9 October 2023

Navigating Brexit: Legal Implications of Doing Business with the UK

Category: Corporate law

Brexit, the historic decision by the United Kingdom to leave the European Union, has brought about significant changes in the business landscape. If you are a Dutch company looking to trade with the UK, it’s crucial to understand the legal implications and challenges that have arisen as a result of this major geopolitical shift. In this blog, we will explore the key aspects of doing business (from The Netherlands) with the UK post-Brexit.

1 | Trade Agreements

The most fundamental change resulting from Brexit is the UK’s departure from the EU Single Market and Customs Union. As a result, the UK and the EU have negotiated a new trade agreement, known as the EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement, which came into effect on January 1, 2021. This agreement governs trade between the two entities, including trade between Dutch businesses and their UK counterparts.

Key considerations for Dutch businesses:

  • Check if your products or services are subject to tariffs or quotas under the trade agreement.
  • Understand the rules of origin to benefit from preferential tariff rates.
  • Comply with customs procedures for exports to the UK, including customs declarations and paperwork.

2 | VAT and Customs Duties

Brexit has also brought changes in Value Added Tax (VAT) and customs duties when trading with the UK.

Key considerations for Dutch businesses:

  • VAT now applies differently when trading with the UK. Make sure you understand the rules for import VAT and export VAT.
  • Customs duties may apply to certain goods imported from or exported to the UK. Familiarize yourself with the UK Global Tariff and applicable duty rates.

3 | Regulatory Compliance

Post-Brexit, the UK has regained full control over its regulations and standards. This means that Dutch businesses must ensure their products and services meet UK-specific standards and certifications.

Key considerations for Dutch businesses:

  • Verify that your products comply with UK regulations, including product labeling and safety standards.
  • If you provide services in the UK, check if professional qualifications or licenses need to be revalidated.

4 | Data Protection

Data protection is another critical aspect to consider when doing business with the UK post-Brexit. The UK has its own data protection laws separate from the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

Key considerations for Dutch businesses:

  • If you transfer personal data between the UK and the EU, review and update your data transfer mechanisms to comply with UK data protection laws.
  • Appoint a UK representative if your business processes personal data of UK residents but is not established in the UK.

5 | Intellectual Property Rights

Intellectual property rights, including trademarks, patents, and copyrights, are also affected by Brexit. Existing EU trademarks and designs no longer provide protection in the UK.

Key considerations for Dutch businesses:

  • Register your intellectual property rights separately in the UK to maintain protection.
  • Review existing contracts to ensure they cover the post-Brexit intellectual property landscape.


Brexit has undeniably introduced complexities and challenges for Dutch businesses looking to trade with the UK. To navigate this new landscape successfully, it is essential to stay informed about the evolving legal and regulatory framework and seek professional advice when needed.

Adapting to these changes and maintaining compliance will be key to ensuring a smooth and prosperous business relationship between The Netherlands and the UK in the post-Brexit era.

Legal advice

Do you have questions about the implications of Brexit for your business? We warmly invite you to reach out to the dedicated team of attorneys at Blenheim. We are here to extend our expert guidance promptly. Your concerns are important to us, and we are here to offer our assistance at your convenience.