On the 31st of January 2020 at 11pm UK time Brexit will become effective! At that time the United Kingdom will formally exit the European Union as a member. Finally, some will think, because Brexit has kept everyone busy over the past years and caused many years of uncertainty. However, we expect that the uncertainty will remain for some time. Although the United Kingdom formally left the EU as per the 1st of February 2020 agreements and arrangements in view of the final terms of the Brexit and the future relationship between the United Kingdom and the EU still need to be negotiated.
As a result uncertainty on the terms and conditions of the Brexit remain. Will it be a hard or soft Brexit?
Until the 31st of December 2020 a transition period will apply. During this transition period the United Kingdom and the EU need to negotiate an agreement on the final terms of the Brexit and the future cooperation between the both. This period can be extended once for a period of 2 years upon mutual agreement of both the United Kingdom and the EU. During the transition period all EU laws and regulations will continue to apply to the UK and as such not much will change in the coming period.
The Dutch government has taken various measures to prepare for Brexit. For example, on 29 March 2019 the Brexit Collection Act (Verzamelwet Brexit) was adopted by the Senate. This law ensures that the consequences of a Brexit do not cause any problems for Dutch citizens and companies. The Brexit Collection Act covers two types of (legislative) change, namely changes that are necessary regardless of the time of the Brexit and changes that respond to unforeseeable consequences of the Brexit. For more information, please read our newsletter on the Brexit Collection Act.
After a long period of uncertainty one thing is certain: Brexit is here and is going to have an impact both for Dutch companies operating in the United Kingdom and for companies from the United Kingdom active in the Netherlands or other EU Member States. The time for real actions has come, at least, as soon as the final terms and conditions of Brexit have been agreed upon.
Points of interest for companies operating in the United Kingdom
Even though the outcome of the negotiations is not yet certain, as a Dutch company you can already make an inventory of the consequences of Brexit for your commercial activities.
Points for attention for British companies active in the Netherlands
Regardless of the outcome of the Brexit negotiations, companies from the United Kingdom will be affected by Brexit. For example, certain licenses (e.g. those of financial institutions) will no longer be valid. Will new import and export and customs rules apply and will new conditions apply to work in the Netherlands?
From a legal point of view, existing certainties in the relation between the United Kingdom and the Netherlands can be affected by Brexit. For example, will regulations applicable to products I bought stay the same and for how long? Can I leave it up to the British courts to do justice to the position of my companies if a dispute arises? Do claims based on a judgment remains enforceable to my advantage in the United Kingdom? At present, the authorizations of British regulators in the Netherlands are recognized for many products and services. Will it stay that way? Will the privacy regulations that apply within the EU continue to apply even after a Brexit in the United Kingdom? Do financial institutions based in the United Kingdom need to apply for a license in one of the EU Member States or will a passport regime be introduced?
Since the Brexit referendum, parties have been dealing with questions such as the above when contracting and trading with the United Kingdom, but also when structuring or restructuring their organizations, they have to take into account the often unclear consequences of a Brexit. Ploum specialists are happy to support you with your Brexit planning.
Ploum’s Brexit team is able to provide advisory services and assist in litigations regarding the following topics:
- Brexit-proof and post-Brexit contracts
- Adjustment of prices and payment terms
- Termination of contracts based on Brexit-related circumstances
- Financial market access and licensing
- Cross-border recognition and enforcement of judgements rendered by courts in the UK and EU member states
- Privacy law, the transfer of personal data and data protection
- Post-Brexit trade mark and design registration management
- Counterfeits and parallel trade
- Post-Brexit license agreement revisions
- Import and export of waste materials
- Employment and immigration in respect of UK nationals working in the Netherlands and of Dutch nationals working in the UK
- Permits, certificates and recognitions, application procedures
- Competition and anti-trust issues
- Relocation of economic activities, establishment of branch offices including notarial services
- Supply chain rerouting
- Logistics contracts
- Customs and other import and export formalities
- Customs procedures such as transit and free circulation
- AEO and other customs authorizations
- Export controls and sanctions, export authorizations
- Customs valuation, origin and classification, including BTI applications
- Customs representation
- Brexit-implications for UK products on regulatory compliance issues, such as CE marking, market authorizations and EU market representation