Brexit: Prepare your business for leaving the EU

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The UK has left the EU, and the transition period after Brexit comes to an end on 31st December 2020.

St Helens Chamber is here to support local businesses with Brexit support and advice for the future.

Preparing to leave the EU is complex and can often seem overwhelming, but it is important that businesses take steps to make the necessary preparations where they can to put themselves in the best possible place to react and respond to whatever does come next.

What your business needs to know

If you run an EU-based business, you need to check the new rules and prepare for the changes so that you can continue trading with the UK from January 2021.

Buying or selling goods
Rules are changing and there will be border requirements placed on the movement of goods between the EU and UK. Find out more about how the border with the UK will work.

Make sure you talk to your trading partners in the UK to agree responsibilities and have the correct paperwork for the type of goods you are trading with counterparts in the UK. Ensure you have completed the necessary border requirements.

If you sell agri-food products to the UK, your business may need to:

  • check the requirements for exporting food, drink or agricultural products to the UK from the EU
  • check what documents, licences and certificates are required for the goods you are exporting from the EU into the UK and how to apply for them
  • pre-notify the UK authorities about the goods you are exporting from the EU into the UK
  • There will be no substantive change for the movement of goods between Northern Ireland and EU Member States, including Ireland.

Paying VAT or claiming VAT refunds
Make sure you understand the new rules for paying import VAT on parcels you send to UK buyers.

Check how to claim VAT refunds on goods and services you buy from the UK from 1 January 2021.

Transferring personal data to the UK
Your business may need to make some changes to allow you to continue to share personal data with businesses or other organisations in the UK. Be prepared on data protection and data transfers.

Providing services in the UK
Your business might be affected by the changes from 1 January 2021. There may be new rules if:

  • you have branches or subsidiaries in the UK
  • your business is part of a service sector within the UK
  • you are planning a merger with a UK company
  • you or your employees travel to the UK for business
  • you or your employees provide services in a UK regulated profession

Check the regulations for the UK, including visa requirements, and understand how changes could affect your business.

Brexit E-Guides from the British Chambers of Commerce

Business Brexit checklist
No deal guidance dashboard

Useful webinars

Click here to find upcoming Chamber webinars, designed to count down to the end of the EU Transition period.

The Department for International Trade (DIT) helps businesses export and grow into global markets and overseas companies locate and grow in the UK.  Click here to find all upcoming events and webinars

Export Academy

The Export Academy from the Department for International Trade will help you grow your business by showing you how to sell to new customers around the world.

The course is free, and you’ll learn directly from experts in international trade who are on hand to provide support across a range of sectors and businesses, from selling children’s clothes to Spain, to providing PR services for clients in the US.

The programme is designed for owners and senior managers of businesses with a turnover of up to £500,000.

You will graduate from the programme with a completed export action plan, enabling you to take your business direct to international customers. This plan will be the culmination of everything you have learnt on the programme, from online events including:

  • Webinars
  • Round tables
  • Mentoring sessions

To register, please click here

Other useful resources

Check if you can get a guarantee waiver for a duty deferment account in Great Britain Find out what you need to do to get a guarantee waiver for a duty deferment account in Great Britain.

Sign up for the Trader Support Service If you move goods between Great Britain and Northern Ireland the Trader Support Service will guide you through any changes due to the implementation of the Northern Ireland Protocol.

General UK GOV transition advice Answer a few questions to get a personalised list of actions for you, your family, and your business. Then sign up for emails to get updates when things change.

Import goods from the EU into GB from January 2021 Information for traders on importing goods between Great Britain and the EU after 1 January 2021.

Export goods from the EU into GB from January 2021 Information for traders on exporting goods between Great Britain and the EU after 1 January 2021.

Grants for customs declarations Find out what grants you can apply for to get funding for recruitment, training and IT improvements if your business completes customs declarations.

Transport goods out of the UK by road How to transport goods commercially if you’re driving from the UK to any international destination.

Export guides by country from 1st January 2021 Changes to exporting goods and services from the UK from 1 January 2021, for each country.

Selling services to the EU Guidance for UK businesses offering services from 1 January 2021.


Not found what you're looking for or would like more specific advice? Get in touch on 01744 742015 or email

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