Six steps life science companies can take to get ready for Brexit

The UK will be leaving the EU on 31 October. This will bring important changes to doing business. Here are six measures life science companies can do now to get ready

The UK will be leaving the EU on 31 October. In preparation, the government has released six measures life science companies can do to minimise impact on businesses.

Prepare for new customs and VAT procedures at the border when trading with the EU

To continue importing from and exporting to the EU after 31 October, there are changes you need to make now. Make sure you have an Economic Operators Registration and Identification (EORI) number that starts with GB, it’s quick, easy and free to do on gov.uk/brexit.

For businesses that import, there’s also the option of applying to make this easier with transitional simplified procedures (TSP). This streamlines the process and is ideal for those new to customs procedures.

Find step-by-step guides to importing and exporting, as well as more information at gov.uk/brexit-traders.

Check what you need to do to sell or supply medicines and medical devices in the UK

You will not be able to legally sell or supply medical devices in the UK if you do not get your business ready. For further guidance on the regulation of medicines, medical devices and clinical trials if the UK leaves the EU without a deal, visit gov.uk/brexit and search "guidance regulation medicines Brexit."

Ensure you can manufacture, sell, import and use chemicals

To continue to manufacture, sell, use or import chemicals, you will need to check whether you have new obligations under UK REACH (the Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals Regulation), as well your requirements under other regimes, such as BPR (Biocidal Products Regulation) and CLP (Classification, Labelling and Packaging). Refer to the guidance at www.hse.gov.uk/brexit/reach.htm.

Signpost the EU Settlement Scheme

Employers can help their EU, European Economic Area (EEA) and Swiss staff get the information they need to apply for status under the EU Settlement Scheme.

This will enable them to secure their rights in the UK. Applicants have until at least 31 December 2020 to make an application. Visit gov.uk/brexit and search "EU Settlement Scheme Employer Toolkit" for more information.

Act now to continue legally receiving personal data from the EU/EEA after Brexit

Check how you can legally continue to receive personal data such as names, addresses or payroll details from organisations in the EU or EEA after 31 October.

You may need to update your contracts or take other steps. An example of a personal data transfer from an EU/EEA partner is a UK company that receives customer information from an EU/EEA company, such as names and addresses of customers, suppliers or partners to provide goods or services.

Find additional information at gov.uk/brexit-personal-data or visit the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) guidance at ico.org.uk and search for "data protection and Brexit."

Find out which tariffs your business may face

The UK is leaving the EU on 31 October. If it leaves without a deal the UK Government will put in place a temporary tariff regime on imports. Under the temporary tariff regime, 87% of total imports to the UK by value would be eligible for tariff-free access. Visit gov.uk/brexit and search "temporary rates tariffs."

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