Markets & Companies

Changes in Trade with the United Kingdom

01.12.2020 - On Dec. 31, 2020, the UK will leave the EU single market and customs union. Regardless of any agreement reached with the EU, the end of the Brexit transition period will affect citizens, businesses, as well as travel between the UK and EU. Therefore, businesses need to prepare themselves for the upcoming changes.

The Department for International Trade (DIT) at the British Embassy in Berlin provides information and advice on key areas where chemicals businesses in the UK, Germany or elsewhere in the EU need to prepare:

Companies should find out if imported goods are eligible for staged controls, check the Controlled Good list to see if any declarations are needed, decide how they will make customs declarations, check if import VAT is due at the border and decide how they will account for import VAT when making a customs declaration.

The website provides information on how businesses will be able to sell certain goods in the UK and EU.

UK companies will need an export license to export dual-use items to the EU and should inform themselves about tariff rates, rules and border formalities of trading goods outside the UK. The new UK Tariff Schedule outlines the tariff rates for importing goods to the UK.

Companies should check what actions need to be taken under UK REACh and EU REACh to manufacture and place chemicals on markets in Great Britain, Northern Ireland and the EU. They will need to check whether further action is needed on the labelling and packaging chemicals, as well as specialist issues such as poisons center notifications, biocides, plant protection products, explosive precursors, substances that deplete the ozone layer, controlled goods, drug precursors and persistent organic pollutants.

Companies should also check for changes in data protection and data transfer regulations.

UK companies will need to comply with new immigration policies for recruiting from outside the UK and need to check if a visa or work permit is required for UK-EU travel for work purposes.

By April 2021, operations within the UK will have to comply with UK emissions levels.

The majority of EU trademarks and designs will be converted to comparable UK rights. However, business may want to get legal advice on whether additional IP protection is needed.

The website provides information on what will change from 1 Jan. 1, 2021, for EU businesses trading with the UK. This page is updated regularly and is available in several languages, incl. German.

On the website companies can find information on some of the steps they may need to take to comply with EU and UK REACh rules.

The Department for International Trade (DIT) at the British Embassy in Berlin and the Consulates-General in Düsseldorf and Munich are available to answer questions.

Contact details: