Brexit blog

UK has left the building

Feb 1, 2020 7:47:09 PM / by Lars Karlsson

Brexit is done. What now?

1317 days after the UK Brexit referendum, 'Brexit got done' at 23:00 GMT and the United Kingdom, after 47 years as a member, left the European Union. 

The UK exit from European Union (EU) is now done, while a lot of work – in fact considerably more - still remains to be done in the next phase/s of the UK-EU dialogue about future relations.

The Withdrawal Agreement is connected to the EU article 50 regulation how a Member State (UK) leave the most advanced customs and trade cooperation known in history. Yesterday at 23:00 GMT United Kingdom left the European Union after 47 years as a member. 

Now we will hear more about Global Britain than about Brexit, starting with the Prime Minister Boris Johnsons speech on Monday. I have enjoyed working with UK elected officials and Civil Servants within the EU framework for the last thirty years, now I am looking forward to working under a new relationship. Partnership and cooperation will be needed also going forward. 

Some people celebrated the exit and others met the post-Brexit landscape with sorrow. We need to show respect and let everybody digest this event in their’ own way – after all, it is a landmark milestone in the history of our continent.

The negotiations about future relations are about to start and before explaining what does mean, let me underline that there is still a need to talk about the situation right now, under transition and implementation - since I and other Brexit experts still get many questions from worried companies asking what will happen now and for the rest of this year. 

For companies trading between the UK and EU, the procedures are the same until December 31st 2020 when the transition period ends. During the following eleven months, the rules are the same as before. Goods moved within between UK and EU countries are still moving freely in the single market. For export to and from other countries, UK companies are still trading under the EU Customs Code (UCC). 

Next week the new negotiations on future relations start, at least on a planning level. A wide range of arrangements and approximately about six hundred (600) agreements need to be negotiated and agreed, including; a Free Trade Agreement, new customs arrangements, border procedures and the Northern Ireland protocol of the Withdrawal Agreement. In parallel, the UK Government will have to develop and implement legal acts and border infrastructure. An additional challenge is that some of those provisions are unknown until later in the negotiation process.  

The transition/implementation period started on February 1st and it will end at the end of the year, on December 31st 2020. That is about 300 days from now. There will be no more delays or any prolonging of the implementation period. The end date is regulated in UK law. Don’t listen to people who say it is impossible to do all the work mentioned above in such a short period so there have to be an extension or delay of this date. There will not be. 

Are you ready? We in KGH have more than eight hundred and fifty (850) Customs-Border-Trade experts with experiences of best practices from all around the world. This is our core business. We help Governments and companies to be efficient, compliant and profitable in related to customs, borders and trade. 

We have also been heavily involved with BREXIT from day one, both with EU and United Kingdom (HMG). We are BREXIT experts and we have so far helped hundreds of companies from multinational enterprises to SME:s getting prepared and ready for the consequences of BREXIT. None of the companies we have met so far has been fully prepared yet, but they started early and are well on the way. The companies preparing best will have advantages in this new market.  

There will be consequences, both in shape of new tariffs and duty (how much and for what products will be decided by the upcoming negotiations) and non-tariff barriers and border formalities and procedures on trade between the parties. 

From January 1st there will be demands for Customs declarations and additional border procedures when trading between EU and UK. 

We have identified approximately sixty (60) areas that all companies need to prepare for. We are talking about analysis, competence, capacity and practical advice on how.

Call us, e-mail or use this link to visit our BREXIT Service Hub and have a look of our BREXIT services. We have a service that suits your needs. If you think you are already prepared, let the experts give you a check for certainty.   

Visit also our Trade and Customs Academy, here you find everything you need. On the UK Customs Academy, there are offers on all the education and digital online training needed to handle customs and borders in the post-Brexit environment. For UK based people all training courses are offered free supported by HMG financial grants.  

Finally, I want to highlight the need to become an Authorized Economic Operator (AEO). The new procedures for UK-EU trade will be based on the use of AEO. If you are not, check out the KGH AEO Services – including our new AEO 360 Compliance management software service, here

Contact us - we are the experts and we ready to help. Do not wait. The clock is ticking and there is limited time. 

In the meantime, I will have my pint of British beer and a small stilton to both celebrate democracy and feel sad missing my former EU friends from the great United Kingdom. Just for the record, if you want to return (in the distant future) – welcome back. 



Lars Karlsson

CEO/MD KGH Global Consulting

Topics: Brexit, Customs, UK Customs Academy, Preparations, Declarations, Training, AEO

Lars Karlsson

Written by Lars Karlsson

Managing Director at KGH Global Consulting.