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Businesses in Stamford, the Deepings, Bourne and Rutland need to prepare for Brexit's challenge

Time is quickly ticking away until the UK formally leaves the EU on December 31, 2020, writes Matthew Upex of Moore Thompson.

This means that businesses only have a short time left to make any necessary changes to their trade operations.

The UK has already had to weather the storm of Covid-19 during 2020, but Brexit is the next great challenge on the horizon for many. Unfortunately, the pandemic has forced businesses to shift their focus and so it is likely that many simply haven’t made any meaningful preparations for Brexit.

A recent survey conducted by the Institute for Directors suggests that as many as a quarter of businesses don’t think they will be ready for the end of the transition period.

Moore Thompson
Moore Thompson

Whether you trade directly with the EU or not, every business will likely be affected in some way by the change in the trading relationship.

Obviously for those that import and export goods or services the UK leaving the single market will have the biggest impact, but other businesses should consider how it will affect their supply chain, customer base and, in some cases, the people that they employ.

At the time of writing, the Government is yet to secure a free-trade deal with the EU, despite months of negotiations.

Matthew Upex, partner at Moore Thompson
Matthew Upex, partner at Moore Thompson

Without a deal the UK faces having to trade with EU members states using Word Trade Organisation (WTO) rules, which will impose costly tariffs on numerous goods, so many businesses hope that some form of deal can be reached soon that secures tariff free-trade and smoother customs arrangements.

This level of uncertainty is making it very hard for businesses to plan, but there are certain things that businesses can do now to prepare.

Chief among these actions for importers and exporters is to obtain an EORI number. This will be needed to import or export goods from January 1, 2021.

These businesses will also need to hire a person or business to deal with customs for you, such as a freight forwarder or customs agent, or learn to prepare customs declarations themselves.

They may also require licences if they are moving certain types of goods into and out of the country and account for VAT at the border. Further details of steps that need to be taken can be found on the Government’s Brexit Transition page at gov.uk.

The next few months are going to be challenging for businesses, which is why they must have trusted advisors that they can rely on for support.

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