With the Brexit transition period coming to an end on the 31st of December 2020, it is important for businesses in both Norway and the UK to be up to date on how this will affect trade between our two countries.
The Norwegian-British Chamber of Commerce highly recommend you register for these webinars hosted by the Department for International Trade, for the absolute latest updates:
Tuesday 15th Dec: Border Readiness Webinar: Short Straits and UK Landbridge (link)
Wednesday 16th Dec: Direct Maritime Routes (link)
Trade in Goods and Services
Norway and the UK have been preparing intensively for the end of the Brexit transition period. The two countries have been negotiating a comprehensive free trade agreement, and while this agreement will not come into place on 1st January, Norway and the UK have agreed to put in place a temporary trade agreement to cover trade in goods. The agreement is designed to be a temporary solution until the permanent arrangement is finalised and put in place.
This is good news and means that the tariffs for goods traded between the UK and Norway will in most part be the same as they are now.
However, it is important for all businesses involved in Norway-UK trade, based in the UK and Norway, to be aware that changes will take place at the end of the transition period. An example of this is that there will no longer be free movement of workers between the two countries. Therefore, it is important for businesses to think through possible requirements regarding residence permits and visa.
How Brexit Will Affect the Transfer of Personal Data – General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)
Norwegian and UK companies should identify what mitigation they may need to take to allow the transfer of personal data between the EEA and the UK after 31 December 2020. The EU is conducting a data adequacy assessment of the UK and if the EU grants positive adequacy by 1 January 2021, it would mean that personal data can flow freely from the EU/EEA to the UK, as it does now. However, at the time of writing the EU had not yet made an adequacy decision. It is therefore important that businesses explore what alternative transfer mechanism they can use in order to continue to share personal data lawfully.
The Importance of Recognition of Professional Qualifications
After the 31st of December your business needs to check to what extent employees and all workers are covered by the EU/EEA rules on mutual recognition of professional qualifications. People whose professional qualifications are already recognised or who have started the process for recognition by the end of this year will not be affected.
Norwegian Businesses That Are Not Yet Established in the UK
The trade and investment team at the British Embassy supports Norwegian companies that consider taking their venture to the UK to grow further, and can assist with this matter. Using the network of the Department for International Trade (DIT) they can help offering practical advice. This could include guidance on how to register your business and establish a presence, including understanding the banking and taxation system, as well as ideas on how to access finance. They also offer ideas locations that would be suitable for Norwegian operation, providing connections to research, innovation and development expertise, as well as providing access to talent. In essence it is the proverbial one-stop-shop. Contact information: DIT.Norway@fcdo.gov.uk.
Separately, DIT also assist those Norwegian companies interested in sourcing products or services from the UK or finding partners to supply Norway with competences, technology or advice.
Whether you are looking to establish a presence in the UK, or are looking to source from the UK, there is an established portal to source information and get access to services. Please visit www.great.gov.uk for more information.
Norway and the UK – The Relationship After Brexit
The end of the Brexit transition period represents a moment of significant change, but also a moment of opportunities for the UK and Norway. Especially seeing as our two countries already have a very close relationship and mutual shared interests; The UK is Norway’s 1st largest trading partner and Norway is the UK’s 12th largest. The fundamentals of the British-Norwegian trade relationship are extremely solid and will only strengthen over time as working together on global challenges, whether that is moving towards Net Zero or cooperating in the tech start up scene. The economic relationship has been largely based on shared natural resources in the North Sea, but are also increasingly moving towards tech and more diverse economic activity.
A great example is that Norway is home to innovative tech developers and the climate for tech scale-up in the UK means that there are incubators springing up all over the UK, making the UK a great place for Norwegian tech companies looking to scale-up.
UK Government Preparedness for the End of the Transition Period
Both the Norwegian and UK Governments are preparing for the end of the transition period. The UK has invested £705 million into border infrastructure, staffing and technology at the border, £84 million in grants for customs intermediaries. You can stay informed by monitoring these websites:
- Please visit www.gov.uk/eubusiness and www.regjeringen.no/brexit (Norwegian Only) for the latest developments.
- Use GOV.UK webpages for advice on trading arrangements after the transition period.
- Please read the article NHO Brexit checklist and Norwegian Governments advice to businesses.
- Follow the British Embassy on LinkedIn and other social media channels.
- Contact information to DIT Oslo: DIT.Norway@fcdo.gov.uk
Webinar organised together with the British Embassy Oslo, The Royal Norwegian Embassy in London, NBCC member Vestre AS and the NBCC, December 3rd 2020.