So, an agreement has been reached and the UK has a trade deal with the EU. With 2021 underway, where are we now and what is the state of play for importers and exporters?
The Free Trade Agreement is now in place for a total of 58 counties. The agreement includes EU countries and the good news is, with EU countries in particular, the tariffs and quotas that may have been put in place as a result of Brexit are now not going to be.
Be mindful, however, that despite the Free Trade Agreement, the UK and EU is now split into two trading markets with new rules overseeing the import and export of many products; even personal items. They apply in particular to animals, foods, pharmaceuticals and electrical items.
With the new systems in place, importers/ exporters are required to understand and use a variety of new IT and documentation systems. We’ve highlighted these in earlier Controlaccount blogs (for example, the requirement to get an EORI number and if you transport goods using HGVs, the need to check traffic management through Kent and other ports).
In terms of keeping up with any changes, the official Govt. website is always a good starting point and one of the most useful resources here is their Brexit Checker. This enables you to avoid you having to read lots of information that may be irrelevant to your requirement. The checker gives you some click options to follow and then the most relevant guidance.
The British Retail Consortium said that Brexit will affect UK retail in major ways and also that regulations on moving products across borders are complicated. Here they offer information and advice to retail members.
Be aware then, that there are growing concerns relating not only to paperwork, IT systems and potential delays at ports, but also tariffs restrictions.
Retail giant M&S, in particular, has been reported to have cut many items from their food and drink offer in Northern Ireland, as a result of tariff complexities.
Funding help is still available
In amongst all the worries there is some good news.
As well as information to help you operate, the UK Government allows you to apply for grants to help to fund recruitment, training and IT projects.
Also, some EU funding is still available to help businesses. Horizon Europe for example, is designed to boost growth in science, industrial leadership and ‘societal changes.’ This funding may not be suitable for everyone and this website page from The UK Research Institute goes into more detail.
Check before action
It is clear then that there are still some challenges to be faced and protocols to be agreed.
Before you begin the process of import/ export, the key is to check the detail in terms of what is allowed and then, what you’ll need to put in place to proceed.
Controlaccount can help
Good luck and do remember that Controlaccount provides a full suite of products and services to help your firm increase efficiency and profitability.
And because regulatory compliance is fundamental to our ethos, we can offer practical advice and solutions to help your business navigate the new rules and regulations which Brexit has brought.
To find out more please call 01527 388 388 or email firstname.lastname@example.org