The United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the EU, the Single Market and the Customs Union, created barriers to trade and cross-border exchanges that did not exist prior to 1 January 2021.

Consequences for public administrations, businesses and citizens were unavoidable, broad and far-reaching, even with the EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement in place.

The Commission provided training and guidance to Member State administrations as well as stakeholders, and will continue to organise sectoral seminars with all Member States at technical level, to help fine-tune the implementation of readiness measures, in particular in the areas of border checks for persons and goods.

Regarding questions in respect of the application of the EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement, citizens, associations and businesses can contact Europe direct Information service.

Moreover, the Commission provides for a single entry point where EU companies, trade organisations or non-governmental organisations can submit complaints on barriers to trade in non-EU countries, and about non-EU countries not meeting the commitments, including in the area of sustainable development, they have made in trade agreements.

Sectoral guidance notices

To assist, the Commission is reviewing – and where necessary updating – the over 100 sector-specific stakeholder preparedness notices it published during the Article 50 negotiations with the United Kingdom (these versions are available here). Those notices that have already been updated can be found underneath. They contain detailed information on what administrations, businesses and citizens have to do to prepare for the changes.

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