Supporting UK Composites


Transition period

The UK has left the EU. There is now a transition period until the end of 2020 while the UK and EU negotiate additional arrangements.
The current rules on trade, travel, and business for the UK and EU will continue to apply during the transition period.
New rules will take effect on 1 January 2021.

You should prepare now and subscribe to Composites UK member email updates about any additional arrangements.
Check out how to get ready for new rules in 2021

Composites UK EU-Exit Member Resources

Good Practice Guides

  • Preparing the UK Composites Sector for the end of the Transition period
  • How to comply with chemical regulations from 01 January 2021
  • CLP changes from 01 January 2021

Brexit Bulletin: This regular member bulletin aims to keep members informed of the latest guidance for businesses to prepare for the end of the transition period following our exit from the EU on 31st January 2020. 

Members can download the guides and catch up with past issues of the bulletin in the member resources area.

Quick links

Actions you need to take now to ensure you are business ready to trade with the EU from 01 January 2021

UK-specific tariff to imported goods.

This UK Global Tariff (UKGT) will replace the EU’s Common External Tariff, which applies until 31 December 2020.

Use the UK Global Tariff tool to check the tariffs that will apply to goods you import from 1 January 2021

Placing manufactured goods on the EU and GB market from 1 January 2021

EU market: New guidance on what you need to do to comply with regulations on manufactured goods you place on the EU market from 1 January 2021 has been published.

GB market: New guidance on what you need to do to comply with regulations on manufactured goods you place on the GB market from 1 January 2021 has been published.

Free Trade Negotiations

Information on the trade agreements the UK has already signed and our discussions with countries the EU has a trade agreement with can be found here.

More trade is essential if the UK is to overcome the unprecedented economic challenge posed by Covid-19, and new trade agreements are an important part of the long-term economic recovery. All countries need to work together to ensure long-term prosperity and international trade is central to this cooperation. Free trade and resilient supply chains through open markets will be crucial to the global economic recovery as the crisis passes. One important element of this is ensuring that UK businesses have access to a wide range of free trade agreements when the Transition Period ends at the end of this year.  

Employing overseas workers

The UK Government is introducing a points-based immigration system from 2021. The new system will require those applying via the skilled worker route to accrue points by meeting a number of relevant criteria, such as having a job offer at the appropriate skill level, the ability to speak English and meeting the salary threshold. They have also produced a New immigration system: what you need to know.
The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy’s Secretary of State, Alok Sharma, has written an article outlining the benefits of the new points-based immigration system for businesses. Our message to the world: Britain is open for business

The Home Office has updated information for employers on employing EU, EEA and Swiss citizens in the UK, covering right to work checks, the EU Settlement Scheme and the UK’s new immigration system. Employing EU citizens in the UK

Hiring from the EU

From 1 January 2021, you will need a sponsor license to hire most eligible people from outside the UK, excluding Irish citizens, who are exempt. The process usually takes around eight weeks and fees apply. You can find out more here.

Border Controls

Border controls for EU goods imported into Great Britain will be introduced at the end of Transition Period in stages to give businesses affected by coronavirus more time to prepare. The Border Operating Model provides clarity and certainty for the border industry and businesses, including technical detail on how the border with the EU will work after the transition period and the actions that traders, hauliers, ports and carriers need to take. It covers all of the processes and systems, across all government departments, that will be used at the border. It provides clarity on the end to end journey for moving goods across the border – with information about controlled goods and new government systems that will support trade.

From January 2021:Traders importing standard goods will need to prepare for basic customs requirements, such as keeping sufficient records of imported goods, and will have up to six months to complete customs declarations. While tariffs will need to be paid on all imports, payments can be deferred until the customs declaration has been made. There will be checks on controlled goods. Businesses will also need to consider how they account for VAT on imported goods. There will also be physical checks at the point of destination on all high risk live animals and a proportion of low-risk live animals.

From July 2021:Traders moving all goods will have to make declarations at the point of importation and pay relevant tariffs. Full Safety and Security declarations will be required, while for SPS commodities there will be an increase in physical checks and the taking of samples.

To support businesses with the new processes taking effect next year, the UK Government has developed a new £50 million package to boost the capacity of customs intermediaries – including customs brokers, freight forwarders and express parcel operators – providing businesses with further support. This funding will support intermediaries with recruitment, training and supplying IT equipment to help handle customs declarations. Applications for the new funding will be open from July and HMRC will unveil more details in due course. Rules will also be changed to remove barriers for intermediaries taking on new clients.

Additionally, the UK Government have committed to building new border facilities in Great Britain for carrying out required checks, such as customs compliance, transit, and Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) checks, as well as providing targeted support to ports to build new infrastructure. They are consulting with ports across the UK to agree what infrastructure is required. Find out more here.

 Businesses can prepare for border controls by making sure they have an EORI number if they don’t already have one and also look into how they want to make declarations such as using a customs agent. 
It has been announced that HMRC have extended the deadline for businesses to apply for customs support funding to 31 January 2021. There is still at least £7.5 million available so that more businesses can hire or train experts to deal with customs declarations. Details can be found here.

Moving goods between Great Britain and Northern Ireland

At the end of the transition period when the Northern Ireland Protocol comes into force there will be changes to the way goods move between Great Britain and Northern Ireland. For businesses to keep up to date with changes, register with the Trader Support Service.

Apply for grants if your business completes customs declarations


Importing and Exporting Goods'

Following the end of the Transition Period on 31 December 2020, the process of importing and exporting goods between Great Britain and the EU will change. To help businesses prepare for these changes and continue to trade guides on how to import and export goods are available in the form of a ‘journey’, so that you can clearly see every step you need to take to ensure that your goods are transported successfully. 

The Department for International Trade has launched a free digital tool 'Check how to export goods' to give businesses the information they need to export goods out of the UK market. 
Businesses input their product commodity code and export destination and can then access product-level and country specific information including duties, regulations, customs procedures and trade agreements between the UK and other markets.

Import licences and certificates from 1 January 2021
From 1 January 2021 you’ll need to get a licence or certificate to import some types of goods into the UK. You might also need to pay an inspection fee for some goods before they’re allowed into the UK. 

Export licences and certificates from 1 January 2021
From 1 January 2021 you’ll need to get a licence or certificate to export some types of goods from the UK. 

The Department for International Trade and Export Joint Control Unit have published a notice of the current export licensing arrangements which will continue to apply until the end of the transition period on 31 December 2020. Notice to exporters 2020/03: exporting and trading items subject to strategic controls during the transition period.

Reporting to Companies House

Leaving the EU will not affect how most UK companies report information to Companies House. However, from 1 January 2021, your business may need to change its company registration if it’s a:

  • European entity formed under EU law
  • UK company with an EEA corporate officer
  • UK company involved in a cross border merger
  • EEA company

Companies House has produced guidance to help you find out whether your business will need to change its company registration from 1 January 2021, and how to do this. 

General Information and useful links


Effect on material legislation

The UK is not a Member State of the EU. However, until the end of the transition period market access, and therefore UK-EU trade, should continue on the same terms as before.


From 1 January 2021, anyone making, selling or distributing chemicals in the UK and the EU needs to follow UK REACH and EU REACH rules. 

After the transition period ends the EU REACH Regulation will be brought into UK law under the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018. REACH, and related legislation, will be replicated in the UK with the necessary changes to make it operable in a domestic context. The key principles of the EU REACH Regulation will be retained. The domestic regime that will operate in the UK from 1 January 2021, will be known as UK REACH. The REACH Statutory Instrument can be found on and will make its way through the parliamentary processes, with the intention that it will come into force at the end of the transition period.

From 1 January 2021 the UK REACH and the EU REACH regulations will operate independently from each other. Companies that are supplying and purchasing substances, mixtures or articles to and from the EU/EEA/Northern Ireland and Great Britain (England, Scotland and Wales) will need to ensure that the relevant duties are met under both pieces of legislation.

Under the Northern Ireland Protocol the EU REACH Regulation will continue to apply to Northern Ireland after the end of the transition period, while UK REACH will regulate the access of substances to the GB market.

For more information click here

Chemicals classification, labelling and packaging (CLP) after the transition period

From 1 January 2021, the European Union (EU) CLP Regulation will be replaced in Great Britain by retained EU law – the GB CLP Regulation.
For more information click here

Effect on Trade Marks

National UK trade mark rights will not be affected at all by Brexit.
No immediate action regarding European trade marks is needed. In the coming months and years there will be changes to address the UKs departure from the EU; new processes will be put in place to continue your trade mark rights without any loss.

International trademark registrations protected in the EU under the Madrid Protocol will no longer enjoy protection in the UK after 1 January 2021. To address this, on 1 January 2021 UK Government will create a comparable trade mark (IR) in relation to each international (EU) trade mark designation which has protected status immediately before 1 January 2021. Find out more here.

Brexit and Trade Marks

Effect on patents

UK national IP Rights will be unaffected by UK exit from the EU. All UK patents, UK registered trade marks and UK registered designs obtained by application to the UKIPO will continue to have full effect in the UK.
The European Patent Convention and the European Patent Office (EPO), are not EU institutions and there is no change to representation before the EPO in all respects. 
When the UK exits the EU, there will be new processes available to protect or maintain IP rights in the UK. New provisions will be put in place and we shall keep you informed. 

Preparing for change - Brexit and the UPC

Effect on standards activity

BSI's membership of CEN and CENELEC is guaranteed beyond the end of the EU exit transition period following a decision by the CEN and CENELEC general Assemblies on 18 June 2020. The timeframe to update the membership statues will now run until the end of 2021 and we are confident membership will continue beyond this date. As of 1 July, BSI’s voting changed in both CEN and CENELEC. 

Further information and a set of frequently asked questions (FAQs) are available on the BSI Brexit and standards webpage. For any specific query, please contact the BSI Brexit and standards team using

BSI Brexit Position Report February 2018

Free Webinar: Brexit and Standards

European Funding

Although the UK has left the EU businesses will  continue to get any EU funding they’ve already been awarded. This includes funding they are  due to get after 31 December 2020. Businesses can still apply for EU funding under the current spending framework. The deadline will depend on which fund a business applied to. Some funds will still take applications under the current framework during 2021. It has not yet been decided what funding UK organisations will be able to apply for after the spending framework ends. Find out more here.



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