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We enter the final month of the EU Transition period

Posted on: 01/12/2020

EU Transition Update 30 November 2020 by Camilla Call, International Trade Advisor

The UK-EU negotiations resumed over the weekend with a deal reportedly almost concluded. Monday 30 sees discussions on what progress has been made with the EU on financial services. Updated guidance this week includes importing and exporting, food and drink, and product safety.

The Governor of the Bank of England, Andrew Bailey, has warned that not agreeing a trade deal with the EU would be worse for the economy in the long run than the coronavirus pandemic and would damage the goodwill between the UK and Brussels (Guardian 23 November). Rishi Sunak, Chancellor of the Exchequer, held different views and said the UK should not accept a deal at any cost and it would “prosper in any eventuality”.

We heard on 29 November that the UK and EU are in the “last leg of negotiations” according to Dominic Raab, Foreign Secretary (BBC). Discussions resumed face to face in London at the weekend with the most contentious issue remaining as fisheries, with Raab stating “We ought to be able on both sides to resolve fisheries, if you take the context of the wider economic gains and potential downsides of not having a further deal.” Leaving without a deal would result in tariffs and quotas, no access to the EU’s energy market and no agreement on police and judicial cooperation.

The UK’s points-based immigration system: an introduction for employers has been updated. The Employer Partner Pack contains a range of information for employers including guidance to assist with communicating this to employees. This is a useful resource for employers to ensure they’re assisting employees who may be at risk if they’re not registered for the EU Settlement Scheme.

The Trader Support Service can help you with the changes to the way you move goods into and out of Northern Ireland. This informational poster contains links to sign up to the service and info on the XI EORI number.

Business Secretary Alok Sharma has written to specific business sectors providing tailored advice about key actions that businesses must take after the Transition period ends on 31 December 2020.


New and Updated Guidance

VAT and overseas goods sold to customers from online market places: Separate Guidance has issued outlining how online market places and those who sell directly to customers in Great Britain from 1 January 2021 will deal with VAT on goods from overseas goods.


Importing and Exporting

Guidance for Hauliers and Commercial Drivers: The Haulier Handbook has been published as a one-stop-shop for key information on how to prepare vehicles and the goods they carry to continue to travel smoothly across the border and help minimise disruption. To access, click here.

Information on Licence Security from 1 January 2021: Information has been published on import and export licence security from 1 January 2021. Licence security will need to be provided in pounds sterling. The notice tells you how license security will need to be provided from 1 January 2021. Click here for more information.

Protection of trading interests (retained blocking regulation) from 1 January 2021: Guidance has been issued that sets out how protection of trading interests (also known as the retained blocking regulation) will work in the UK from 1 January 2021. The Protection of Trading Interests Legislation protects UK persons trading with countries affected by the extraterritorial application of certain laws (currently US Sanctions against Iran and Cuba). For more information, click here.


Product Safety

Guidance for businesses regarding the end of the EU Transition Period:  The Office for Product Safety and Standards has published guidance to help businesses comply with regulations as the Transition Period ends. Separate, complementary guidance will be published for businesses trading in Great Britain and Northern Ireland. The list of published guidance documents can be viewed here.

UK Product safety and metrology from 1 January 2021: Guidance has been published for businesses on specific product safety and metrology regulations. Click here to access the guidance. Specific guidance for placing goods on the market in Great Britain can be accessed here. Guidance for placing goods on the market in Northern Ireland can be accessed here.


Food and Drink

Digital guide covering the key actions food and drink businesses may need to take: A new digital guide has been issued that covers the key actions food and drink businesses may need to take after the end of the Transition Period. For more information, click here.

Nutrition legislation from 1 January 2021: Guidance has been published for businesses regarding practical changes that will be made to nutrition legislation in the UK from 1 January 2021. These changes include nutrition-related labelling, composition and standards. For more information, click here.

Amendments to Food information rules and wine: The Food and Drink (Amendment) (EU Exit) Regulations 2020 have been published, making minor amendments to retained EU legislation on food information rules and wine. For more information, click here.



  • HMRC Transition webinars: HMRC have launched multiple editions of this live webinar covering how to complete customs import declarations and explaining how to make import declarations when importing goods between the EU and Great Britain. Find a date and to register, click here.
  • Department for International Trade webinars: DIT are hosting a series of webinars primarily aimed at businesses which are UK based who importing and exporting goods. To register for the next webinar on 3 December at 10:30 am, click here. Further sessions are scheduled to be held on 10 December and 17 December.
  • Smart border webinar: The Direction Générale des Douanes et Droits Indirects (French customs) are hosting a webinar in English on 3 December 2020 at 2:30pm on the smart border, the French Customs IT solution to keep trade flowing between the UK and France despite the establishment of customs clearance at the border. To register, click here.


Dorset Chamber delivers a free of charge International Trade and EU Transition advice service to all businesses, supported by Dorset LEP. For information and advice please contact us at / 01202 714800 or visit



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