goods between the UK and non-EU countries. If you do not have one, you may have increased costs and delays. You can find out how to get an EORI number here

  • Have you checked whether the goods you are exporting are classified as standard, controlled or high-risk?

  • Are you and businesses in your supply chain preparing to submit import and export declarations on goods moving between the UK and the EU? You can familiarise yourself with the latest customs declaration information here

  • Have you considered VAT and other tax considerations? You can find out more about your VAT responsibilities here.

  • Have you alerted customers and suppliers that delivery dates could be delayed? Disruption at the borders is predicted, especially in a no-deal scenario.

  • Have you examined how the EU’s external tariff schedule may impact your export goods? You can find out more about changes to tariffs here.

For more guidance on how to prepare for the end of the transition period visit our Brexit Hub.

The information contained in this article is correct at the time of publishing. We recommend that you carry out your own independent research to understand how exporting after the end of the transition period will affect you and your business.

We have pulled the resources on this page together for you to help with your independent research and business decisions. This page contains [link(s) to third party websites and resources that we (Barclays) are not providing or recommending to you.

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The information, statements and opinions contained in this content are of a general nature only and do not take into account your individual circumstances including any laws, policies, procedures or practices you, or your employer or businesses may have or be subject to. Although the statements of fact on this page have been obtained from and are based upon sources that Barclays believes to be reliable, Barclays does not guarantee their accuracy or completeness.


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