Charities and Brexit – issues for consideration

Charities are now becoming aware of the practical hurdles coming into play due to Brexit. Whether it is selling goods overseas as part of their activities, or the creative sector having to address new restrictions arising from the movement of people.

How Brexit might impact your charity depends on your activities and where or how you carry them out. We have set out below some key areas for consideration.

Right to live and work

EU nationals no longer have an automatic right to live and work in the UK, and vice versa, UK nationals no longer have an automatic right to live and work in the EU.

Action: Charities should ensure that all staff and volunteers have the correct Visas in place to carry on their work. This could add significant costs to your organisation and may be particularly relevant to charities that run touring theatrical productions.

Export of goods

Do you export goods or have the potential to? For example, does your charity have a website which could make sales to overseas nationals? Exporting goods to the EU can now be very complicated.

Action: Consider whether your organisation makes overseas sales or has the potential to. Research any actions required to ensure exports can continue to be made on a timely basis. For example, update your website with relevant terms and conditions (e.g. which party will pay any import/export charges, or will you only make UK sales?)

Trading with Northern Ireland

Do you export/import goods to/from Northern Ireland, or have the potential to? There are new rules specific to Northern Ireland which must be adhered to. Non compliance can mean long delays or the return of goods.

Action: Consider whether your organisation trades with Northern Ireland. Research any actions required to ensure exports and imports can continue on a timely basis.

Import of goods

Do you import goods from the EU? There are now a whole host of issues to consider, for example:

  • Which entity will be the importer of record (i.e. who is legally responsible for the payment of import VAT and/or Import Duty)?
  • What INCOTERMS apply to the movement of goods (these formalise where title passes in the goods, which party has responsibility for insurance, which party is responsible for delivery etc)?

These are just two of many issues that require consideration.

Action: Importing goods from the EU can be very complex and requires considerable thought prior to entering into an agreement to avoid unexpected costs and delays.

Data Protection

Whilst the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) derived from the EU, it is still part of UK domestic law.

Post Brexit the UK has the independence to review the framework, however, the current rules must be followed for now.

Action: Continue to ensure your organisation has appropriate systems and controls in place around GDPR.

Current EU Funding

Charities will continue to get any EU funding awarded prior to 31 December 2020. Furthermore there are still some EU funds that you can apply for post Brexit.

Government funding to replace EU funding

Full details of the government funds designed to replace EU support are yet to be published. However, the government have announced the following funds:

Visit our dedicated Brexit Hub for the latest updates. For further information or advice for your organisation, please get in touch with a member of our Charity and Not for Profit team.

A version of this blog originally appeared on the website of one of our MHA association member firms, Tait Walker