Brexit FAQs, Practical Guidance & Additional Information
This page focusses on UK companies doing business with Germany. If you want information for German companies doing business with the UK, please visit the German version of this page.
Practical Guidance & Additional Information
Horizon Europe and Copernicus programmes: 2023 UK-EU agreement explainer
Guidance for applicants and grant holders about the Horizon Europe and Copernicus programmes and the new UK agreement with the EU, September 2023.
This explainer sets out details on:
- who can apply to Horizon Europe and which applications will be funded
- the difference between Work Programme 2023 and 2024 calls
- the UK’s Associated Country status
- changes to UK government Horizon Guarantee Scheme
- leading Horizon Europe calls
- areas of Horizon Europe open to the UK
- the role of UK partners in project consortia
- UK participation in Copernicus
Retained EU Law Dashboard
The dashboard is provided by the UK Government and shows a list of retained EU laws (REUL). These are laws that the UK saved to ensure legislative continuity immediately after Brexit.
In September 2021, the government announced the review into the substance of retained EU law (REUL) to determine which departments, policy areas and sectors of the economy contain the most REUL.
The REUL dashboard showcases the outcome of this review and subsequent further work by departments as an authoritative catalogue of REUL.
The public is invited to explore this catalogue to build an understanding of how much EU-derived legislation sits on the UK statute book and scrutinise legislation.
Collection: Travel or do business in Europe: Brexit guidance
Find out how new Brexit rules apply to things like travelling, working, studying and doing business with Europe in or with EU countries.
This collection of Brexit guidance documents, contains more information on the following:
- Travel to the EU
- Business travel to the EU
- Importing and exporting
- Providing services to the EU
- Transport goods to the EU
- Employing people
- Exchanging data with EU businesses
- Live, work or study in the EU
- Living in the UK as an EU citizen
- Travel to, work or study in the UK as an EU citizen
- The UK and EU trade deal
Guidance: National Insurance for workers from the UK working in the EU, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, or Switzerland
Check if you should pay National Insurance in the UK or social security contributions in the EU, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, or Switzerland.
If you leave the UK to work in:
- the EU or Switzerland, you will only pay into one country’s social security scheme at a time
- Iceland, Liechtenstein or Norway, you may need to pay into more than one country’s social security scheme at a time
You will usually pay social security contributions in the country you are working in.
If you’re an employer, your liability to pay social security contributions will follow the liability of the employee concerned.
- If you go to work in the EU or Switzerland
- If you go to work in Iceland, Liechtenstein, or Norway
- If you are not covered by a social security agreement
- Apply for a certificate
Guidance: Claiming preferential rates of duty between the UK and EU
How to claim preferential rates of duty on goods covered in the UK's deal with the EU and how to declare goods imported into the UK on your import declaration.
If your goods originate in the EU or UK, you may be able to claim a preferential rate of duty when imported into the respective countries and released to free circulation. This means they’ll be free of Customs Duty.
- Rules of origin
- Proof of origin
- How to claim a preferential rate of duty using the Customs Declaration Service
- More information
Travel to Germany for Work
Check if you need a visa or permit to work in Germany and how to get one if you do.
- Entry requirements
- Check if you need a visa or permit
- Check Germany’s exemptions
- Applying for a visa or permit
- Transferring to a German branch of a UK-based company
- Working for a German company on a German employment contract
- Self-employed work
- Research work
- German government guidance
- Check for travel changes
Guidance: Healthcare for UK nationals living in Germany
How to get state healthcare if you live, work or study in Germany.
This information is about living in Germany. There’s different guidance about visiting Germany.
You must have health insurance cover to live in Germany. You may still have to pay for some services or to use some parts of the healthcare system.
German residents join a health insurer called a ‘Krankenkasse’ and pay monthly insurance contributions. Around 90% of residents join a ‘statutory’ health insurer (gesetzliche Krankenkasse).
Around 10% of residents join a private health insurer (private Krankenkasse).
UK nationals usually access the German healthcare system in one of these ways:
- joining a statutory German health insurer
- joining a private German health insurer
- using a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) or UK Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC) for temporary stays when studying, or as a ‘posted’ (detached) worker
- registering a UK-issued S1 form with a statutory health insurer (see ‘UK-funded healthcare: getting and using an S1 form in Germany’ below)
Guidance on Germany: providing services and travelling for business
Guidance for UK businesses on rules for selling services to Germany.
The authoritative source for German market regulations is the German government. This guidance links to official German sources wherever possible.
- German trade and services regulations
- VAT on sales of digital services
- Ownership of companies registered in Germany
- Travel and entry requirements
- Social security payments for employees
- Recognition of professional qualifications
- Data transfer and GDPR
Placing products on the market in the European Union and Northern Ireland
As the rules for placing products on the EU and NI market continue being implemented, the UK Government has compiled information and guidances for businesses that will help with placing their products on these markets. The following guidance/support pages are listed below to help companies gain insight into what regulations must be followed.
Where do I find a customs agent?
Information provided by the british Government:
If you need additional support with your customs arrangements, you may be interested in contacting the organisations in the following list, which has been provided by the british Government.
Members of the German-British Chamber of Industry & Commerce that can help you with customs queries:
|ACT||United Kingdomfirstname.lastname@example.org||+44 (0)1304 273652|
Finding an authorised representative / a responsible person in the European Union
Since 1.1.2021, many UK companies require an authorised representative/a responsible person to continue doing business in the EU. This is especially true for companies in the chemical, cosmetic, food, medical and electronic industries as well as for the EU CE standard.
An authorised representative/responsible person is a natural or legal person in the EU, which performs tasks for a non-EU company with regards to certain duties of the producer.
In order for you to find an authorised representative/responsible person as quickly as possible, we have assembled the following list. It includes service providers and their contacts according to industry. Those service providers without a clear focus on a specific industry can be found under “CE”.
Please not that this is a list of companies, which, according to our database offer the responsible person service, but this is in no way an endorsement of those companies. This list is provided to you free of charge and without liability.
Brexit-Bot provides information on laws in Germany
The Central Customs Authority has designed a Brexit-Bot, which helps users to find information on laws that are applicable in Germany. These laws relate to the changes that have been implemented by the Trade and Cooperation Agreement agreed by the United Kingdom and European Union.
How to create a commercial invoice for export
If you ship goods overseas, a commercial invoice must be included with the shipment. Commercial invoices contain more information than a normal invoice including the:
- full name, address and contact details of the seller and buyer
- number and date of issue of the commercial invoice
- number and date of issue of the proforma invoice, purchase order or sales contract
- price, method of payment, currency and any discounts or additional charges
- quantity, gross and net weight of goods and number, weight and type of packages
- harmonised system (HS) tariff code and a plain English description of the products
- incoterms including delivery and payment
- country of origin of the goods
- means of transport and route
- actual value of the goods
Some countries require invoices to be certified by a Chamber of Commerce or embassy. Your local Chamber of Commerce should be able to tell you the requirements of your target market.
Export invoice currency
Currency exchange rates go up and down. Setting a price in a foreign currency could see the value of your invoice rise or fall depending on the exchange rate on the day it is paid.
If you haven’t fixed your exchange rate, you haven’t fixed your price.
Invoice in pounds
You can pass the risk of currency fluctuation on to the buyer by invoicing in pounds. The buyer may not want to take on the risk making you less competitive than someone invoicing in the buyer’s local currency.
Sometimes the buyer may be happy to pay in pounds. The currency you invoice in should be part of your negotiations with the buyer.
Invoice in a foreign currency
Invoicing in the buyer’s currency could make you more competitive but you will be exposed to the risk of currency fluctuation.
You can reduce this risk by:
- setting the exchange rate on the day of payment
- charging extra to cover any losses
- hedging the currency at a fixed rate with a forward exchange contract
- getting paid into a foreign currency account
You should also account for the cost of exchanging currency in your pricing.
You should speak to your bank or a specialist foreign exchange provider for advice on your exchange rate strategy. You can also use an exchange rate comparison tool.
UK Government collection on: Customs, VAT and Excise UK transition legislation from 1 January 2021
This collection brings together Customs, VAT and Excise EU Exit legislation and Customs notices that have the force of law applicable to UK transition.
These pages bring together new Statutory Instruments (SIs) laid Autumn 2020 and SIs which were laid to prepare for a potential no deal scenario previously but still apply in whole or in part for 1 January 2021, subject to amendment in some cases to ensure they reflect the withdrawal agreement and deliver what is required for the end for the transition period.
The page contains information on
- Primary legislation
- Impact assessments
- Tax information and impact notes
- Statutory instruments
- Tariff statutory instruments and reference documents
- Customs notices and directions that have the force of law
- VAT notices that have the force of law
Overview: The Trade & Cooperation Agreement
This overview published by the European Commission will help you make sense of the UK-EU Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA)
Immigration into Germany from 2021
This information is provided by the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany and contains information on visas and residence permits.
You can also access further information on the following:
- Short Stay Schengen-Visa (C-Visa) for sty under 90 days
- Residence Permit Visa (D-Visa) for stays over 90 days
- Airport Transit Visa
- Applying for a visa
- Contact information
- VIS - The Visa Information System
KPMG: What does a Brexit deal mean for business?
A free trade agreement has now been agreed between the UK and the EU. Our summary below sets out what this means for business in the coming weeks and months.
Agreements reached between the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the European Union
The Trade and Cooperation Agreement and other agreements below are provided for information only. No rights may be derived from them until the date of application. The numbering of the articles is provisional.
The United Kingdom and the European Union have agreed a Trade and Cooperation Agreement, an Agreement on Nuclear Cooperation and an Agreement on Security Procedures for Exchanging and Protecting Classified Information. These Agreements are designed to honour the instruction of the British people – expressed in the referendum of 2016 and the general election last year – to take back control of our laws, borders, money, trade and fisheries. It changes the basis of our relationship with our European neighbours from EU law to free trade and friendly cooperation.
Export to Germany from 2021
Guidance: How to comply with REACH chemical regulations
How to comply with the EU's REACH chemical regulations when using, making, selling or importing chemicals in the EU, and how to prepare for 1 January 2021.
UK REACH, the UK’s independent chemicals regulatory framework, starts on 1 January 2021. Anyone making, selling or distributing chemicals in the UK and the EU needs to follow UK REACH and EU REACH rules.
UK REACH will maintain EU REACH’s aims and principles. These include:
- the “no data, no market” principle
- the “last resort” principle on animal testing
- access to information for workers
- the precautionary principle
The government intends to extend the deadlines for submitting data under UK REACH transitional provisions subject to scrutiny by parliament and the devolved administrations. This guidance includes these extension dates rather than those currently provided in UK REACH legislation.
Import / Export from 2021
The Border with the European Union: Importing and Exporting Goods
On 1 January 2021 the transition period with the European Union will end, and the United Kingdom will operate a full, external border as a sovereign nation. This means that controls will be placed on the movement of goods between Great Britain and the EU.
To afford industry extra time to make necessary arrangements, the UK Government has taken the decision to introduce the new border controls in three stages up until 1 July 2021.
This information will be usefull for all traders seeing to import and/or export goods between the European Union and Great Britain after 1 January 2021.
Immigration into the UK from 2021
UK points-based immigration system: further details
Information about the government's plans for a new points-based immigration system.
This collection of documents provides information on the new points-based immigration system. The new system will apply to people arriving in the UK on or after 1 January 2021.
The content includes policy statements covering the key areas of the points-based immigration system, an Equality Impact Assessment, and some further detailed guidance.
This statement includes information on:
- the requirements of the points-based system
- salary and skills thresholds for skilled workers
- a route for students and graduates
- who can apply
- visiting the UK
- other immigration routes