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Business and the economy

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Transition/implementation period
Support for business
Food and drink
Data protection

The transition/implementation period

During the transition period, the UK will continue to operate as if it were an EU Member State, without taking part in EU decision making. The UK will continue to participate in the customs union and single market and freedom of movement of people will not change. Businesses can trade with the EU as they do now until the transition period ends on 31 December 2020.

Support for business

Brexit portal

The Business Wales Brexit Portal provides updates and links to information and actions to help businesses think about what they need to do to prepare for future changes.

Business Wales offers a single point of contact for businesses and entrepreneurs to advice and support from public, private and voluntary sectors. For further information visit the Brexit Portal or call 0300 060 3000.

Exports and trade

The UK is no longer a member of the EU, and we are in an implementation period that lasts until 31 December 2020.

During this time there will be no changes to the terms for trading with the EU or the rest of the world, unless the rules change for the whole of the EU. This means EU rules for customs, VAT and excise will continue to apply to the movement of goods and trade for this limited time. There will be no new customs procedures at present.

From 1 January 2021, the way you trade with the EU will change, and you will need to be ready to comply with new customs arrangements. For example, you will need to make customs declarations to export goods once the UK is outside of the EU’s customs territory. 

Exports are a vital part of the Welsh economy and we are committed to helping businesses to trade with both EU and non-EU countries. We will provide more information and guidance during the implementation period, and as the negotiations progress.

A comprehensive range of support is available through Business Wales and our Business Wales Export Zone provides a wealth of information and advice about exporting.

Trade and invest

The Welsh Government will continue to support businesses through our expanded network of overseas operations and this support can be accessed through our Trade and Investment website. The website explains how we will help companies to capture new markets and showcase Wales as a destination for trade and investment.

Development Bank of Wales

The Development Bank of Wales, launched by Welsh Government in 2017, was set up to be a potential source of financial support. The Development Bank’s £130 million Wales Flexible Investment Fund offers business loans of up to £5 million in a single round and repayment terms of up to 10 years.


Securing and retaining a skilled workforce will be crucial for future economic success beyond December 2020. Research has found that the quality of people in a business is the difference between success and failure – raising workforce skills is an investment in the future. Our Skills Gateway is available to help businesses improve skills and our Employability Plan is designed to mobilise all parts of government to support people into sustainable employment.

Supporting EU citizen employees

The Minister for Economy and Transport has written to businesses in Wales to inform them of the rights of and support available to EU citizens. The full letter can be accessed here.

Food and drink

The Diagnostic and Brexit scorecard app has been designed to support Welsh food and drink businesses post-Brexit. It provides real time information about the industry and helps businesses respond to the challenges and opportunities Brexit presents. It also enables businesses to review the strengths and weaknesses of their business at any time and benchmark themselves against the industry norms. A facility has been set up through our delivery agents Cywain to access this Business Readiness app. For information and updates visit Business Wales Food and Drink.

Further information

The food and drink sector and preparing for EU Exit on GOV.UK

Public sector procurement

We have  worked with the UK government and other stakeholders to help ensure that the way the public sector procures is largely unchanged during the transition period. Procurement rules are the same and thresholds have not changed as a result of us leaving the EU. Thresholds changed on 1 January for all EU members and we will continue to adhere to this change.

After the transition period, the main change will be that notices of new contracts will be published on a UK E-notification service called Find a Tender Service (FATS) instead of the European OJEU/Tenders Electronic Daily (TED). This will continue to be done via Sell2Wales, so should make very little noticeable difference to users. Sell2Wales is the free online service which helps suppliers find out about business contracts and opportunities with the Welsh public service.

Data protection

Is your company data (e.g. customer records, accounts, management information) held on the Cloud? If the answer’s yes please visit the Data Protection page – it’s important.

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