The Business Secretary, Alok Sharma, has written to businesses across the UK imploring them to get ready for the end of the Brexit transition period on 31 December 2020.
In his letter, which has been sent to the registered offices of businesses by direct mail, he urges businesses to “ACT NOW” to minimise the disruption to operations when the transition period ends.
He recommends that all businesses now take the following actions:
1. Check the new rules on importing and exporting goods between the EU and Great Britain from 1 January 2021 – Businesses are being warned that they face delays, disruption or administrative costs if they do not comply with the new customs procedures.
2. Confirm arrangement for overseas recruitment from 1 January 2021 – Businesses will need to register as a licensed visa sponsor. They may not be able to legally hire people from outside the UK if they do not have a licence. New employees from outside the UK will also need to meet new job, salary and language requirements. Irish citizens and those eligible under the EU Settlement Scheme are not affected.
3. Use GOV.UK to identify changes affecting manufactured goods – Certain goods may require marking or approvals before sale. Businesses may not be able to sell goods in the UK and the EU from 1 January 2021 unless they take the necessary steps to ensure goods are compliant.
4. Moving goods into, out of, or through Northern Ireland – Businesses must check the latest guidance, because once the transition period ends the Northern Ireland Protocol comes into effect. There will be special provisions which only apply in Northern Ireland.
5. Check with suppliers and customers that they are taking action – Businesses should speak with customers and suppliers about their preparations to ensure their operations aren’t affected by a lack of preparedness.
In his letter to businesses, the Secretary of State for Business said: “These are challenging times, but the transition period is ending on 31 December 2020 and there will be NO EXTENSION.
“Unless you take action, there is a risk your business operations will be interrupted. The Government will be there to help you to take advantage of the many new opportunities that being an independent trading nation will bring.”
If you need support with your Brexit preparation then our team are here to support you. To find out how we can help with a wider range of issues related to the end of the transition period, please contact us.