The final Brexit deal: What you should know now when trading internationally

As the realities of Brexit are here, and the impact of the pandemic continues, businesses in the UK and companies trading with the UK will be looking to mitigate the risks. That’s why we have listed the most important steps you should take now to prepare your business for the new regulations.
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11 January 2021

On 24 December, negotiations to conclude the UK-EU Trade and Cooperation Agreement ended. This will mean the consequences of leaving the Single Market and Customs Union will now come into force. The gradual transition includes three stages during the first half of 2021 before full UK border controls are implemented on July 1, 2021. These measures will only apply to imports from the EU into Great Britain. 

As we already discussed in our last article, this will bring far-reaching changes, affecting citizens, businesses, public administrations and stakeholders in both the EU and the UK. That makes Brexit a key concern for companies with operations in the UK - and a compelling reason for businesses to revisit their trade strategies. If you are one of them, here are the most crucial steps you should take now:

  1. Tariffs: When trading with the UK, zero tariffs apply for EU/UK origin goods - ensuring lower prices for traded goods.

  2. Customs Formalities: Even though there will be no tariffs imposed, specific customs declarations and paperwork will be required. Therefore, it is crucial to provide a statement of origin on an invoice or any other document describing the originating product in detail. You will now need to document your goods' origin, and if you fail to do so, your cargo will be delayed, and additional costs could occur. That’s why we recommend you have these customs formalities in place.

  3. Get familiar with Incoterms: As it is now crucial to have the right documents in place, you should get familiar with international commercial terms – also known as Incoterms – to ensure suitable importers–exporters terms are in place. Just download our Incoterm guide for free here.

  4. Communicate additional documentation requirements to customers and suppliers: Make sure you communicate the new requirements to your partners and explain to them the additional paperwork and potential delays. In this way, you can ensure they see you as a reliable partner.

  5. Get in touch with an expert: As stage one of Brexit is on, you should now make sure to take all the necessary steps. You can find a detailed summary with our partner KGH – they are experts in their field and part of the Maersk family.

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