It is vital UK companies, service providers and individuals doing business in Europe understand how changes in legislation may affect them when the UK finally departs the EU. A few hours reading up on regulations, could help identify and resolve any issues before they arise. The Government is there to help, but are advising their citizens not to be ignorant of any new rules which may come into force when we Leave the EU.
With the clock ticking ever closer towards the intended Brexit deadline of October 31
st, the UK Government is urging all small and medium-size enterprises to prepare diligently for the big day.
While the Government is confident that most large companies have done their homework and are ready to depart the EU seamlessly, there is more concern regarding small businesses.
Although the Government’s ambition is to secure a deal acceptable to both the UK and Europe, it remains adamant that businesses must be ready for the possibility of leaving the EU without one.
The Government say their main aim is to support businesses as the process of Brexit gathers pace over the coming days, while enabling companies and individuals to take advantage of the opportunities that leaving the EU will bring.
Here are six pieces of advice on how businesses can carry out their own preparations, as we prepare to travel through the door marked ‘Leave.’
1) Make certain the
professional qualifications of your employees’ are recognised in the UK,
European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland. The term EEA refers to the member
states of the European Union (EU), plus Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway.
To continue working in UK-regulated professions, employees from the EEA and Switzerland will need to possess qualifications recognised by the relevant UK regulator. Similarly, UK professionals working in the EEA or Switzerland will need to have qualifications that are accepted by the regulator of the country in which they want to work. For more details about this, go to gov.uk/brexit and search ‘providing services to the EU’.
2) Make your employees
aware of the EU Settlement Scheme
Employers can assist their staff from the EEA and Switzerland, by providing them with information about how to secure their status under the EU Settlement Scheme. This will enable them to protect their rights to live and work in the UK. Those wishing to remain working in the UK, have until December 31st, 2020, to make an application. For more information visit gov.uk/brexit, then search ‘EU Settlement Scheme
3) Act now if you wish
to continue legally receiving personal data from the EU/EEA following Brexit.
You may be breaking the law if you continue to receive personal data, such as names, addresses or payroll details, from organisations in the EU or EEA, after the October 31st deadline. To prevent this from happening, it is likely you will need to update current contracts or possibly take other steps. An example of personal data is when a UK company receives customer information from an EU/EEA company, such as names and addresses of customers, suppliers or partners who provide goods or services.
Additional information is available at gov.uk/brexit-personal-data. Alternatively, you can visit the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) for guidance at ico.org.uk, then search ‘data protection and Brexit’.
4) Find out what is required for you to continue doing
business in EU member states and EEA.
Undertake a comprehensive and detailed analysis of the regulations laid down by the EU/EEA, which allow UK companies and members of the public to operate in their countries. If you are a UK business, service provider, employee or self-employed person, you may face additional legal, regulatory and administrative barriers. These include visas and work permits, among other rules. To research this information visit gov.uk/brexit, then search ‘providing services to the
5) There will be new customs and VAT procedures at
border checkpoints when trading with the EU.
If you wish to continue importing or exporting goods within the EU community, after October 31st, there will be a number of changes for you to understand. Make certain you acquire an Economic Operators Registration and Identification (EORI) number which begins with the letters GB. It’s quick, easy and free to apply on gov.uk/brexit.
Businesses that import should understand how TSP (transitional simplified procedures) can work for them. This streamlines the process and is ideal for those new to customs procedures. Step-by-step guides on how best to import and export can be found at gov.uk/brexit-traders.
6) Check whether any EU
funding you are currently entitled to will continue
The government has guaranteed that UK organisations will continue to receive funding over the lifetime of their projects, provided they have successfully bid into EU-funded programmes by the end of 2020. Payments can extend beyond 2020. To find out about a specific fund, go to gov.uk/brexit, then search ‘European and domestic funding after Brexit’.
To enjoy peace of mind, the government is also suggesting businesses get legal advice and/or speak to their accountant.
Otherwise, you can visit gov.uk/brexit for tailored business information, or sign up for email updates.