NOA Ltd values its membership of the UK Sheet Plant Association and the regular business updates issued by the Association.  The following Business Readiness Bulletin has been taken directly from the SPA website (Some of the summaries may have been modified to be relevant to the needs of SPA Members – membership logon required):

Issue 49: 10 August 2020 

The UK has left the EU, and the transition period comes to an end this year. Take action now to get ready for new rules from January 2021. This bulletin is issued by the Department for Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategy and provides the latest information for businesses.  All information on the UK Transition can be found at

Moving goods into, out of, or through Northern Ireland from 1 January 2021

The Northern Ireland Protocol will take effect from 1 January 2021. New guidance provides support for businesses engaging in new processes under the Northern Ireland Protocol. The guidance outlines that, under the Northern Ireland Protocol, the UK Government will ensure that:

  • Moving goods from Northern Ireland to Great Britain should take place as it does now – there will be no additional process, paperwork, or restrictions on Northern Ireland goods moving to Great Britain, delivering unfettered access.
  • Changes for goods moving from Great Britain to Northern Ireland will be kept to an absolute minimum – with a new Trader Support Service, available to all traders at no cost, to be established to provide wraparound support, alongside guidance on the processes for food and agricultural products designed to uphold the longstanding status of the island of Ireland as a single epidemiological unit.
  • Trade in goods between Northern Ireland and Ireland, and between Northern Ireland and EU Member States, will continue unaffected, with no change at the border, no new paperwork, and no tariffs or regulatory checks.
  • For trade with the rest of the world, Northern Ireland will benefit from UK FTAs – ensuring the benefits of those agreements are felt right across the United Kingdom.

If businesses are impacted by these changes, they may want to consider the Trader Support Service. It can help businesses if they:

  • move goods between Great Britain and Northern Ireland, or bring goods into Northern Ireland from outside the UK;
  • act on behalf of someone to move goods between Great Britain and Northern Ireland, or bring goods into Northern Ireland from outside the UK;
  • are based in Northern Ireland and receive goods from outside of Northern Ireland;
  • send parcels between Great Britain and Northern Ireland, or bring parcels into Northern Ireland from outside the UK, using Royal Mail or an express operator.

The Trader Support Service will be free to use and will guide businesses through any changes to the way goods move between Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and into Northern Ireland from outside the UK. Businesses can also use it to get declarations completed on their behalf. Businesses can register an interest in the Trader Support Service here.

Apply for grants if your business completes customs declarations

Businesses can apply for 3 grants to help their business complete customs declarations. They can apply to get funding for:

  • training that helps a business to complete customs declarations and processes;
  • hiring new staff to help their business complete customs declarations;
  • IT improvements to help their business complete customs declarations more efficiently.

More information on the scheme and how to apply is available here.

UK Internal Market Consultation

The UK government is consulting on new measures to protect internal trade within the UK when powers return from the EU in January 2021. The proposals are designed to support the economy of the entire United Kingdom, avoiding unnecessary burdens and costs being placed on businesses or consumers, providing continued certainty for people and businesses to work and trade freely across the whole of the UK, and giving additional confidence to trading partners and overseas investors as we leave the transition period. Businesses and business representative bodies can find and respond to the consultation, which closes on 13 August, here.

New Guidance

EU funding: Although the UK has left the EU businesses will continue to get any EU funding they’ve already been awarded. This includes funding they are due to get after 31 December 2020. Businesses can still apply for EU funding under the current spending framework. The deadline will depend on which fund a business applied to. Some funds will still take applications under the current framework during 2021. It has not yet been decided what funding UK organisations will be able to apply for after the spending framework ends. Find out more here.

Letter to medicine suppliers: The Department of Health and Social Care’s Chief Commercial Officer has written to medicine suppliers, supply chain, and businesses setting out the government’s plan and requests of industry and the wider supply chain ahead of the end of the transition period to help ensure the continuity of supply of medical goods into and out of the UK.  A copy of the letter can be found here

Updated Guidance

Exporting to Vietnam from 1 January 2021: The EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (FTA) came into force on 1 August 2020. Guidance explaining changes for UK exporters to Vietnam from 1 January 2021 has been updated here.

Find customs agents and fast parcel operators from 1 January 2021: The list of customs agents and fast parcel operators who can help submit customs declarations from 1 January 2021 has been updated here.

The eCommerce Directive after the transition period: At the end of the transition period, the eCommerce Directive will no longer apply to the UK. Businesses should begin to prepare for these changes now.  Further details on what to do from 1 January 2021 can be found here.