Swindon & Wiltshire Business News

Businesses urged to get ready for Brexit

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Businesses need to get ready for Brexit – that's the message from Business West as Britain prepares for new customs arrangements with the EU.

James Monk, director of commercial services at Business West, said that it is almost too late for companies to start preparing for a No Deal Brexit.

“If businesses have not prepared for the worst case scenario, then it is almost too late and I would suggest firms get up to speed immediately by visiting our Trading through Brexit hub  to receive regular updates and advice,” he said.

However, there are still hopes – with fewer than 50 days to go – that Britain and the EU may strike some kind of trade deal.

Negotiators Michael Barnier and David Frost have not yet reached an agreement, but according to reports, they are expected to advise Boris Johnson and EU leaders to go forward with further formal discussions in London this weekend.

“While the possible extension on discussions this weekend may indicate we are one step closer to a deal, businesses must remember to take action now to get ready for 1st January," said James.

“Whatever the outcome, Business West is ready to support companies through the next few challenging months, with the pandemic presenting further hurdles for companies."

From January 1, 2021 businesses will need an EORI number that starts with GB to move goods to or from the UK. Most businesses should have now received this, but if they haven’t there is a wealth of information on the HMRC website to obtain this.

Businesses will need to consider whether they need to register for VAT for the countries they want to trade with and be aware of how other legislation may change. We can give businesses information on the types of documents available, how they’re used and where to get them, but businesses must check what they need with their importing agent or customer.

A webinar will be held on 11th November by British Chambers of Commerce to help businesses prepare and provide an opportunity to ask any questions about the end of the transition period. Lord Agnew, minister of state for efficiency and transformation will also be speaking.

Details of the webinar can be found at www.businesswest.co.uk/events/countdown-change-webinar-series-0