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Brexit Update 6th November 2020

  • VAT Retail Export Scheme Campaign

Lobbying work continues on getting the Government to reconsider the decision to end the VAT Retail Export Scheme when the UK leaves the EU at the end of the year. Ending the scheme, rather than extending it to visitors from the RU, will have a considerable impact on tourism especially from high value markets such as China and the Middle East.

Attached is a fact sheet on just how considerable the impact this will have on tourism jobs and revenue. The key message is that if the Government extended the scheme to EU visitors rather than abolishing it, this would generate:

    • over 1.3 million more visitors
    • £1.9 billion
    • more than 28,000 jobs

If you have an opportunity to raise this with officials, MPs or Ministers, that would be greatly appreciated.


  • Changes in Food Labelling and Logos

This guidance will be of interested to businesses that produce their own food products, especially in rural and seaside areas.


    • Country of Origin labels

From 1 January, food from GB must not be labelled as ‘origin EU’ (there is an exemption for Northern Ireland) and you cannot use the EU emblem on goods produced in Great Britain unless you have been authorised by the EU to do so – this includes accreditation schemes like the EU organic logo. There is specific guidance for a range of produce including honey, eggs, fruit and vegetables and meat.


    • Geographical Indication Logos

The UK will be setting up its own GI schemes from 1 January 2021 to replace the European Scheme. If you produce food, drink and agricultural GI products registered before 1 January 2021, you have until 1 January 2024 to change packaging and marketing materials to display the new UK GI logos. However, from 1 January 2021, the UK logo will be mandatory for any new product.


  • Data Protection Campaign

The Government has just published the attached Partner Pack for a new campaign to make sure that businesses prepare for new data protection requirements that will result from the UK leaving the EU at the end of the year. The three key messages of this are:

    • If you’re a business or organisation that receives personal data from the EU/EEA, you must check if you need to take action on data protection to ensure data can flow lawfully from January 1st 2021.
    • Visit GOV.UK to find out how you can lawfully continue to receive personal data such as names, addresses or payroll details from organisations in the EU or EEA from January 2021.
    • Sign up to the Information Commissioner Office (ICO) newsletter for up-to-date information on steps you can take to ensure that personal data you receive from the EU/EEA can flow lawfully from January 2021.


  • HMRC Letter to VAT Businesses

HMRC will be writing to all VAT registered businesses next week explaining what they need to do to prepare. The letter specifically urges businesses to:

    • decide how they are going to deal with customs declarations – most companies use a specialist for this;
    • check to see whether they might be able to delay your declarations and duty payments; they may be eligible for this if their goods are not on the controlled goods list and they do not have a poor compliance record
    • register for the free Trader Support Service if they plan to move goods into Northern Ireland.
Vol2 EU Transition Partner Pack - Data Protection.pptx 20-11-06 Key figures
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