With less than 100 days to go until the UK leaves the EU Single Market and Customs Union, the government is ramping up guidance to help importers and exporters prepare.
According to survey evidence gathered by the government, only 24 per cent of businesses believe they are fully prepared for the new customs rules and requirements that will come into force from January 2021.
The government has recently published its ‘Reasonable Worst Case Scenario’ planning assumptions, indicating what could happen if businesses fail to improve their preparedness.
Announcing the findings to the House of Commons on 23 September, Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, Michael Gove, said:
“Whether we secure a good Free Trade Agreement before January or not, whether we get a Canada-style deal or exit on Australian terms, we will have left the Single Market and the Customs Union. That fact means adjustments for businesses trading with the EU.
“More and more businesses are becoming fully prepared but there are still many who have not quite taken the steps they need to. The consequences of a lack of business preparedness will be not just economic opportunities missed for those companies who don’t prepare but, potentially, much wider disruption.”
The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) is hosting a series of sector-focused ‘Check, Change, Go’ webinars to help businesses understand the incoming rules.
The live sessions, which will be available on-demand afterwards, include:
- Services and investment, 13 October
- Retail (including retail suppliers), 14 October
- Automotive, 14 October
- Metals and other materials, 20 October
- Electronics and machinery, 21 October
- Consumer goods, 22 October
- Life Sciences, 27 October
- Construction, 28 October
- Aerospace, 29 October
In addition, the Enterprise Europe Network (EEN) North West and Innovate UK are hosting a separate webinar on 15 October to help SMEs capture the blue of their intangible assets.