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Brexit Weekly Digest - 12 March

In the first Brexit Weekly Digest of 2021, we share the top news headlines for importing, exporting, customs checks and trade agreements. Plus, information about upcoming webinars that could help your business grow through the EU Transition.

EU legal action imminent over UK extension to grace periods

EU Chief Brexit Negotiator, Maroš Šefčovič, announced “infringement proceedings” are being prepared against the UK, as their unilateral extension of the Irish Sea border grace periods is “illegal”.

According to the UK Government, the grace period for B2B deliveries to NI will be extended until 1 October 2021, while B2C businesses will be given 6 months from the date arrangements are announced.

Currently, from 1 April 2021, all parcels entering Northern Ireland will require customs declarations. Check government guidance on sending goods here: Sending parcels to and from Northern Ireland - GOV.UK (


British ports say they are not ready for Brexit customs checks

Goods, plants, and animals entering the EU by sea, rail or air will be inspected from 1 July. The 30 designated border control posts (BCP) have raised concerns that “not all of the facilities are going to be ready”.

With less than four months to go, construction has only just begun at ports such as Purfleet on Thames in Essex. The new ports are expected to complete by mid-August – weeks after the border checks are due to start. Due to the BCP concerns, Brexit Minister Lord Frost is reportedly reviewing the custom check deadline, with the possibility of relaxing plans further.


Brexit Support for Tourism Webinar – 18 March 2021

Marketing Manchester is hosting a webinar for tourism businesses across the Greater Manchester region. The webinar is free to join, taking place on 18 March from 12:00-13:00, and will focus on EU Transition support for the tourism sector; discussing issues and opportunities following the EU Exit, and the implications for GM’s visitor economy.

Register here 


Increase Your Global eCommerce Opportunities

The Department for International Trade North West have created a four-part webinar series, focusing on the opportunities available in eCommerce for UK companies wishing to increase exports overseas. Each webinar will focus on a different sector:

  • 17 March - B2C Tech
  • 18 March - Food & Beverage
  • 24 March - Fashion, Footwear & Accessories
  • 25 March - Home & Beauty

Companies attending will benefit from a free in-depth market research report which examines and details the global ecommerce landscape, trends, markets, and opportunities.

Register here


List of customs agents and fast parcel operators have provided an A-Z list of customs agents, brokers, freight forwarders, shipping companies, fast parcel operators and agents who specialise in a certain industry, for example fresh foods or pharmaceuticals.

The list is available to view online for companies seeking help with import and export customs declarations. Or, if your business offers customs services, you can add your name to this list.


UK trade agreements with non-EU countries

Check the ratified trading agreements with non-EU countries. While most trade agreements took effect from 1 January 2021, some are still undergoing change with provisional application or bridging mechanisms put in place to ensure continuity of trade.

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