Collection

Providing services to EEA and EFTA countries after EU Exit

Guidance for UK businesses on EU service provision if the UK leaves the EU with no deal.

Overview

If the UK leaves the EU with no deal, the UK will no longer operate under the European Economic Area (EEA) regulations for  the cross-border trade in services.

This means that the rights and protections provided by the EU Directives and EU Treaty rights of Freedom of Movement and Freedom of Establishment will no longer apply to the UK.

UK businesses will no longer be treated as if they were local businesses, and UK businesses and professionals providing services in the EEA will be regarded as originating from a ‘third country’.

UK firms and service providers may face additional legal, regulatory and administrative barriers as a result.

Cross border trade regulations

If you’re a UK business or professional providing services in the EEA, you’ll need to check the national regulations to understand how best to operate.

You can find out more in the relevant country guide.

VAT

If the UK leaves the EU without an agreement, the main VAT ‘place of supply’ rules will remain the same for UK businesses, though there may be some areas of change.

Read more about VAT for businesses if the UK leaves the EU with no deal, including how ‘place of supply’ rules could change.

Using the UK’s VAT Mini One Stop Shop

Businesses can use the UK’s VAT Mini One Stop Shop (MOSS) to declare sales of digital services to EU consumers made before the UK’s exit from the EU.

If you wish to continue to use MOSS after the UK leaves the EU, you will need to register for MOSS in an EU member state.

Find out how to use MOSS after EU Exit.

Establishing and structuring your business

If you’re a UK service provider or business, you may face restrictions on your ability to own, manage or direct a company registered in an EEA state.

You can find out more in the relevant country guide.

Business travel and entry requirements

If you’re a UK national, you’ll need to check whether you need a visa and/or work/residence permit if you’re:

  • providing services to an EEA country
  • on a placement based in the EEA

You should comply with the immigration controls in the country where your service is being provided.

You can read advice about travelling to specific countries, including travel entry requirements and how to stay safe while you’re there, in the relevant country guide on this page.

Sending workers to the EU, the EEA or Switzerland

If the UK leaves the EU without a deal, there may be changes for UK employers who have people working in the EU, the EEA or Switzerland.

Currently the EU Social Security Coordination Regulations ensure employers and their workers only need to pay social security contributions (such as National Insurance contributions in the UK) in one country at a time. However if we leave without a deal, the co-ordination between the UK and the EU may end.

This will mean that your employees working in the EU, the EEA or Switzerland may need to make social security contributions in both the UK and the country in which they are working at the same time. Find out more about what you need to do.

Recognition of professional qualifications

If you’re seeking recognition of a UK qualification in an EU member state, you’ll need to check:

  • the European Commission’s guidance
  • each individual member state’s rules for work on a permanent, temporary and occasional basis

You can find out more in the relevant country guide.

EFTA countries (Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland)

The UK has reached agreements on citizen’s rights with the 4 EFTA countries, which will apply if the UK leaves the EU with no deal. Included in these agreements are specific arrangements for the recognition of professional qualifications held by these countries’ nationals and UK nationals:

  • the EEA EFTA No Deal Citizens’ Rights Agreement covers Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway
  • the Swiss Citizens’ Rights Agreement covers Switzerland

Data protection

UK businesses will need to continue to comply with data protection laws if the UK leaves the EU without a deal.

To ensure continued compliance you may need to make changes if your business:

  • operates across the EU and/or the EEA
  • exchanges personal data with partners in the EU and/or the EEA

You can find out more in the relevant country guide.

Getting help when abroad

If you’re abroad and you need emergency help from the UK government, contact the nearest British embassy, consulate or high commission.

Country guides

  1. Austria: providing services after EU Exit
  2. Belgium: providing services after EU Exit
  3. Bulgaria: providing services after EU Exit
  4. Croatia: providing services after EU Exit
  5. Cyprus: providing services after EU Exit
  6. Czech Republic: providing services after EU Exit
  7. Denmark: providing services after EU Exit
  8. Estonia: providing services after EU Exit
  9. Finland: providing services after EU Exit
  10. France: providing services after EU Exit
  11. Germany: providing services after EU Exit
  12. Greece: providing services after EU Exit
  13. Hungary: providing services after EU Exit
  14. Iceland: providing services after EU Exit
  15. Ireland: providing services after EU Exit
  16. Italy: providing services after EU Exit
  17. Latvia: providing services after EU Exit
  18. Liechtenstein: providing services after EU Exit
  19. Lithuania: providing services after EU Exit
  20. Luxembourg: providing services after EU Exit
  21. Malta: providing services after EU Exit
  22. The Netherlands: providing services after EU Exit
  23. Norway: providing services after EU Exit
  24. Poland: providing services after EU Exit
  25. Portugal: providing services after EU Exit
  26. Romania: providing services after EU Exit
  27. Slovakia: providing services after EU Exit
  28. Slovenia: providing services after EU Exit
  29. Spain: providing services after EU Exit
  30. Sweden: providing services after EU Exit
  31. Switzerland: providing services after EU Exit
Published 28 February 2019
Last updated 17 April 2019 + show all updates
  1. Added sections containing links to HMRC advice on 'VAT' and 'Sending workers to the EU, the EEA and Switzerland'. Also added the section: 'Getting help when abroad'.
  2. Added guidance on Ireland and Switzerland.
  3. Added guidance on Spain.
  4. Added guidance for Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Estonia, Italy, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Romania, Slovenia.
  5. Added guidance for Belgium, Croatia, Iceland, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Norway.
  6. We added guidance for Hungary, Netherlands, Malta, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Sweden.
  7. First published.