The Brexit deal. Is this the end? How does the new agreement impact your business and how do you comply with it? Is your Brexit strategy in place?
1 January 2021 is the day that will be marked in history as the day the United Kingdom officially left the European Union. Finalised at the eleventh hour, the EU-UK trade and cooperation agreement (EU-UK TCA) provisionally entered into force, leaving businesses, governments and citizens with only a few days to acquaint themselves with the content. The agreement is subject to legislative approval and applies provisionally till 28 February 2021. The Revised Irish Protocol governing the applicable rules for trade with Northern Ireland is applicable regardless of the EU-UK TCA.
The EU - UK TCA is only the beginning. The demanding process of analysing and incorporating the agreement into your business and daily activities has only just begun. Many questions arise out of the new situation. What are the conditions for tariff and quota free-trade between the EU and UK? Does your business comply with the new customs and regulatory formalities? What are the rules of origin that apply to your products? Are there additional VAT registration requirements to be met?
The knock-on effects don’t end here. How will Brexit affect your trade relations with Northern Ireland? How should you fulfill your obligations under the revised Irish Protocol? Although the free trade agreement was the best possible outcome in the Brexit scenario, the way trade is done with the UK has changed dramatically and will be more restricted than ever before. The UK left the EU customs union, VAT area and the internal single market. These changes will affect every aspect of your business.
The EU - UK TCA is only the starting point for future rounds of negotiations. Brexit is not done and dusted, but is an on-going process. Businesses need to stay alert that they are following the new rules in place, which is why having a Brexit strategy to manage these changes is essential.
No post-Brexit strategy in place? You risk severe interruptions to your business and a corresponding loss of revenue. You need to be ready to do business with the UK under a new set of rules set out in the EU-UK TCA and the revised Irish Protocol. The failure to have the appropriate measures in place could be detrimental. With the need to lodge customs declarations and supplementary certifications, major disruptions to your supply chain could occur due to goods being held up at the border. In addition, the VAT and customs rules have changed under EU-UK TCA. Close attention needs to be paid to the rules of origin. With two separate legal regimes, you could face regulatory and compliance issues, particularly within highly regulated industries such as chemicals and pharmaceuticals.
You could face immigration red tape with your workforce, loss of funding, increased pricing, to mention just a couple of pitfalls. If you don’t have a post-Brexit strategy, your business could be at risk.
Our multidisciplinary PwC Legal Brexit team draws on deep expertise and experience to work with you to develop and implement the Brexit strategy that’s right for your organisation. We’ll assess your Brexit readiness, identify the factors most likely to affect your business and estimate their potential impact. Our Brexit specialists will then help you determine and execute your customised Brexit strategy to mitigate the risks and minimise the interruption of business.
Do you lack the time and/or resources to effectively implement your Brexit strategy? PwC Legal’s managed services may be the solution. Our dedicated specialists work alongside you as part of your team, in whatever capacity you require: finance, tax, VAT, customs - we apply best practices throughout your Brexit transition, freeing up time for you to focus on your core business.
Our core Brexit team takes a holistic approach to cover every facet of your organisation impacted by Brexit, everywhere you do business. We’re a team of highly experienced tax, international trade, employment and finance lawyers that have been helping organisations prepare for Brexit since it first made headlines in 2016.
Using our proven Brexit methodology, our strong and effective relationship with our PwC colleagues and PwC-developed landmark digital solutions, we’ll assess your readiness and provide your organisation with the resilience to navigate the uncharted waters of Brexit, from Strategy through Execution.
As 31 December approaches and the Brexit transition period comes to an end, you should be aware of what this implies for UK citizens currently employed in Belgium. From an immigration perspective, it implies that UK nationals who are not protected by the withdrawal agreement will be treated the same way as other third-country nationals from 1 January 2021.
To evaluate if you’re ready for the post-transition period, we invite you to try out our free assessment tool. The tool allows you to evaluate the progress you’ve made and identify what further measures are required to prepare your business and employees for the upcoming changes from an immigration perspective.
UK government information
The UK government has published a revised guide and case studies to explain how the UK border with the EU works post-Brexit. These include:
European Union Law (EUR-lex) information
European Commission information
Information from other agencies