Coronavirus support: Advice and guidance for businesses COVID-19 Support

Suppliers and supply chain

You are only as strong as your supply chain. Organisations need to consider the impact of changes to the trading landscape on their suppliers and contractors. Take a look at the key things to think about and the actions you need to take to insure your business can continue to operate smoothly once the EU Transition period ends.

Things to think about

Products made to UK national standards (in areas where there are no EU standards) or conformity tested in the UK may not be legally placed in EU markets after transition. Does this apply to any of your products?

Both negotiating teams are hoping to reach an agreement on data adequacy, however if an agreement can’t be reached you may need to implement new safeguards. Do you currently import data from the EU?

There may be restrictions for UK services to access the Single Market. This might be in areas such as insurance, pensions and financial services. What impact will this have on your business and/or supply chain?

Plants may need phytosanitary certificates, and wooden packaging and pallets may need to be heat treated for transportation into the EU from the UK. Export and import of live animals, fish and Products of Animal Origin will also require physical checks and paperwork.

Steps to take now

Map regulatory exposure by checking all product lines to assess if they conform to EU or UK standards, and identify if the conformity testing is done by a UK or EU body. If EU standards apply, you may need to switch conformity testing to an EU recognised organisation.

If you import personal data from the EU you need to implement appropriate safeguards. The Information Commissioners Office (ICO) has guidance on model clauses that can be used.

Some goods are transported with animal products which may take longer to pass through checks. If the stock is being distributed alongside these items, the delivery may be delayed.

Check the small print as detailed rules apply to different products. Make sure you have checked precisely what the individual requirements may be for your goods.

UK exports to the EU must include an EU address for the food business operator or EU importer.

Keeping up to date with the latest changes to policies means that businesses can react quickly and informedly.

Need advice?

As always, the SEMLEP’s Growth Hub team are on hand to answer your questions. Get in touch today to book a fully funded one-to-one meeting with a business adviser.