EU suppliers welcomed back after change to post-Brexit business visitor rules

12 April 2021 by
EU suppliers welcomed back after change to post-Brexit business visitor rules

Changes made to UK immigration rules will make it easier for foreign businesses to fulfil their contractual obligations to their UK customers.

Ben Xu from law firm Irwin Mitchell explained that a change to immigration rules last December in preparation for Brexit had made it difficult and expensive for EU suppliers to visit the UK to complete necessary work for their UK customers.

Immigration rules actually became stricter, and instead of widening the scope, the wording ‘foreign suppliers' was removed from the rules altogether, leaving only ‘foreign manufacturers'. This left many foreign suppliers concerned about their ability to continue providing after-sale services to their UK customers post-Brexit.

Xu has confirmed that on the 4 March 2021, the Home Office published a new statement of changes to the immigration rules, which reinstates the original wording to include ‘foreign suppliers', taking effect from 6 April 2021.

Xu said: "The changes last year effectively excluded a whole class of sellers from benefiting from such provisions and forced them to explore alternative options, which are far more costly and time consuming.

"Some of our clients were greatly affected by these stringent rules and, as a result, we voiced the policy inconsistency to the Home Office given the intention of the UK government was to continue the trade relationship with our EU partners post-Brexit.

"We are pleased that the policy has changed as the benefit will be seen by businesses in the EU as well as UK consumers and businesses."

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