Guide

Trading in the European Union

Benefits of trading in the European Union

Trading with other European Union (EU) countries offers a number of key benefits to businesses in the UK. The EU's 28 member states include some of the world's wealthiest and most productive countries. The EU is a huge market in which to sell your goods and services - it also gives you access to a huge source of suppliers.

Important: Following the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union, there will be immediate changes to the procedures that apply to businesses trading with the EU. It would mean that the free circulation of goods between the UK and EU would cease.

Read the latest UK government guidance on trading with the EU if there’s no Brexit deal.

At the core of the EU is the single market - the programme of freeing up the trade of goods and services and the movement of people between EU countries. The aim is that doing business with other EU countries should become increasingly like doing business within your own country.

The following are some of the measures which EU countries have introduced to make it easier to trade with each other:

  • Reduced bureaucracy and paperwork - for instance, trade with the EU can be recorded on your VAT form in the same way as any of your sales and purchases in the UK.
  • Harmonised standards - EU-wide technical and safety standards ensure that if you meet UK standards you'll also meet the standards of other EU countries.
  • Movement of people - UK citizens have the right to travel, live and work in any EU country. You can also employ EU citizens to work in the UK.
  • The euro - it has reduced the currency considerations faced by businesses trading in euros between Eurozone countries. Read more about how to price your products or services in euros.