Inveralmond Brewery

What does Brexit mean for sectors?

From 1 January 2021 regulatory changes have come into force which affect many sectors. Read the latest guidance to see how your business is likely to be affected and actions you should take to continue your business operations after Brexit.

Import goods into the UK: step by step

Export goods from the UK: step by step

Regulatory frameworks have changed

As of 1 January 2021 the UK no longer adheres to EU regulations. This means that businesses now need to obtain authorisations from new regulatory bodies. 

A key concern for businesses in the financial services, chemicals, life sciences, creative industries and food and drink sectors in particular is the extent to which the UK continues to align with EU regulatory frameworks as this could affect issues such as the review and certification of products/services as well as packaging and labelling.

Read EY's sector impact analysis report, commissioned by the Scottish Government

The Scottish Environmental Protection Agency (SEPA) can provide support to businesses to help them continue to comply with environmental regulations in the context of EU Exit and Covid-19 issues. This includes the movement and storage of waste between GB/NI, the introduction of the new UK REACH regulations relating to chemicals and the transition to the new UK Emissions Trading Scheme.

Data protection

The Information Commissioners Office continues to offer guidance and support for businesses with regards to GDPR.

Further guidance about data protection and intellectual property can be found in the Brexit Checklist.

Ecommerce directive

Since 1 January 2021 the eCommerce Directive is no longer in place in the UK.

GOV.UK guidance on the eCommerce Directive and the UK

All businesses established in the UK - operating online - need to comply with online information, online advertising, online shopping and online contracting legislation in each Member State in which they operate.

Changes applicable to your business:

  • If you directly sell goods and services online to the EEA in any sector. Check whether this change affects your business. For example, businesses established in the UK that operate in the EEA as online retailers - selling goods and services online in any sector - will now be subject to legislation of each Member State in which they operate on online information, online advertising, online shopping and online contracting.
  • If you deliver services online in any sector. Check whether this affects your business. Businesses who deliver services online may be concerned by this change, which can include digital, technology and media services, such as video sharing sites, search tools, social media platforms and internet service providers; but can also include other sectors that deliver services online, such as education and financial services.

.eu domain name:

Since 1 January 2021 businesses can no longer use .eu domain names if they are not established in the EEA. Likewise, other EU Member States only allow web addresses to be used by EEA established entities. Concerned businesses will need to transfer to another domain name.

Further guidance can be found from the ecommerce directive on GOV.UK 

Webinars for exporters of animals and products of animal origin to the EU

Find out more about the new processes and actions that your business must take to ensure that you are ready to continue exporting live animals, fish and products of animal origin to the EU after Brexit, by registering to attend Defra’s new webinar series.

Webinars for businesses by sector

BEIS’s new webinar series includes webinars tailored to different sectors, including: life sciences; aerospace; construction; consumer goods; metals and other materials; retail; automotive and electronics and materials.

Issues differ from sector to sector and by country, so check UK Government guidance or with your trade body using the following links.


Find Brexit guidance by country and sector