Prepare for BREXIT

Preparing businesses for EU Exit

This information will help you understand how leaving the EU may affect your business. Visit for full guidance to help you to prepare.

The below EU Exit tool will help you to make detailed plans based on the profile of your business

  • Step 1 Access the tool HERE
  • Step 2 Answer some simple questions about your business
  • Step 3 Read the actions to take that are relevant to your business and sign up for email alerts to stay updated

Use the sections below to click on the information that is relevant to you / your business:

  • If you import or export from / to the EU:

    There may be changes to UK-EU trade at the UK border including on customs, tariffs and VAT. Take the first step to prepare now;

    • Apply for a UK Economic Operator Registration and Identification number to continue to trade with the EU (LINK) see the below for further info on EORI numbers (link to below info on EORI numbers)
    • Check your responsibilities for making customs declarations (LINK)

    What you need to know about EORI numbers:

    • any business that already trades with non-EU countries and has a UK EORI number will continue to be able to use this for UK-EU trade and does not need to apply again
    • UK EORI numbers are eight digit numbers and begin with the prefix ‘GB’, such as GB00000000
    • any business that already trades with non-EU countries and has an EU EORI number will be able to use this for UK-EU trade for a temporary period; HMRC will provide further information about moving to a UK EORI number shortly and these businesses do not need to apply for a UK EORI number at this time
    • EU EORI numbers will be begin with different country prefix, such as ‘IE’ or ‘FR’.

    Step-by step guide published on importing:

    Step-by step guide published on exporting:

    Guidance on proof of origin: trade continuity agreements and GSP: Proof of Origin Trade Continuity Agreements and GSP

    Click on below slider to watch videos that look at importing and exporting goods if UK leaves the EU with no deal:

  • If you export outside the EU

    Department for International Trade have provided guidance explaining changes for UK exporters to India if we leave the EU with no deal. Update – updated with link to new export guide for India on and link to Overseas Business Risk report: Exporting to India after Brexit if there’s no deal

    Department for International Trade have provided Guidance explaining changes for UK exporters to Norway if we leave the EU with no deal. Update – updated with link to new export guide for Norway on and link to Overseas Business Risk report: Exporting to Norway after Brexit if there’s no deal

    Department for International Trade have provided guidance explaining changes for UK exporters to Australia if we leave the EU with no deal. Update – updated with link to new export guide for Australia on and link to Overseas Business Risk report: Exporting to Australia after Brexit if there’s no deal

    Department for International Trade have provided guidance explaining changes for UK exporters to Switzerland if we leave the EU with no deal. Update – updated with link to new export guide for Switzerland on and link to Overseas Business Risk report: Exporting to Switzerland after Brexit if there’s no deal

  • If you transfer personal data into the UK:

    There may be changes to how you send or receive personal data from international partners, including in the EEA. ;

    For more information please scroll down the page and read the Data Protection Section.

  • If you provide services or operate in the EU:

    There may be new rules you need to comply with if you operate in EU/ EEA countries. This could affect your business if:

    • you have a branch(es) in the EU
    • you operate in a service sector within the EU
    • you’re planning a merger with an EU company
    • you or your employees travel to EU/EEA countries for business ;

    Check the regulations for the EU/EEA countries you operate in, including visa requirements, to understand how changes could affect your business (LINK).

  • If you are a UK business that trades with the EU:

    • Visit the dedicated ‘Communications resources‘ page that helps to explain the actions you must take to prepare and provides further guidance and support for each step. The page includes:
      • step-by-step guides for UK importers and exporters setting out the key actions they need to take to prepare their business
      • details of the latest guidance on key areas, such as how to successfully complete customs declarations and how to move goods to the EU through roll on roll off ports
      • links to the technical notices published in August last year
    • Further information and tools are available from the Department for International Trade on: existing trade agreements with non-EU countries which will be affected when we leave the EU

    If the UK leaves the EU on 29 March 2019 with no deal, the UK will no longer operate under the European Economic Area (EEA) regulations for  the cross-border trade in services.

    This means that the rights and protections provided by the EU Directives and EU Treaty rights of Freedom of Movement and Freedom of Establishment will no longer apply to the UK.

  • If you sell manufactured goods:

    Your business may need to:

    • Check regulatory requirements for UK and EU markets, including labelling, approvals and testing by following this LINK
  • If you employ EU citizens:

    As an employer you will still be able to employ EU citizens as you do now and continue to conduct the same right to work checks. EU citizens should apply to the European Settlement Scheme by 31 December 2020 to continue working in the UK.

    Read the Employer Toolkit for further details on employing EU citizens (LINK).

  • If you hold intellectual property

    There may be changes that affect copyright, patents, designs and trade marks.

    • Read IP and Brexit: The Facts for full information from the Intellectual Property Office (LINK)

The Government has announced a temporary tariff regime if the UK leaves the EU with no deal. Watch the video below and find out what it means.

Below you will find information that has been provided by the different government departments:

Update from HMRC

Leaving the EU on 31 Oc‌to‌be‌r 2019 means there will be immediate changes to the way UK businesses trade with the EU that may impact your business.

This includes UK businesses having to apply customs, excise and VAT procedures to trade with the EU, in the same way that already applies for goods and services traded outside the EU.

Customs intermediaries grant scheme

£16 million in new government funding is now available to help businesses prepare.

Businesses based in, or with a branch in the UK can apply for funding ahead of the UK leaving the EU. Grants can be used to support:

  • training costs for businesses who complete customs declarations, or who intend to in the future
  • IT improvements to help your business complete customs declarations more efficiently.

To ensure maximum impact, the second wave of the grant scheme allows businesses to apply for the full cost of training, within certain limits as set out in the guidance.

Further information about EORI numbers

We’ve published an Economic Operator Registration and Identification (EORI) number mythbuster, which dispels common misconceptions about EORI numbers.

NEW – HMRC published guidance on how to make a cash declaration when entering or leaving the UK: How to Make a Cash Declaration when Entering or Leaving the UK


    A Collection of Documents published by the Government on how to prepare if the UK leaves the EU with no deal.

    This Document puts the government’s technical notices in context, explaining the current progress in negotiations and the unlikely circumstances in which a no deal scenario might materialise.

    It also explains the government’s overarching approach to preparing the UK for this outcome in order to minimise disruption and ensure a smooth and orderly exit in all scenarios.


    1. Overview
    2. Applying for EU-funded programmes
    3. Driving and transport
    4. Farming and fishing
    5. Handling civil legal cases
    6. Importing and exporting
    7. Labelling products and making them safe
    8. Meeting business regulations
    9. Money and tax
    10. Personal data and consumer rights
    11. Protecting the environment
    12. Regulating energy
    13. Regulating medicines and medical equipment
    14. Regulating veterinary medicines
    15. Sanctions
    16. Satellites and space
    17. Seafaring
    18. State aid
    19. Studying in the UK or the EU
    20. Travelling between the UK and the EU
    21. Workplace rights

    How to prepare if the UK leaves the EU with no deal – CLICK HERE


    HMRC has written to 145,000 VAT-registered businesses across the UK, including Northern Ireland, which only trade with the EU.

    The letters explain changes to customs, excise and VAT in the event that the UK leaves the EU without a deal, and what businesses can do to prepare.

    HMRC will also continue to engage with businesses, representative organisations, intermediaries and infrastructure providers to ensure they have the information and support they need.

    Letters on ‘no deal’ Brexit advice for businesses only trading with the EU – CLICK HERE


    This Partnership Pack is designed to help businesses preparing for day one if we leave the EU without a deal.  This Pack was recently made available to assist businesses and those providing business advice and support to prepare for EU Exit

    You can use this Pack for your contingency planning and to help your customers, members and clients to:

    • think about how they will need to adapt their business to comply with new systems, processes and controls
    • assess the impact of the increased demand for customs declarations on their business
    • consider whether they need to recruit and train additional staff
    • stay up-to-date with these changes

    The Pack also provides step-by-step guides for importing and exporting in the event of a ‘no deal’ scenario, available either as a PDF or plain text.

    Partnership pack: preparing for changes at the UK border after a ‘no deal’ EU exit – CLICK HERE


    This Notice, prepared by the European Commission, sets out the consequences of the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union without a formal, ratified agreement between the United Kingdom and the European Union.

    It covers information and guidance on:

    • Climate Action
    • Communications Networks, Content and Technology
    • Employment, Social Affairs & Inclusion
    • Energy
    • Environment
    • Financial Service c& Capital Markets Union
    • Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs
    • Industrial Security
    • Justice & Consumers
    • Justice & Consumers / Mobility & Transport
    • Maritime Affairs & Fisheries
    • Mobility & Transport
    • Health & Food Safety
    • Secretariat – General
    • Trade / Taxation & Customs Union
    • Travelling

    Preparedness notices – CLICK HERE


    This checklist has been prepared in response BCC survey findings, which suggest that a significant number of firms are either watching and waiting – or taking no action at all. It is useful as a basis for business planning at both operational and Board level.  It highlights the key areas in which you should consider possible changes, and provides resources that can help you plan.

    The keys areas covered are:

    • Workforce & future skills needs
    • Future staffing requirements
    • UK/EU customs checks
    • Potential delays at UK/EU border
    • Tariffs on UK-EU trade
    • Rules of Origin in UK-EU trade
    • EU trade agreements with third countries
    • Customs facilitations, reliefs etc.
    • Customs/export training
    • Incoterms
    • Import VAT
    • VAT registration in the EU
    • Currency risk
    • Intellectual Property
    • Contracts review
    • EU regulatory regime and data protection
    • Competition policy and state aid

    Business Brexit Checklist – CLICK HERE


    With the day on which the UK exits the EU fast approaching, the FSB feel they have a responsibility to help their smaller businesses.  This guide covers; End State Brexit Scenarios; Principles of Good Contingency Planning / Business Continuity Planning and Regulation and the European Union (Withdrawal Act 2018)

    Key objectives of the Pack are to help member businesses to:

    a) Understand the Withdrawal Agreement including EU Commission and UK Government ‘backstop’ propositions to avoid a hard border on the Island of Ireland;

    b) Understand the range of ‘end state’ scenarios that are possible including;

    • No deal (with no transition period)
    • Free Trade Agreement (FTA)
    • Association Agreement (Chequers)
    • European Economic Area (EEA)
    • European Free Trade Association (EFTA) / Switzerland

    c) Prepare for the scenario that would cause the most disruption to the business continuity of small businesses in the short to medium term.

    Small Business Brexit Pack: Introduction – CLICK HERE


    Although originally prepared for Lloyds Bank customers, this information pack is a compilation of common queries raised by the Bank’s business customers, expressed as a series of FAQs and they have tried to detail clear answers and links to more information where relevant.

    The questions cover general enquiries, business strategy, operations and business practices, supply chain management, financing and investments.

    Frequently Asked Questions about Brexit – CLICK HERE


    This is another Government publication.  The document is intended as a guide to support understanding of the legal drafting of the Withdrawal Agreement as published on 14 November 2018 following a format of:

    1. Preamble
    2. Part One: Common Provisions
    3. Part Two: Citizens’ Rights
    4. Part Three: Separation Provisions
    5. Part Four: Implementation (Transition) Period
    6. Part Five: Financial Provisions
    7. Part Six: Institutional and Final Provisions
    8. Protocol: Northern Ireland
    9. Protocol: Sovereign Base Areas of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland in Cyprus
    10. Protocol: Gibraltar
    11. Annexes to the Withdrawal Agreement

    Explainer for the agreement on the withdrawal of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland from the European Union – DOWNLOAD HERE


    Following the publication of an updated version of the draft Withdrawal Agreement, jointly published by the UK & European Commission on 14th November 2018, the BCC has put together a FAQ on the Agreement and the likely next steps in the process.

    The following areas are covered:

    1. What is the Withdrawal Agreement?
    2. What is the Political Declaration?
    3. What is the transition period?
    4. How will the transition period end?
    5. What is the “backstop” and why do we need one?
    6. How would a backstop operate?
    7. When would the backstop end?
    8. What does this mean for businesses trading with and in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland?
    9. What happens next?
    10. What should businesses be doing to prepare for Brexit?

    Brexit Agreement FAQs – CLICK HERE

Data Protection

  1. Data Protection if there is no Brexit deal

This notice sets out the actions UK organisations should take to enable the continued flow of personal data between the UK and the EU in the event that the UK leaves the EU in March 2019 with no agreement in place.

  1. Amendments to UK data protection law in the event the UK leaves the EU without a deal on 29 March 2019

This notice provides more detail about how our data protection law will work in the event the UK leaves the EU without a deal.

In the event that the UK leaves the EU on 29 March 2019 without a deal, UK businesses will need to ensure they continue to be compliant with data protection law. For UK businesses that operate only within the UK there will be no immediate change. For UK businesses that operate internationally or exchange personal data with partners in other countries there may be changes that need to be made ahead of the UK leaving the EU to ensure minimal risk of disruption.

  1. Leaving the EU without a deal – 6 steps to take (data protection)

This guidance from the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) sets out in six steps what your business should be doing to be prepared for EU exit. Further information and resources on EU exit can be found on the ICO website.

  1.  ICO Guidance on International Data Transfers

You should read this section if:

  • you are a UK-based business or organisation and the GDPR currently applies to your processing of personal data; AND
  • you send personal data outside the UK; or
  • you receive personal data from the EEA; or
  • you receive personal data from countries or territories which are covered by an adequacy decision.

This section does not apply to you if:

  • you never transfer personal data outside the UK and never receive personal data from outside the UK; OR
  • you only transfer personal data outside the UK to consumers or only receive personal data from outside the UK directly from consumers.

ICO Guidance on International Data Transfers

ICO Guidance – Data Protection and Brexit