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EU-UK AGREEMENT SUMMARY

TRADE
  • The UK is no longer a member of the EU’s Customs Union and the Single Market.
  • A hard customs and regulatory border exists between the UK and EU.
  • No taxes (tariffs) will be imposed on goods between the UK and EU, provided the goods comply with the rules of origin requirements.
  • No restricted amount of trade (quotas) will be imposed ogoods between the UK and EU.
  • New regulatory checks will occur at the borders, including rules of origin. 
  • New checks will be in place for UK agri-food products, including health certificate checks and sanitary and phyto-sanitary controls at borders. 
  • New customs procedures and paperwork must be completed by businesses, causing potential delays at factories, ports or the temporary suspension of shipping between the EU and UK.  
VAT
  • The TCA did not amend the UK government’s VAT changes on 1 January 2021.
  • The UK has left the EU’s VAT zone.
  • VAT will now be collected at the point of sale instead of at the point of importation. 
  • Non-UK retailers who are sending goods with a sale value of less than €150 (£135) must:  
    • Register for UK VAT with HMRC  
    • Collect UK VAT from the consumer 
    • File VAT returns 
    • Send VAT to HMRC 
  • The EU are also implementing their own VAT system in July 2021 – where non-EU sellers must register once for the whole EU market 
SECURITY
  • The UK no longer has access to EU security databases, aside from specific investigations into organised crime and terrorism. 
    •  DNA, fingerprint data and passenger details will still be shared.
  • The UK is no longer apart of the EU’s law enforcement agency.
  • The UK is no longer a member of Europol or Eurojust. 
DATA

 

  • The UK and EU aim to maintain cross-border data flows.
  • Data adequacy is not covered in the agreement.
  • The EU are still to confirm whether the UK’s data protection regime is adequate.
    •  The UK and EU will allow cross-border data flows after 1st January 2021 for four-months to reach an adequacy agreement.
  • The UK will continue to comply with EU data protection standards with regards to EU citizens.
  •  
  • Rules on storing and processing data remain undetermined. 
TRAVEL
  • Visas: UK nationals traveling to the EU for more than 90 days (within 180-day periodwill need a visa. 
  • Passports: At least six months of validity left on your passport before travel is required.
  • Business Travel: A business trip which involves attending meetings or conferences, does not require a visa. You will need a visa if:
    • Your work stay is longer than 90 days (within a 180-day period) or,
    • You’re conducting an ‘intra-corporate transfer or,
    • You’re self employed and providing services in an EU member state, or
    • You’re providing services in an EU member state, where your employer has no local presence.
  • PetsEU pet passports are no longer valid.  
  • European Health Insurance Cards (EHIC) are valid until they expire.
  • RoamingUK mobile phone operators can now charge roaming rates.  
  • Streaming Services: The UK has left the Digital Single Market, complicating the cross border viewing of online content (i.e on Netflix) for UK accounts in the EU. 
  • Driving Licenses: UK driving licenses will be recognised in most EU member states. UK vehicles in the UK require a green card and a GB sticker. You need an International Driving Permit if:
    • You have a paper driving licence or,
    • A licence that was issued in Gibraltar, Guernsey, Jersey or the Isle of Man.
PROFESSIONAL SERVICES
  • Recognition of Professional Qualifications: Architects, lawyers, medical professionals, engineers, vets etc will no longer have mutual recognition of their qualifications in the EU.
    • Professionals must have their qualification recognized in the EU member state they intend to work in.
  • Short business trips, temporary secondments of highly-skilled workers will have special rights to work in the EU.
FINANCIAL SERVICES
  • Few references to financial services are made in the Trade and Co-operation Agreement.
  • An equivalence decision has not yet been established. Unilateral equivalence would give UK financial service providers access to the EU’s single market. Without equivalence providers must seek permissions from each individual EU member state.
  • Talks on an equivalence decision will continue, with the end of March as a deadline to establish structured regulatory cooperation on financial services.
  • Central Counterparties (CCPs) and Central Securities Depositories (CDSs) – are temporary equivalence decisions allowing EU firms to continue accessing UK infrastructure in the absence of sufficiently developed EU alternatives.
  • The Derivatives Trading Obligations (DTO) and Share Trading Obligation (STO) (both MiFID) are yet to be issued equivalence decisions from the EU.
  • The UK announced on the DTO to provide 3 months of temporary and limited relief for firms, subject to conflicting EU/UK DTO requirements.
EUROPEAN COURT OF JUSTICE
  • The UK is now able to set its own standards i.e environmental and labour law standards, where the European Court of Justice and EU law will have no role in the UK.
  • Tariffs may occur if any EU or UK businesses are at an unfair advantage.
  • Dispute Settlement: Any disputes between the EU and UK will be solved by the World Trade Organisation or arbitration tribunals from independent legal or trade specialists .
  • The treaty will be monitored by the UK and EU in a “Partnership Council”.

BritCham EU & Belgium is pleased to announce its response to the EU-UK agreement.

“This is good news for businesses on both sides of the Channel and if ratified smoothly, will allow businesses to properly plan for the future for the first time in nearly half a decade”

“This deal will also set the framework to allow both sides to deepen the relationship in areas of mutual benefit over time”

“Relief from the deal will be tempered by the fact that the rules for cross border trade will still fundamentally change on the 1st January. Businesses will need to prepare for significant changes at the border. However, today’s deal offers the hope that the future trade relationship can continue to develop and deepen over time”

Dan Dalton

Chief Executive, British Chamber of Commerce EU & Belgium