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Can Businesses Really Prepare for Brexit?

As another Brexit deadline looms, here at the Chamber we’ve seen a large increase in enquiries asking, ‘How Can I Really Prepare for Brexit?’

Unfortunately, there is no quick answer to this question – but planning and getting advice is still the best way to prepare. But who is willing to give companies practical advice? It can feel at times like the sheer volume of notices, updates and HMRC alerts are never ending. At the Chamber, we appreciate this can feel overwhelming, especially for those businesses who have only ever moved goods in and out of the EU, with little to no international experience.

Below, we have listed some steps businesses can take to prepare for Brexit as best they can ahead of the countdown to October 31st:

1) Make a list and check it twice

This step is fairly self-explanatory, but there is a lot to be said for taking inventory of where your business is now with regards to import or exporting from non-EU destinations and what you need to do to be able to facilitate this after Brexit.

If you don’t already import or export internationally, it is often more helpful to ask ‘what would my business need to import/export internationally?’ rather than ‘what does my business need to do to prepare for Brexit?’ as information found online regarding international trade is more common than definitive lists about what to do in a no-deal scenario.

The Chamber has produced two checklists for importers and exporters with suggested steps to take ahead of Brexit, you can see the checklist for importers here and the exporters here.

2) Asses your strengths and weaknesses

If you have no idea where to begin with prioritising what needs doing for your business ahead of Brexit, we recommend you take our Brexit readiness assessments – take the one for importers here and the one for exporters here.

These detailed online questionnaires will be analysed and turned into a report by a member of the Chamber’s award-winning International Trade Team, where your company’s key strengths and weaknesses ahead of Brexit will be highlighted.

3) Speak to people who understands the ins and outs of international trade

The main business issue with Brexit is that most UK companies and firms have only ever imported from, or exported to, the EU. Up until now, this has been an easy, seamless process that often is the same for a whole host of different, and unique, goods.

If you have never dealt with customs, or had any international exposure, it is understandable that this is overwhelming. However, there are plenty of organisations and professionals throughout the country who have many years of experience in international trade who are well-versed to answer a high proportion of questions.

Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce is proud to have several associates and partners who have a great deal of experience between them, and we are opening the doors of the Chamber on the 25th of October 2019 for businesses with unanswered questions to meet them and get real, practical advice.

We have experts in the following areas attending:

· Currency and FX post Brexit

· Market Risk and Brexit Due Diligence

· VAT after Brexit: Technical and Commercial advice

· Export Documentation

· International Trade and Customs advice

· Export Health Certificates and Exporting Animal Products

· AEO Status and Transport through ports

· Logistics and Freight

· Immigration and Legal Advice

· Customs Clearance Technology

· Data Management

· Cover My Cargo

If you are interested in attending and booking some meetings, click here to avoid missing out.

If you have any other queries regarding Brexit you can either visit our Brexit Hub at or email the team at

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