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Brexit: consequences for EU entrepreneurs

This information is provided by

Netherlands Chamber of Commerce | Netherlands Enterprise Agency | Statistics Netherlands organisation (CBS)

On 29 March 2019, the UK leaves the European Union. On what terms is still not clear - on 15 January, the British House of Commons rejected the proposed deal that had been negotiated. This does not mean there will be a no-deal Brexit, however. A different deal may still be agreed upon. Whatever happens, Brexit will have consequences for EU entrepreneurs doing business with the UK, so be sure to prepare for every possible outcome as much as possible.

Long-term contracts

The 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.

Fiscal transition period in case of a no deal-Brexit

The Netherlands will apply a fiscal transition period to citizens and businesses in case of a no deal Brexit. What this means is that for tax purposes, dealings with the UK will be treated the same as when it was still an EU country. The transition period will last until the end of 2019. The temporary arrangement allows businesses more time to prepare for the new situation. Also, it prevents the administrative hassle of having to file different types of tax returns in the same fiscal year. Read the full press release on the Rijksoverheid websiteExternal link (in Dutch).

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 checklistExternal link to help you prepare: for instance, applying for an EORI number, filing customs declarations for excise goods, etc.

Another useful website if you import or export goods to/from the UK is Get ready for BrexitExternal link, an initiative launched by several Dutch shipping and distribution organisations.

Brexit vouchers

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.

UK citizens

If you are a British citizen, but reside in the Netherlands and run your business here, you will be allowed to stay in the Netherlands for 15 months after 29 March 2019, even if there is no deal. In this period, you may apply for a permanent residence permit. The Immigration and Naturalisation Service (IND)External link website tells you what your options are and how you can prepare for Brexit.

Brexit poll

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.External link

Brexit events

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 websiteExternal link (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 eventsExternal link here.

Stay informed

If you have dealings with the United Kingdom, you’ll do wisely to follow the developments. There are several platforms. The main Dutch governmental one is the BrexitloketExternal link (in Dutch), which offers all kinds of information and advice. The UK government has also launched a special website, that targets both UK citizens in the EU, EU citizens in the UK and businesses: Prepare for EU ExitExternal link.

In English:

in Dutch:

Statistics: import and export of goods

Value of goods imported to the Netherlands from the United Kingdom and of goods exported from the Netherlands to the United Kingdom.

This information is provided by

Netherlands Chamber of Commerce
Netherlands Enterprise Agency
Statistics Netherlands organisation (CBS)