As the end of the Brexit transition period approaches, Business West is urging companies to prepare for 1st January to avoid delays and extra costs at the border.
Negotiators Michel Barnier and David Frost have not yet reached an agreement, but according to reports, they are expected to advise Boris Johnson and EU leaders to go forward with further formal discussions in London this weekend.
There is still therefore a great deal of uncertainty about whether a deal will be reached. To help businesses prepare, whatever the outcome, there are actions companies can take now.
Business West know that firms who have previously only traded with the EU will need to complete customs declarations in January and will be delivering training for companies to highlight what firms need to know to complete them correctly.
James Monk, Director of Commercial Services at Business West, comments: “While the possible extension on discussions this weekend may indicate we are one step closer to a deal, businesses must remember to take action now to get ready for 1st January.
“Whatever the outcome, Business West is ready to support companies through the next few challenging months, with the pandemic presenting further hurdles for companies.
“If businesses have not prepared for the worst-case scenario, then it is almost too late, and I would suggest firms get up to speed immediately by visiting our Trading through Brexit hub (www.businesswest.co.uk/trading-through-brexit) to receive regular updates and advice.”
From 1 January 2021 businesses will need an EORI number that starts with GB to move goods to or from the UK. Most businesses should have now received this, but if they haven’t there is a wealth of information on the HMRC website to obtain this.
Businesses will need to consider whether they need to register for VAT for the countries they want to trade with and be aware of how other legislation may change. We can give businesses information on the types of documents available, how they’re used and where to get them, but businesses must check what they need with their importing agent or customer.
A webinar will be held on 11th November by British Chambers of Commerce to help businesses prepare and provide an opportunity to ask any questions about the end of the transition period. Lord Agnew, Minister of State for Efficiency and Transformation will also be speaking.