Brexit - travellers and consumers
The word Brexit stands for "British Exit" and means the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the EU. A hard Brexit was the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union, the European Single Market and the Customs Union without a treaty with the EU. At the last minute, so to speak, a so-called "soft" Brexit was negotiated on 24 December 2020 and a free trade agreement was concluded.
This ended the transition period from 2020, where the UK had already formally left the Union, but the previous EU regulations were still valid. With the end of the transition period by the end of 2020, the United Kingdom has effectively left the EU and not just on paper, but issues such as access to the European single market, the customs union and the Northern Ireland question have been settled.
Important before departure
In the referendum on 23 June 2016, 52 percent of Britons voted in favour of Brexit. Negotiations between the European Union and the United Kingdom were slow and the regulations in the trade agreement are confusing in practical application for the time being.
Those wishing to travel are confronted with a number of questions.
Do I need additional insurance? What fees might I have to pay? What protection do I have if problems arise during the trip? Or I have an accident and need to go to hospital? You can click through this English-language online questionnaire from the UK government and get advice on the applicable regulations in relevant areas.
These questions are important. Below we briefly explain what you need to consider when planning a trip to the UK.
The Federal Government has set up a dedicated Brexit hotline for specific enquiries: +43 (0) 800 222 666 (toll-free from all over Austria) Service hours: Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. (weekdays) or by e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Outside these hours, the hotline of the Citizens' Service, which deals with emergencies of Austrians abroad around the clock, is recommended for urgent enquiries: +43 (0) 50 11 50-4411
- do not need a visa for journeys of up to 90 days within a period of 180 days.
- are no longer allowed to use the separate border checkpoints for EU citizens.
- also need a return ticket and must be able to prove that they have sufficient funds for their stay in the EU.
- must have a British passport valid for at least six months.
- must have a veterinary certificate for animals carried, the British pet passport is no longer valid in the EU.
- British nationals living in Austria can find more information here.
- can visit the UK without a visa for a maximum stay of six months.
- must present a valid passport to enter the UK.
- must declare cash in excess of €10000 (or other currency equivalent) up to 72 hours before travel.
- must have a veterinary certificate for accompanied pets.
Shopping and ordering
No tariffs - but still obstacles and price increases to be expected
Under the agreement, goods traded between the UK and EU countries are not subject to tariffs or import quotas. However, goods will be checked at EU borders for compliance with internal market rules (e.g. on health, safety, social and environmental standards) or applicable UK legislation. This means more bureaucracy and additional costs, which companies often pass on to customers in the price. Thus, customs formalities must be completed and EU standards met for all imports into the Union. Goods moving between Northern Ireland and the EU are exempt.
Different offers - delivery possible?
British companies no longer have an automatic right to offer services throughout the EU. If they want to continue to operate in the EU, they must establish themselves there. Customers should pay attention to whether company offers online are also valid for EU citizens or have been created exclusively for British customers. Indications of this are payment methods (currency), language in which the offers are written and delivery terms. Read the terms of service of the British company before you make a purchase!