Brexit and E-commerce
Are you selling on market places such as Amazon, Etsy, Shopify, eBay, Selz, or are you an independent online seller? Will you be selling from the UK into the EU?
If you sell online via your own website or via a platform, there are changes which will take effect on 1 January 2021 that you need to be aware of. We have identified the most important areas:
- EU product rules
- Intellectual property
- Data protection
- Local rules
Also, if you are shipping stock to warehouses in Europe, you will be required to register as an official exporter/importer.
EU product rules
You need to ensure that your products conform with EU product rules, for example the Cosmetic Products Regulation. Also, you will need the right labels for the EU market.
There will be many changes coming down the line in the area of VAT. As of 1 January 2021:
- The UK will be outside the EU VAT area (except Northern Ireland)
- The EU’s new ecommerce VAT rules will come into force
VAT will have to be paid on every parcel you send to a customer in the EU. You can use the EU’s VAT One-Stop-Shop for low-value parcels, but you may need to register for VAT in an EU country if the value is higher than €150.
Your will need protection in the UK for European Trade Marks and Designs, if you have any. This is free and easily done for existing EU Trade Marks and Designs.
If you apply for new Trade Marks and Designs or renew expired ones, you will need to have both an EUTM and a UKTM if you want your IP to enjoy protection in both markets.
In the event the EU find that UK GDPR is inadequate, you will need to change your contracts with data suppliers from the EU. Also, you may need to have a GDPR representative if you sell your goods or services regularly to EU customers. We will find out by the end of the year whether these changes are needed.
You will have to be more mindful of the local rules in your target market than before. For example, buyers retain the consumer rights of their own country and there could be local advertising and marketing rules, and information requirements for your product.
Authorities have take-down powers in relation to internet services providers and all their customers in the supply chain.