ABO – Brexit Briefing

December 19, 2019 in featured by mwhiteside

Brexit Briefing

This briefing outlines the key issues that Brexit raised for orchestras and other music organisations.



Freedom of movement will cease after the UK leaves the EU, and the future immigration system will be determined by the Immigration White Paper: The UK’s future skills-based immigration system. This sets out the government’s plans to introduce a new single immigration system. There will no longer be one immigration system for non-Europeans and another for EU citizens ie. a new Points Based System for Migrant Workers will apply to all. This will not, however, come into play immediately after the UK leaves the EU, but will take time to design and implement.


During the Implementation Period, the UK’s EU Settlement gives EU citizens already here, and also those who arrive in the UK during the Implementation Period, the opportunity to secure their future residence in the UK.

For those EU citizens who are residing in the UK before the UK’s exit from the EU, further information about these arrangements can be found here.

The movement of people, rights, pensions, healthcare etc., for Irish citizens in the UK and vice versa will not change whether a no-deal is the outcome or not.


The Government has also published advice on Visiting the UK after Brexit.


Settled and pre-settled status for EU citizens and their families


The EU Settlement Scheme establishes the principle that EU citizens must obtain a specific, individual permission to stay on in the UK after the end of the Implementation Period. EU citizens and their families will be able to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme to continue living in the UK after 30 June 2021.


EU citizens’ rights (and their family members) for those living lawfully in the UK before the end of the Implementation Period will be as follows:


  • EU citizens who have been living in the UK continuously for five years will be eligible for settled status in UK law.
  • EU citizens who arrived before the end of the Implementation Period, but who have not been here for five years, will be eligible for pre-settled status, enabling them to stay until they have accumulated five years, after which they may apply for settled status.
  • The Withdrawal Agreement will also allow close family members who live in a different country to join an EU citizen at any time in the future under current rules, if the relationship existed before the end of the Implementation Period.
  • EU citizens protected by the agreement will continue to be able to work, study and establish a business in the UK as now.
  • EU citizens with settled status or pre- settled status to stay may access healthcare, pensions and other benefits and services in the UK, as they do currently.
  • Frontier workers (EU citizens who reside in one state, and work in the UK) will continue to be able to enter the UK to work under current rules, if they started this work before the end of the Implementation Period.


The EU Settlement Scheme opened fully on 30 March 2019. The deadline for applying is 30 June 2021.


UK nationals travelling to the EU

The European Commission has proposed that British citizens will not need a visa for short stays in the Schengen area or elsewhere in the EU, and will be able to stay for up to 90 days in any 180-day period. Visits to the Schengen area within the previous 180 days before the date of travel will count against the 90-day limit. The 90 day visa period, however, does not entitle third country citizens to work in the Schengen area, and many countries will require a work permit.


If you are intending to stay in the Schengen area for longer than 90 days, or your stay would take you over the 90 days in the 180-day limit, you may need to get a visa before you travel.


We are unable at present to advise as whether work permits will be required to work in EU countries. Work permits are within the national competence of each EU member state. Some may have exemptions for artists or very short-term employment. We recommend having a conversation with the promoter as they should be able to advise and have experience of bringing in ensembles from existing non-visa countries such as the USA and Japan.


Other issues of relevance are:


  • you may need to renew your passport earlier than planned.
  • you should continue to take out appropriate travel insurance (including health cover) before travel abroad.
  • using your mobile phone in the EU may be more expensive.
  • if you intend to use a bank card or other financial services in the EU after exit, this may be affected.
  • if you intend to drive in the EU after exit, you may need a green card from your insurer.
  • you may need an International Driving Permit to drive in the EU after exit.


For further details on National Brexit Information and Preparedness in each EU country visit https://ec.europa.eu/info/brexit/brexit-preparedness/national-brexit-information-member-states_en.







The Withdrawal Agreement and Political Declaration on the future relationship between the UK and the EU includes provisions for the continued co-ordination of social security systems.


In the event of No Deal at the end of the Implementation Period, however, social security co-ordination, including access to the A1 certificate system, is in danger of switching off. This puts management and musicians at rosk of double deduction of irrecoverable social security contributions when posting their workers into the EU, until such time as the UK negotiates co-ordination agreements with EU countries.

Music organisations should consider and plan for potential significant additional contributions and administration costs.



The UK Government has issued a Partnership Pack, compiled by HMRC, on border processes after EU exit. This pack provides a high-level guide to processes and procedures that are likely to apply to cross-border activity between the UK and the EU. It includes a leaflet for arts, sports and culture organisations.


Customs procedures if the UK leaves the EU without a deal – this guidance brings together regulations, explanatory memoranda, and an impact assessment in preparation for day 1, if the UK leaves the EU with no deal.


Customs, VAT and Excise regulations if the UK leaves the EU without a deal – this guidance explains the simplified customs processes for UK businesses trading with the EU in the event that the UK leaves the EU without a deal.


Moving goods to and from the EU through roll on roll off ports or the Channel Tunnel – this guidance outlines arrangements for importers or exporters, using roll on roll off ports or the Channel Tunnel to transport goods between the EU and the UK in the event that the UK leaves the EU without a deal.


Music organisations should prepare themselves for the need to obtain ATA Carnets for temporary imports and exports between the UK and the EU. The London Chamber of Commerce has provided some useful guidance for ATA Carnet customers.


Music organisations carrying musical instruments that reach or exceed specific age and monetary value thresholds will no longer require individual licences for export out of the UK. The UK Open General Export Licence will continue to operate, meaning that an individual export licence will not be required to despatch musical instruments to any destination other certain embargoed destinations (currently Iraq and Syria). See:




Of particular importance to musicians is the guidance on trade in, or travel with, endangered animals or plants, or their products. This includes a list of CITES-designated points of entry and exit.

Following pressure from the ABO, DEFRA has confirmed that this list will now include some high-volume ports ie. Dover-Calais, Eurotunnel and Holyhead. It does not however include Immingham and Newcastle. This means that there is no designated port in the North of England, putting Scottish music organisations at a disadvantage


In relation to entering the EU, the designated ports for entry and export are published at: http://ec.europa.eu/environment/cites/info_entry_points.htm


The European Commission is planning to update this list as there are some Member States which are identifying further ports of entry as part of their preparedness programmes for Brexit. In case of doubt we encourage members to contact the competent authorities of the relevant Member State (https://cites.org/eng/cms/index.php/component/cp).


We recommend that musicians avoid the need for Musical Instrument Certificates altogether by carrying a second instrument that does not contain CITES-listed materials.




This guidance outlines what lorry and goods vehicle drivers from the UK may need to do to drive in the EU and EEA after the UK leaves the EU.


The Government has also issued guidance on ECMT International Road Haulage Permits. Of importance to music organisations is that under Article 9 of Chapter 2 of the User Guide on ECMT Multilateral Quota there is an exemption from permit requirements for “transport for non‑commercial purposes of properties, accessories and animals to or from theatrical, musical, film, sports or circus performances, fairs or fetes, and those intended for radio recordings, or for film or television production”.

We have had clarification from the Freight Transport Association that at a meeting of the International Transport Forum in March 2019, the definition of “non-commercial” was changed to:


  1. The purpose of the carriage, as specified in articles 8) and 9) of Chapter 2 of the User Guide is not to directly or indirectly generate any profit, such as where the goods are provided on a charitable or philanthropic basis, or is for personal use; or
  2. The products moved are for the purposes as specified in articles 8) and 9) of Chapter 2 of the User Guide and are returned to their home country of origin without alterations. Where customs procedures apply these products are admitted temporarily (consistent with World Customs Organisation’s principles).


We have also had clarification that at this meeting, Germany removed its previous reservation to this exemption, such that it now applies to all ECMT countries.




This guidance explains how parts of UK intellectual property law will change when the UK leaves the EU. This will affect your business if you:

  • currently own IP, such as copyright, patents, designs and trade marks
  • are involved in the secondary trading of IP-protected goods between the UK and EEA markets
  • operate or rely on cross-border services involving copyright-protected content in the UK and EU



The Government is urging businesses to check they won’t lose access to vital data if the UK leaves the EU without a deal. See some simple steps to do this from the ICO along with detailed guidance.




On 30 January 2019, the European Commission announced in a press release that it has published a final set of no deal contingency proposals regarding the EU budget, which “enable the EU to be in a position to honour its commitments and to continue making payments in 2019 to UK beneficiaries for contracts signed and decisions made before 30 March 2019, on condition that the UK honours its obligations under the 2019 budget and that it accepts the necessary audit checks and controls.” See Creative Europe Desk’s Brexit guidance.