Find international distributors with PartnerTrack & expand into new markets.

Trade agreement done… now the hard work begins!


At almost the last minute, the trade deal between the EU and UK has been agreed by the negotiators. It just now needs ratifying by the respective parliaments, which may be a challenge. EU ambassadors have given their OK and the UK parliament will discuss this week. 

As in any discussion, not everyone will have gained everything they wanted, but broadly the deal seems to be positive for trade between the parties. The avoidance of duties and quotas on goods can only be applauded and a collective sigh of relief for all exporters and importers. 

In previous articles, we have written about the hidden threat of Rules of Origin. This also seems largely to have been resolved with an agreement on full bilateral cumulation which allows EU inputs and processing to be counted as UK inputs in UK products exported to the EU, and vice versa. This is an extremely important simplification which will avoid countless headaches and supply chain issues.

So, all relatively positive, but considerable changes to the way the EU and UK trade with each other will nevertheless come into effect from 1st January 2021. If you are one of those companies who were hoping it would all go away with a trade deal or were waiting for certainty before finalising your planning for Brexit, well now is the time to get ready. There are still significant changes coming for your business which cannot be avoided. 

Some of the important procedures and requirements you need to be ready for are:

  • EORI Numbers including the XI number for Northern Ireland
  • Customs Declarations on all imports and exports
  • Changes to licence and certificate requirements, such as sanitary and phytosanitary rules
  • Rules of Origin – there may be an agreement on bilateral cumulation, but you still need to understand the requirements to prove and indicate the origin of your product. 
  • VAT Changes – do you need a local Vat number and fiscal representative, changes to MOSS 
  • Incoterms – have you agreed with your customers and suppliers the exact terms of future trade? Don’t get caught out with charges you were not expecting.
  • Approvals and UKCA/CE Marking – are you aware of the changes and requirements for your products?
  • Who is going to be the Importer of Record and are they prepared for the implications and responsibilities? Would you benefit from an Authorised Representative?
  • Do you sell via eCommerce across borders? Are you aware of the implications for VAT, for data handling etc

We could go on, but you get the picture. There is a lot of change coming and you need to be ready for it. 

Go Exporting can help you prepare for Brexit with our FastTrack Review. We look specifically at the implications for your business and provide you with a detailed action plan to follow. If you are not ready, you will need to act fast to avoid disruption to your business. 

Call us today on 0800 689 1423 for fast turnaround support to prepare your business. Then let’s start looking forward to taking advantage of the new world of opportunities that are about to emerge. 

More exporting news & advice