Current plans by the UK government and the EU provide a range of temporary mitigation measures to help ease disruption when the post-Brexit transition period ends on 31 December 2020. However, the temporary measures are scheduled to fall away at different times – creating a range of deadlines for your business to consider as part of its UK transition planning over the months and years after the UK’s exit from the EU.
Use the timeline to understand some of the temporary measures which are of most importance to your business.
These timelines are based on the new rules coming into effect from 1 January 2021. Some of the short-term measures may also be extended by the UK or the EU, which would allow more time for business to prepare. These measures could fall away if the UK and the EU are able to agree a free trade agreement. The information on this page will be updated as and when new government guidance is published.
- New immigration routes are expected to open for applications in the autumn
- A new Trader Support Service for businesses moving goods between Great Britain and Northern Ireland will go live:
- This will provide an end-to-end service which will guide traders through all import processes, including handling digital import and safety and security declarations on their behalf, at no additional cost
- The scheme is currently out to tender and the successful bidder will be appointed from the first week in September for a two year period.
- Deadline for ruling on data adequacy as outlined in the political declaration
- If the data adequacy process is not concluded by the end of transition, the UK will become a “third country”, with data flows from the EU subject to additional safeguards.
- The UK leaves the Customs Union
- Any EU trade agreements that the UK has managed to roll over will come into effect
- For countries where a trade deal has not been rolled over, the UK Global Tariff will come into effect. This will see tariffs on imports for those countries the UK does not have a trade deal with – which could include the EU if a trade deal is not reached ahead of this date.
Importing to Great Britain from the EU:
- The new staged approach to imports from the EU comes into action; traders importing standard goods, covering everything from clothes to electronics, will need to prepare for basic customs requirements, such as keeping sufficient records of imported goods
- Traders will then have up to six months to complete customs declarations after the date of import
- UK Safety and Security declarations will not be required on imports for the first six months; standard customs declarations will be needed from this date for controlled goods and excise goods like alcohol and tobacco products.
- There will be physical checks at the point of destination or other approved premises on all high-risk live animals and plants, and a requirement to pre-notify for certain movements, but they will not be required to enter Great Britain via a Border Control Post
- Export declarations and UK exit Safety and Security declarations will be required for all goods; traders importing and exporting goods using the Common Transit Convention will need to follow all of the transit procedures - these will not be introduced in stages
- The goods vehicle movement service will be introduced only for transit movements.
Exporting from Great Britain to the EU:
- The UK will become a ‘third country’ and exports to the EU will face the full EU Most Favoured Nation (MFN) tariffs, checks and customs procedures when it arrives at the EU border.
The Northern Ireland Protocol comes into effect:
Goods entering Northern Ireland from Great Britain will be subject to certain checks and/or controls:
- Any goods ‘at risk’ of onward movement to the EU (including the Republic of Ireland) will be subject to EU tariffs
- Sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) checks will be applied at designated Border Control Posts (BCPs) in NI Ports to products of animal origin
- Goods entering or leaving NI will be subject to EU Single Market rules.
- The new Trader Support Service will be in place to assist with new administrative processes between Great Britain and Northern Ireland (see ‘Autumn 2020’ for more details)
- Goods from Northern Ireland entering into Great Britain will not be subject to checks or controls provided they meet the definition of qualifying status for ‘unfettered access’.
- At the end of the transition period, under no deal, mutual recognition of professional qualifications could be replaced by local regulations, dependent on the member states rules where you intend to work; if you work in a regulated profession, your qualification will now need to be recognised by the appropriate regulator
- Rights to establish commercial presence overseas in the event of no deal, may mean services firms looking to export into the EU face barriers at the individual member state level.
- New points-based system comes into force
- Immigration rules apply to newly arriving EU citizens.
- The UK withdraws completely from the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA).
All products of animal origin – for example meat, honey, milk or egg products – and all regulated plants and plant products will require pre-notification and the relevant health documentation; any physical checks will continue to be conducted at the point of destination until July 2021.
The EU Settlement Scheme deadline for registration will be on 30 June 2021.
- Traders importing any goods will have to make full customs declarations at the point of importation and pay relevant tariffs
- Full Safety and Security declarations will be required, while for commodities subject to SPS controls, these will have to be presented to BCPs and there will be an increase in physical checks and the taking of samples
- SPS checks for animals, plants and their products will take place at GB BCPs and not at destination
- The Goods Vehicle Movement Service (GVMS) will be in place for all imports, exports and transit movements at border locations which have chosen to introduce it.
The UK will need to re-open a number of rollover deals, such as South Korea and Switzerland, unless already replaced.
How the UK-EU relationship may change over time
Even if the UK leaves the EU under a no deal scenario and no free trade agreement is agreed, there should be improvements to the UK’s post-Brexit relationship with the EU over time in some areas.
Unscheduled changes in the relationship between the UK and the EU are likely to occur and will also need to be managed. Some of these will increase divergence between the UK and the EU, as the two develop different regulations and move away from each other. This will increase non-tariff barriers between the UK and the EU. Others will improve and deepen the relationship between the UK and the EU. Here are some examples:
The UK will re-join the WTO’s Government Procurement Agreement after one calendar month, restoring its access to international procurement contracts very rapidly after no deal – though at a less privileged level than it currently has when accessing procurement opportunities in the EU.
- If the UK is deemed adequate by the EU when it comes to data after the transition period ends, the free flow of data between the UK and EU will be able to resume; the fastest the EU has made a data adequacy decision to date is 18 months
- It is anticipated that the UK will be able to resume its relationship with the EU’s research and innovation programme as a third-country participant when the new programme launches in 2021.
A no deal outcome is not an event, merely the start of a process – and ultimately will continue to create uncertainty beyond 1 January 2021. Good contingency planning will help to ensure your business reduces the impact of that uncertainty in the coming months.
No deal preparations hub