Brexit services

The fallout from the UK’s divorce from the EU could significantly impact your business, now and in the long run. Do you have a Brexit strategy in place?

Hope for the best, prepare for the worst

The only thing that’s certain is uncertainty. Details of a UK - EU trade agreement (if any) expected to be inked over the 2020 transition period are anyone’s guess, so you should (continue to) prepare for both a deal and a no-deal outcome. It’s crucial to (re)assess your company’s readiness and develop and implement a Brexit strategy that covers all aspects of your business at risk of being disrupted by Brexit: supply chain, finances, tax, compliance, governance, IT, HR, legal, operations and more.

Is your tax model still optimised? What are the trade tariff and transfer pricing implications? Are your contracts up to date? Will your workforce be affected by new immigration rules? Do you need a UK VAT or Economic Operator Registration and Identification (EORI) number?

The ripple effect of Brexit will reach every corner of your business - the time to act is now.

Potential requirements: don’t delay!

UK VAT or EORI number

Need a UK VAT and or EORI number? Administrative backlogs are expected as companies scramble to apply before the end of the year. To avoid delays, start the process now if you haven’t already.

Customs compliance

Besides the requirement to hold an EORI number, after the transition period you'll need to draft customs declarations for shipments to and from the UK.

Will you engage a customs agent to assist you with customs compliance, or will you file the customs declarations in-house? Have you considered the benefits of available customs procedures like bonded warehousing and inward processing relief? 

ERP

You have until the end of the year to update your enterprise resource planning (ERP) system to take into account the future trading relationship with the UK including invoicing requirements, potential new business flows, reporting obligations, and more. Start the process now, if you haven’t already.

People

As of 1 January 2021, after the 'status quo' period, the rights that apply to UK and EU nationals in Belgium according to the principle of free movement of persons will end. UK nationals will be treated as 'other regular' third- country nationals and will be subject to Belgian Immigration rules (visa, work permit, etc.). With regards to social security for new cross border situations between the UK and Belgium, domestic rules will apply if by the end of the transition period no multilateral or bilateral agreement will be agreed upon. This unless the persons concerned can avail themselves of the provisions of the Withdrawal Agreement, providing a right to stay and work, as well as continued coverage by the EU Regulation 883/2004 on coordination of social security. It is thus important that UK citizens residing and/or working in Belgium ensure to consolidate their residence entitlement and social security position before the end of the transition period. Some uncertainties on the specific conditions remain.

Employers also need to prepare for the post-Brexit campaign (if they haven't already): a headcount of UK staff in Belgium and Belgian staff in the UK, assessing the consequences of Brexit after the transition period, providing assistance for employees to apply for the new immigration permits and social security position (both from a contribution and a benefit perspective).

Notified bodies

The impact of Brexit will be high in the area of regulatory requirements and notified bodies.

Are you currently relying on a UK/EU notified body to place your products on the market? Have you considered all Brexit implications in this respect, like CE marking, chemical, medical and food safety requirements? 

What are the risks of being unprepared for Brexit?

What are the risks of being unprepared for Brexit?

No 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 in less than a year, and failure to have the appropriate measures in place could be detrimental: major disruptions to your supply chain could occur due to goods being held up at the border, VAT and customs rules will change and you could face regulatory and compliance issues, particularly within highly regulated industries such as finance and pharmaceuticals.

You could face immigration red tape with your workforce, loss of funding, increased pricing, and the list goes on. If you don’t have a Brexit strategy, your business could be at risk.

 

How PwC Legal can help you prepare for Brexit

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.

Managed services

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. 

Why PwC Legal?

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.

Free Brexit assessment tool

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. 

Launch the survey now!

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Contact us

Philip Van Steenwinkel

Philip Van Steenwinkel

Advocaat vennoot / Avocat Associé, PwC Legal BV/SRL

Tel: +32 486 37 04 64

Carolyne Vande Vorst

Carolyne Vande Vorst

Advocaat Vennoot / Avocat Associé, PwC Legal BV/SRL

Tel: +32 496 27 51 29

Bart Vanstaen

Bart Vanstaen

Advocaat Vennoot / Avocat Associé, PwC Legal BV/SRL

Tel: +32 473 52 62 49

Nadja De Bie

Nadja De Bie

Senior Manager, PwC Legal BV/SRL

Tel: +32 473 91 06 27

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