The United Kingdom (UK) officially left the EU on 31 January 2020. The transitional period ended on 31 December 2020. Shortly before the deadline, the two parties managed to conclude a trade and cooperation agreement.
Switzerland, as a third-party country, will also be affected by this. So far, our dealings with the UK have been based on our contractual agreements with the EU. Given the relationship between the EU and the UK, however, these have been placed on a new footing.
With this in mind, Switzerland has signed a trade agreement with the UK. Nevertheless, it has not yet been possible to eliminate all the legal uncertainties.
General information from the FDFA on Swiss/UK relations before and after Brexit
Press release from the FDFA: New agreements between Switzerland and the United Kingdom take effect
Information and frequently asked questions on bringing products onto the UK market from 1 January 2021
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Please also note that the new entry requirements for the UK will also apply from 1 January 2021. You can find more information under https://www.gov.uk/browse/visas-immigration/tourist-short-stay-visas
Information from SECO on visa requirements for business travel to the UK
A "Temporary Worker - International Agreement Visa (Tier 5)" is required for access as a "Contractual Service Supplier" or "Independent Professional" under the SMA. You can find the information here: https://www.gov.uk/international-agreement-worker-visa
A "Standard Visitor Visa" is sufficient for certain business activities. You can find out which ones are covered here: https://www.gov.uk/standard-visitor-visa
For business activities on the following exception list and a stay of up to 6 months, no visa is required: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/immigration-rules/immigration-rules-appendix-visitor-permitted-activities
Information on chemicals legislation
Overview of UK REACH: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/how-to-comply-with-reach-chemical-regulations
For exporting substances and mixtures to the UK (>1t/year): https://www.hse.gov.uk/reach/reach-registration.htm
For UK-based authorisation holders under REACH legislation: https://echa.europa.eu/de/uk-based-authorisation-holder-under-reach
UK REACH Homepage: https://www.hse.gov.uk/reach/index.htm
Information on the EU product database for energy labelling (EPREL)
Since 1 January 2019 manufacturers, importers, and authorised representatives must register all products - requiring energy labels - in the European Product Database for Energy Labelling (EPREL) before being able to sell them on the EU market. Due to Brexit, there are adjustments in the EPREL data collection for products with import or distribution region UK and Northern Ireland. Affected suppliers will be contacted by the EU Commission (DG Energy) by email with additional information on the upcoming changes.
General information from the UK government of relevance to Switzerland from the UK perspective
Information from the SEM on entry and residence, plus further links and FAQs related to these topics
Comprehensive information on Brexit from Switzerland Global Enterprise (S-GE)
What Brexit means for Swiss exporters (s-ge.com)
From our British sister organization BEAMA
A guide to exporting from the EU to the UK(PDF)
Summary of the EU/UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement (PDF)
Trade and Cooperation Agreement between the EU and the United Kingdom: https://ec.europa.eu/commission/presscorner/detail/de/IP_20_2531
Treaty text between EU/UK: https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content
Overview of Brexit contacts of the customs offices of their member states: https://ec.europa.eu/taxation_customs/national-contact-points-or-websites-dedicated-uk-withdrawal-related-information_en
Our specialists follow all the latest developments connected with the UK’s withdrawal from the EU extremely closely and keep a watchful eye on the repercussions for Switzerland. They are on hand with their specialist advice to assist member companies on various issues around this topic. Please do not hesitate to contact them!