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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

The transition period that allowed the UK to continue to operate as if it were an EU Member State ends on the 31st December 2020. A trade deal has been agreed between the UK and the EU. There will be significant changes to how we trade and interact with the EU.

Support for business

The UK Government has set out a list of actions that businesses need to take to comply with the new trading rules, including checking your goods meet the Rules of Origin. Businesses can use the UK Government’s Checker Tool to find a personalised list of actions.

EU Transition Portal

Helping businesses to manage the challenges of coronavirus and prepare for the end of EU transition are key priorities for the Welsh Government. 

Our range of support includes a dedicated phone line, an online portal, export hub and updates and links to information and actions to help businesses think about what they need to do to continue operating.

The Business Wales EU Transition Portal 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.

From 1 January 2021, the way you trade with the EU has changed, and you will need to comply with new trading rules when selling goods and services to the EU.  This will include the requirement to make customs declarations to export goods and there are also changes to, for example, VAT; duties and excise; product marking and labelling; licenses and certification.

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 have expanded our capacity to support exporters with issues arising from the end of EU Transition and have adapted our support to reflect the needs of businesses in a new trading environment.

Details of the comprehensive range of support is available through Business Wales and our Business Wales Export Zone provides a wealth of information and advice about exporting including our Export Hub which has up to date information on customs, tariffs and markets.

For trade between Wales and Northern Ireland, the Trader Support Service has been set up to help businesses to comply with new regulations and procedures.

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 was set up by to support the economy of Wales by making it easier for businesses to get the finance needed to start up, strengthen and grow.

The Development Bank of Wales supports Welsh businesses in the following ways:

  • Loans from £1,000 - £5 million to start, strengthen or grow your business
  • Equity investment from £50,000 to £5 million for established businesses
  • Seed finance for pre-revenue tech start-ups
  • Equity investment for early stage and mature technology-based businesses
  • Finance up to £5 million to buy a business (business owners and management teams)
  • Property development loans for projects in Wales
  • Referrals to Business Wales for business advice and support
  • Co-investment alongside banks, crowd funders, grants, investors and other lenders

Visit their Get business finance section to see the range of finance available.


Securing and retaining a skilled workforce will be crucial for future economic success beyond December 2020. For latest information on skills and employability support, including training and events, visit our Skills Gateway. Our Employability Plan is designed to mobilise all parts of government to support people into sustainable employment.

Supporting EU citizen employees

On the 11 December, the Minister for Economy, Transport & North Wales wrote to businesses in Wales to inform them of the rights of and support available to EU citizens. The full letter can be accessed here.

Welsh Government is working with a number of organisations in Wales who can offer free additional advice and support for any EU citizen living in Wales concerned about applying. Further information about the EU Citizens' Immigration Advice Service in Wales.

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

Following the UK’s departure from the EU, procurement rules are largely the same and thresholds have not changed.

The main change, since 1 January 2021, is that all procurement notices are published on the new UK E-notification service called Find a Tender Service (FTS) instead of the European OJEU/Tenders Electronic Daily (TED). This will continue to be done via Sell2Wales, but there have been some terminology changes on the portal to reflect changes to public procurement since the end of the Transition Period.

Sell2Wales is the free online service which helps suppliers find out about business contracts and opportunities with the Welsh public service.

Further information is available in the Welsh Procurement Policy Note

Data protection

Provided that the EU has completed their adequacy assessment of the UK and deemed it acceptable, there will be an adequacy agreement in place to allow the free flow of personal data to continue uninterrupted.

However, if the transition period ends without an adequacy agreement the two-way free flow of personal information will not be as straightforward. In this case, transfers of personal information from the UK to EEA should not be affected, but data flow from EEA to the UK will be affected and the legal, free flow of personal data from the EU will cease. Again measures such as standard contractual clauses or alternative transfer mechanisms will help minimise risk.

Please visit the Data Protection page – it’s important.

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