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Dorset and Brexit: The UK’s exit from the EU

The UK has left the EU and new rules for business with the EU came into force on 1 January 2021.

Even though the UK has secured a deal, doing business with Europe has changed. You need to follow new rules on exports, imports, tariffs, data and hiring. Unless you have checked that you are ready, your business may face disruption.

Dorset Council urge all businesses to visit GOV.UK/transition to take action now, get your personalised list of actions and subscribe to find out when things change.

To take advantage of the UK’s new trading relationship with the EU and keep your business moving, you will have to make a number of changes. These changes will ensure continued flow of people, data, goods and services between the UK and the EU.

Please also see the frequently asked questions for further information.

Brexit: actions that businesses should take now

Businesses that deal with Europe, who are not ready for these changes, could risk serious disruption.

  • Head to GOV.UK/transition now and use the Brexit Checker Tool to get a personalised list of actions for your business.
  • While the deal with the EU means zero tariffs and zero quotas, businesses still need to be ready for changes to trade and customs procedures with Europe. For trade with countries outside the EU, check for any changes to tariffs.
  • From 1 January 2021, you’ll need to make customs declarations when exporting goods to the EU. You can make the declarations yourself, but most businesses use an intermediary like a courier, freight forwarder or customs agent.
  • We have taken measures to allow traders time to adjust to new processes. We have introduced new border controls in three stages up until 1 July 2021, and agreed with the EU to temporarily simplify Rules of Origin procedures for 12 months to the end of December 2021 by implementing a 12 month waiver on supplier declarations.
  • However, you’ll need to take some key actions now, like making sure you have an EORI number starting with GB, checking the new rules for importing and exporting goods and being confident that your goods meet origin rules before claiming preference. If exporting, you’ll also need to check that the EU business you’re exporting to is also ready.
  • If you’re due to travel to the EU for work, you may need a visa or work permit.
  • If you receive personal data from the EU for business use, you may need to take action on data protection. Find out more at GOV.UK/transition
  • From 1 January, if you want to hire from outside the UK, including from the EU, you must be a Home Office licenced sponsor under the UK’s new points-based immigration system. The new system doesn’t apply when hiring Irish citizens, or EU citizens already living in the UK.
  • You may need to have your UK professional qualification officially recognised if  you want to work in a regulated profession in the EEA or in Switzerland.

Actions for businesses who move goods into, out of, or through Northern Ireland.

On January 1 the Northern Ireland Protocol came into force. There will be special provisions which only apply in Northern Ireland so if you move goods into, out of, or through Northern Ireland make sure you check the latest Northern Ireland Protocol guidance.

If you move goods between Great Britain and Northern Ireland, the free-to-use Trader Support Service will guide you through any changes linked to the implementation of the Northern Ireland Protocol. Sign up online.

The Brexit Advice Service based in Dorset Chamber is open to all Dorset businesses and provides information, solutions and signposts to relevant advice and guidance. Dorset Chamber is also able to offer export-focused Brexit advice. For further information email ca**********@dc**.uk or telephone 01202 714800.

Information for EU residents living or working in Dorset

The UK government has reached an agreement with the EU that will protect the rights of EU citizens and their family members living in the UK. It has also reached an agreement with Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein, and a separate agreement with Switzerland.

These agreements mean that most citizens from the EU, Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Switzerland will need to apply to stay in the UK. They can then continue living their lives here as they do now.

Apply for settled or pre-settled status

If you’re an EU, European Economic Area (EEA) or Swiss citizen, and would like to continue living and working in the UK, you and your family can apply for free to the EU Settlement Scheme. The EEA includes the EU countries and also Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway.

The deadline for applications to the EU Settlement Scheme is 30 June 2021. Apply to the EU Settlement Scheme (settled and pre-settled status)

Get support with your application

Citizen’s Advice can offer support with applications to the EU Settlement Scheme. They can assist over telephone, email and video chat.

For more information, or to book an appointment, contact Citizen’s Advice:

Email: eu*********@ci***************.uk
Tel: 07761 092704

Paul Appleby
Author: Paul Appleby