The transition period

There is now a transition period until the end of 2020 while the UK and EU negotiate additional arrangements.

Businesses are encouraged to prepare for the new arrangements for trading with the EU in January 2021.

Steps you can take to ensure your business is prepared are as follows:

You should prepare now and subscribe to email updates about any additional arrangements. Use the guidance available at

We have prepared a number of UK transition business resources below:

UK Transition Resources

You will need an EU EORI number if your business will be making customs declarations or getting a customs decision in the EU. Get this from the customs authority in the EU country where you submit your first declaration or request your first only take ten minutes if you have:

  • VAT number and effective date of registration – these are on your VAT registration certificate
  • National Insurance number – if you’re an individual or a sole trader
  • Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR) – find your UTR if you do not know it
  • Business start date and Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) code – these are in the Companies House register
  • Government Gateway user ID and password

To find the latest tariff schedule please click here

HMRC have issued a letter to VAT registered businesses regarding trade with the EU from 1 January 2021. Read it here

New to exporting, wishing to enhance your international trade knowledge? If so funding is now open to all businesses wishing to develop knowledge of international trade and customs declarations. You can apply for the training grants for the courses by registering via the website Click here

Your local chamber of commerce can also assist, please see below:
Devon and Plymouth Chamber or email
Somerset Chamber or email

Prepare to import goods from the EU to Great Britain from 1 January 2021
The process for importing goods from the EU will change. Businesses in Great Britain need to complete the following actions (click here) to continue importing from EU countries from 1 January 2021.

Check the terms of your existing contracts with your customers and suppliers and plan how your business will deal with customs declarations, if necessary appoint a customs broker/intermediary to make customs declarations on your behalf for a list of customs agents and fast parcel operators click here you will also need to check if customs guarantees and simplified procedures will be helpful for your business and complete the application processes.

For more details on the exporting lifecycle please go to our step by step exporting toolkit here. You will also need to identify the staff that can be trained on customs and apply for HMRC grant funding.

Trader Support Service (TSS)
The Trader Support Service is live. Register now if you are a business who moves goods into Northern Ireland. The TSS will help you prepare for new processes from 1 January 2021, free of charge. Register here

Webinar for exporters of animals and products of animal origin to the EU
Register for free webinars to learn more about what you need to do to export animals, animal products (dairy, poultry, meat, animal feed) and fish from GB to the EU from 1 January 2021.

Hosted by the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs. Book online here

Sector specific webinars
Free webinars to help you check the new rules and understand the actions to take for your sector.

Hosted by Workcast for the Department for UK Transition. Book online here

At the end of the transition period, the eCommerce Directive will no longer apply to the UK. You should begin to prepare for these changes now. Please click here for guidance.

If you are an EU, EEA or Swiss citizen resident in the UK by 31 December 2020, you and your family members need to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme to continue living in the UK beyond 30 June 2021. Please click here for more information.

The UK is introducing a points-based immigration system from 2021 please click here for more details.

To find our what action you need to take regarding data protection and data flows with the EU/EEA after the end of the transition period please click here.

What you need to do as a fisheries business from 1 January 2021, information now available online.

More details on exporting of fish to the EU are available online.

How to prove your fish has been caught legally for imports and exports of fish, information is now available online.

MMO short guide on changes from 1st Jan 2021, information is now available online.

The Better Business for All (BBfA) Export Toolkit provides guidance on exporting animals and animal products to the EU – UK Transition Export Animals Guide

The Better Business for All (BBfA) UKCA mark guide provides guidelines on using the UKCA (UK Conformity Assessed) mark – UK Transition UKCA Labelling Guide

The Better Business for All (BBfA) Food Labelling guide gives food producers an insight into the important changes that surround food labelling – UK Transition Food Labelling Guide

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