UK Transition // Industry sector advice

Metals & other materials

Check and change – 5 steps metals and other materials companies can take to be ready to go after the transition period

The UK has left the EU, and the transition period will end on 31 December 2020. From January 2021, there will be important changes for businesses.  

Here are five things metals and other materials companies can check and change now to be ready to go. For more actions your business may need to take before January 2021 visit and use the checker tool.

  1. Use the new UK Global Tariff schedule to check what tariff will be payable on goods entering the UK from 1 January 2021.

    If you import goods into the UK, you should check the new UK Global Tariff schedule. From 1 January 2021, the UK Global Tariff schedule will apply to all goods imported into the UK unless an exception applies. Exceptions include goods you import from a country that has a trade agreement with the UK or from a developing country that pays less or no duty because it’s part of the Generalised Scheme of Preferences. You can check the tariffs that will apply to goods you import at:

  2. Check if a visa or work permit is required to travel to the EU for work purposes and apply if necessary.  

    If you travel to the EU for work purposes from 1 January 2021, you may need a visa or work permit. The country you are travelling to might also ask you to have other additional documents depending on the activity you perform. This advice may be relevant to anyone travelling to the EU for work purposes: this could include anyone working in the private, public or third sector, for example, professional and business services, manufacturing, charities, or the arts. For more information, visit:

  3. Check if Import VAT is due at the border

    If you import any goods from the EU into Great Britain, you may need to pay Import VAT from 1 January 2021. Import VAT will not be due at the border if goods in a consignment are worth less than £135. The only exception to this is consignments containing excise goods, where Import VAT (along with Excise and Customs duties where applicable) will be due at the border. For more information, visit here.

  4. GB businesses to familiarise themselves with EU requirements for waste movements between GB and EU

    If you import or export waste, you’ll need to make yourself aware of the EU customs guidelines and the EU Waste Shipment Regulations. Approval is required from the regulator in the country of dispatch, country of destination and when relevant, country of transit before notifiable wastes can move. Depending on the EU competent authority it may take 30 days or more to process applications.

    The GB regulators endeavour to process applications within the 30 day time period laid out in the EU legislation. EU regulators often take more time and that is outside our control.

    More information is available here.

  5. Use GOV.UK to identify how your business can be ready to sell certain goods in the UK and EU

    From the 1 January 2021 the essential requirements and standards that can be used to demonstrate compliance will be the same as they are now. However, there may be other changes you need to make.​ These are:

    • Check which regulations apply to your product​ – to determine what steps you or others in your supply chain need to take, identify what EU regulations are relevant to you.

    • Check if you need a new product approval and begin the process as soon as possible – if your product requires third-party approval, you may need a new approval especially if you sell in both UK and EU. Subject to negotiations, from 1 January 2021 the EU will stop recognising UK approvals.

    • Check if you need to appoint a new authorised representative to act on your behalf​ – UK-based individuals and legal entities will no longer count as established in the EU, and vice-versa. You may need to appoint someone to undertake certain tasks in the EU or UK.

    • Speak to your supply chains / distributors and understand new legal duties​ – make sure your suppliers/distributors/customers understand the actions they need to take. If you distribute EU goods, or have your goods distributed by someone in the EU, you may acquire new legal duties.

    • Consider what marking / labelling changes apply to your product – you may need to make changes to the information or regulatory markings that appear on your product, for example to reflect changes to product approvals or new representatives you appoint in the EU.

    • More information is available at:

Speak with your lawyer and accountant or visit for tailored business information and to sign up for email updates. 

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