BREXIT: UK officially leaves the EU

Several months after the referendum, the United Kingdom has officially left the EU on 31 January 2020. It is a turning point in the BREXIT timeline and set out the beginning of a transition period, which allows both sides to negotiate their future relationship.

What will happen during this transition period?

February 1st, 2020: As part of the withdrawal agreement, the United Kingdom and the European Union will enter a transition period that would last at least until the 31 of December 2020.

  • The UK is no longer part of the political institutions of the EU, nevertheless, EU laws are still applied during the transition period,
  • UK-EU trade will continue without any changes or checks being introduced: UE single market and customs union are maintained
  • At the same time, the United Kingdom and the remaining 27 European Union’s states will have to negotiate their future relationship, including the establishment of a trade deal.

According to the withdrawal agreement, an extension of the transition period is possible, for 12 or 24 months, only if both sides agree on it by 1 July 2020.

In case of a No-DEAL : what are the repercussions for operators?

If the United Kingdom and the European Union fail to come out with deal by the end of the transition period, major changes for operators are expected (No-DEAL situation):

  • Trade with UE will be governed according to the World Trade Organization ‘s terms (WTO)
  • Return of customs formalities and border checks for goods: declarations for import, export, and transit at every exchange with the United Kingdom
  • Issue of required authorizations prior to customs clearances for goods subject to special restrictions (health products, chemicals, health-related products, pyrotechnics)
  • Restoration of sanitary and phytosanitary controls to import and export live animals, plants or animal products from or to the United Kingdom.
  • Re-establishment of Security procedures: an entry summary declaration is an obligation for importing operators in order to check the goods that will enter the customs territory of the community.

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