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Brexit Transition

The transition period ended on 1 January 2021. This means that news rules apply for businesses that trade with the EU.

Immigration and Employment

Living and Working Abroad

If you wish to live or work in the EU, you may need to apply for residence status. You may also need to apply/register to receive healthcare and apply for a driving licence.


The rules in each country will be slightly different and country-specific living in guides are available on the government's website.


These rules may not apply to those moving to Ireland, which continues to operate under the terms of the Common Travel Area (CTA).

View living in guides

Find out more about the CTA

Employing Workers from Outside the UK

Workers from outside the UK need to claim appropriate residency or apply for a working visa. Businesses that want to employ workers from outside the UK need to register as a licensed sponsor. The UK has also implemented a points-based system to determine the eligibility of migrant workers applying to live and work in the UK. The government has published advice for businesses registering to become a licensed sponsor and you can find out more by following the links below.


These rules may not apply to workers from Ireland, which is will continue to operate under the terms of the Common Travel Area (CTA).

View government guidance

Points-based system guide

Licensed sponsor guide

Moving Goods In and Out of Britain

EORI Number

As of 1 January 2021, you need an EORI number to move goods between Great Britain and the EU.

You may not need an EORI number if you only:

  • provide services
  • move goods between Northern Ireland and Ireland

If you use a post or parcel company they’ll tell you if you need an EORI number, find out more using the link below.


You need an EORI number from an EU country if your business will be making declarations or getting a customs decision in the EU. Get this from the customs authority in the EU country where you submit your first declaration or request your first decision.

Find out more about EORI numbers

Importing Goods to the UK

If you are importing goods into the UK, you may have to pay trade tariffs and/or VAT. You may also need a license or certificate to import certain types of goods to the UK. For example, if you are importing animals and agricultural items, food or drugs and medicines you'll need to follow a number of news rule to ensure you are properly licensed.


Whatever goods you plan to import into the UK, it is worth checking what rules you need to follow. You can find specific information on the government's website by following the link below.

Find out more about importing goods

Exporting Goods from the UK

As of 1 January 2021, you need to make customs declarations when exporting goods to the EU.

These rules already applied to businesses exporting goods to the rest of the world, including Switzerland, Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein.


You can make the declarations yourself, but it is also possible to have an agent make declarations on your behalf (such as a courier company). Find out more using the link below.

Find out more about exporting goods

What Rules Apply for Northern Ireland?

Now that the transition period has finished, the Northern Ireland Protocol (‘the Protocol’) is in effect.

The Protocol enables Northern Ireland to continue trading with Ireland without a hard border. Northern Ireland will continue to follow some EU rules allowing compatibility with Ireland. However, measures will be in place to ensure that goods moved between Britain and Northern Ireland do so freely and that the entire UK, including Northern Ireland, are able to benefit from future Free Trade Agreements.


The government has set up a Trader Support Service which:

  • will help if you move goods between Great Britain and Northern Ireland, or bring goods into Northern Ireland from outside the UK
  • is free to use and will guide you through any changes to the way goods move between Great Britain and Northern Ireland
  • can complete declarations on your behalf

You need to register with the Trader Support Service if you intend to move goods between Britain and Northern Ireland.

Sign up to the Trader Support Service

Find out more about the Northern Ireland Protocol

Content on this page is provided for general information purposes only. If you are a business that intends to trade with countries outside the UK, you should check what specific rules you need to follow on the government's website.

Go to gov.uk/transition

Get more info

Article from the Institute for Government

Submit a transition enquiry to the Department for International Trade

Article from the BBC

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