The new ways of engaging and doing business with our EU neighbours have now kicked in. What does this mean for you?

Trade in Goods

For many businesses, whose customers and supply chain are located in Great Britain, business will carry on largely as before.

However, for most businesses with EU (and Northern Irish) customers and supply chains, there may be requirements for customs declarations, compliance with 'rules of origin', and the need in many cases for products placed on both the EU and UK markets to undergo two sets of conformity assessments.

Trade in Services

For services businesses, the UK and EU have agreed some commitments on market access, subject to a number of exemptions and limitations, with an intention to establish regulatory cooperation for financial services markets later on.

Changes to the mutual recognition of many professional qualifications between the EU and the UK (for example, for architects and engineers), and the limitations on free movement to work in the EU, will also affect some businesses trading services between the EU and the UK.

Whether trading in goods or services, businesses will need to identify any sector-specific regulations which apply to them. The agri-food, automotive and creative services sectors, among many others, will need to familiarise themselves with the changed regulatory regimes which apply to those businesses.

Data Transfers

A further transition period for data flows has been agreed until at least 30 April 2021 (extendable to 30 June). So for the time being, there will be no change in data transfers from the EU to the UK. Keep this under review as the EU debates whether to grant the UK an adequacy decision.

Paul Gershlick is a partner at award-winning law firm VWV, with offices in Clarendon Road, Watford. Contact 07795 570 072 or