Trade changes

Firms ‘unaware’ of imminent EU-UK regulations

New rules are due on exports

Most businesses are unaware and unprepared for a swathe of fast approaching changes in EU-UK regulations, according to a survey.

The British Chambers of Commerce found that 87% of exporters knew about new EU VAT requirements due in January 2025 while 43% of manufacturers are unaware of the UK’s, now voluntary, alternative product safety marking system to the EU’s CE version. 

The lack of knowledge and preparation for the changes, mean that some traders with the EU could face further delays and unexpected costs. In some cases exporters could be unable to move their goods to EU customers. 

William Bain, head of trade policy at the BCC, said:  “Our research shows Government must…look again at how it communicates with firms about regulatory changes, especially given the likelihood of further divergence from EU rules in the future. 

“EU and UK policy makers also need to look at ways of simplifying a system that is over-burdensome for traders on both sides of the Channel.

“This could include reducing the complexity of exporting food and exempting smaller firms from the requirement to have a fiscal representative for VAT in the EU. 

“If it’s done right the further embedding of digital trade through Single Trade Windows also has the potential to make exporting and importing much simpler.

“And there are other practical steps that should be considered like rejoining the Pan-Euro Mediterranean convention to ease rules of origin issues.”  

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