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What will happen after March 2019 in the event of a no deal Brexit?

What are tariffs?

Tariffs are customs duties or taxes charged on specific products as they cross borders between countries. At present, there are no tariffs on goods as they cross the EU border from the UK as we are part of the Single Market.
Post-Brexit, in the event there is no deal, the EU will look to charge tariffs on products entering the EU. The UK will also charge tariffs on products entering the UK. In the event of a no-deal Brexit, the UK will revert to World Trade Organisation (WTO) tariffs.

How will customs administration work?

After Brexit, in the event of an eventual no deal post-transition period, there will be new customs administration forms to fill in. Until negotiations are completed, we do not know exactly what these customs procedures will look like.

However, it is likely manufacturers will need to complete new customs declarations before they are able to have their products cross the border into the EU, and on any components they import from the EU.

What do I need to know about Rules of origin (ROO)?

Rules of Origin show the economic nationality of the product. They need to be agreed between the EU and the UK. Once agreed, to prove British origin of a good, a certificate of origin (often abbreviated to C/O or CoO) is needed. In can be a printed form or an electronic document. It is completed by the exporter and certified by a recognised issuing body, showing that the goods in a particular export shipment have been produced, manufactured or processed in a particular country. You can find out more using our exclusive Brexit trade tool.


Will standards stay the same post-Brexit?


If the Withdrawal Agreement is signed, yes, standards will stay the same during the transition period. Our national standards agency the British Standards Institute (BSI) has begun the process of a fully-fledged member of the European standards setting agencies – in a position to lend its considerable knowledge to this complex issue.

The Withdrawal Agreement looks to “explore the possibility of cooperation of United Kingdom authorities with Union agencies such as the European Medicines Agency (EMA), the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA), and the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA). This is a softening of the EU position which had been staunchly against any cooperation.


What regulation changes will there be?


Under the transition set out in the draft agreement, the UK will fully comply with EU rules and regulations until the end of the transition period in either 2020, or longer subject to an extension.

As a country we need to retain the status quo – that is high regulatory alignment with the EU to protect our current trading relationships after the transition period comes to an end in 2020. As a country we have a mass of technical expertise which we can contribute and EEF is campaigning hard to make sure the UK has a say at the decision making table – both creating new regulation and adapting what already exists.

What is happening about the Irish Border or backstop agreement?

On the Northern Ireland backstop, the document says “The Parties recall their determination to replace the backstop solution on Northern Ireland by a subsequent agreement that establishes alternative arrangements for ensuring the absence of a hard border on the island of Ireland on a permanent footing.”

This is set out in the protocol on Northern Ireland which would come into force after the transition period should the UK and EU fail to find an agreement which ensures an open border and protects north-south cooperation.

It ends, partially or entirely, after agreement is reached between EU and UK which supersedes some or all elements of the protocol. The protocol envisages a single customs territory will be established between the UK and the EU, with a level playing field for regulation between the UK and the EU, with Northern Ireland remaining directly subject to a range of EU legislation.

Will there be new trade deals for the UK?

The first priority of the Government must be to ensure the status of our current trade relationship with whom the EU has an existing trade agreement. In parallel to this, Government is currently working to seek out new trade opportunities for the UK outside the EU. Ministers and officials from the Department of International Trade are speaking to governments around the globe, and have already been to Saudi Arabia, Australia, India and USA. Will not will not be able to bring into force any of these until any transition period is at an end.

Will I still be able to employ people from the EU during the transition period?

During the transition period the ability to move workers into and out of the UK remains the same as it is now. For many years, our sector has been using EU labour to fill those gaps. Couple this with record low unemployment and we are left with areas in the UK with little – or no – flex in the labour market. This access to the EU talent pool remains vital.