On 29 March 2019, the UK leaves the European Union. Brexit will have consequences for EU entrepreneurs doing business with the UK, so be sure to prepare as much as possible.
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Long-term contractsThe eventual consequences of Brexit depend on the deals the British government will make with the European Union. If your company works with long-term contracts, it would be wise to include special Brexit clauses. These clauses should cover, for instance, the validity of the contract once Brexit comes into force. You may want to change your contracts to deal with a changing trade situation; for instance, if the UK decides to adopt different product requirements.
The United Kingdom will become a non-EU country
As of 29 March 2019. The UK (that is: England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland) will no longer be part of the European Union. The EU will view the UK as a non-EU country. However, a transition period has been agreed for 21 months after that date, during which the freedom of movement and trade will remain intact. After this transition period, the expectation is that the EU and the UK will have come to an arrangement concerning (amongst other matters, of course) trade.
Customs after Brexit
After Brexit, the UK will probably no longer be part of the Customs Union, and this has several implications for businesses that import or export goods from or to the UK to the Netherlands. On the Dutch Tax and Customs Administration website, you can find a Brexit checklist to help you prepare: for instance, applying for an EORI number, filing customs declarations for excise goods, etc.
If you do business with the UK and are likely to be affected by Brexit, you may want to get professional advice on how to deal with this. You can apply for a so-called Brexit-voucher to partly cover the costs of this advice. See the article on Brexit vouchers.
If you are a British citizen, but live and run your business in the Netherlands, Brexit may affect your status of residence. The Immigration and Naturalisation Service (IND) website tells you how to prepare for Brexit.
The Dutch central government is conducting a Brexit poll, to find out how British citizens would prefer to be informed about Brexit. Click here to take part.
The special Brexit website Brexitloket offers a selection of events organised to help entrepreneurs come to grips with the impending changes. For a list of events see the Brexitloket website (in Dutch).
The Netherlands British Chamber of Commerce (NBCC) organizes several events to help entrepreneurs prepare for Brexit. Some events require membership, others are open to all comers. You can view the NBCC events here.
KVK survey: many entrepreneurs unprepared
A survey, published by the Netherlands Chamber of Commerce (KVK) in October 2018, reveals that few entrepreneurs in the Netherlands are prepared for Brexit. Even though 81% of the survey's respondents indicate they expect to be impacted by Brexit, half of these have no idea what the impact will be, and only 15% are well-prepared. Greatest concern among the respondents is the increase in administrative hassle, once the UK is no longer an EU country.
Read the KVK press release.
Stay informedIf you have dealings with the United Kingdom, you’ll do wisely to follow the developments. There are several platforms. The main governmental one is the Brexitloket (in Dutch):
- Brexitmonitor, Netherlands Statistics
- European Union Newsroom – Brexit file
- European Commission - Brexit Preparedness, notices, legislation, and other activities