Three steps online retail businesses need to take ahead of the UK’s transition period with the EU ending

New rules for doing business with the EU start on 1 January 2021. Business is changing and new rules are coming. The UK has left the EU and will leave the single market and customs union at the end of the transition period on 31 December 2020. There are definite actions retail businesses need to take now. These actions are definite regardless of the outcome of negotiations. You can be confident that preparations for these changes will not be wasted.

Here are the top three things online retail companies can check and change now to be ready to go. For more actions your retail business may need to take before January 2021 visit www.gov.uk/transition and use the checker tool.

1. Use GOV.UK to identify how your business can be ready to sell certain goods in the UK and EU   

You may not be able to sell your goods in the UK and the EU if you do not comply with the relevant goods regulations and standards from 1 January 2021.  

Different web pages can give you further information, depending on the area your business operates in: 

2. Check if Import VAT is due at the border

Your business could face delays, disruption or administrative costs if you do not comply with new customs procedures from 1 January 2021.

Find out more about changes to VAT.

3. Get ready to make customs declarations

Import and export declarations are complicated, requiring specialist skill, knowledge and IT. If you are not able to make declarations or provide the wrong information, your business could face delays, disruption or administrative costs.

Find out more about appointing customs declarations specialists.

Take action now

If you run an online retail business, it’s important that you check what you need to do. By taking action now, you can make sure your business is ready from 1 January 2021. Getting ready can take longer than you think.

There are also a number of free webinars specifically for retail businesses to help you get ready. To register for upcoming webinars, or to watch previous sector-specific webinars on demand, visit bit.ly/UKTwebinar

If in doubt, remember to visit www.gov.uk/transition and use the checker tool.

Published 12/11/2020

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