Travelling to European markets and recognition of professional qualification

10th March 2021

A message from the Business Secretary

In my recent conversations with business and trade associations, I’ve been hearing about how businesses are successfully adapting their processes and seizing new opportunities now that we have left the EU. It has been encouraging to learn about business plans for growth once coronavirus travel restrictions are lifted.

I appreciate that you are unlikely to be travelling under the current restrictions, but to prepare yourself for selling services to the EU you may need to get your professional qualifications recognised, and will also need to be aware of changes relating to business travel.

This preparation is critical to making sure that you can get the best from our new status as an independent trading nation. Below you will find a summary of the support available from the Government.

Thank you for your efforts and your ambition.

Yours sincerely,

Rt Hon Kwasi Kwarteng MP

Secretary of State for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy

New rules on business travel

Under the current restrictions, you are unlikely to be travelling abroad, however if you are planning to travel to the EEA or Switzerland for work or business purposes in the future, you should:

  • Check whether you need to apply for a visa, work permit or other documentation.
  • Additionally, check the relevant country’s websites for details on application requirements and processing times if you need to make an application, and apply sufficiently in advance of travel. If in doubt you should apply as far in advance as possible.

Further information is available at the GOV.UK page on visiting Europe.

New rules on professional qualifications

  • If you wish to practise a regulated profession in the EEA or Switzerland and have not yet had your professional qualifications recognised in the EEA or Switzerland, you should:
  • If you or your staff members work in a UK regulated profession using professional qualifications obtained in the EEA or Switzerland, you will need to seek recognition from the appropriate regulator in the UK. You can find details of the appropriate regulator from the UK Centre for Professional Qualifications (UK CPQ, formerly UK NARIC).

Support for businesses

  • Business travel and mutual recognition of qualifications are both topics explained in the new on demand videos which focus on priority topics for businesses.You can also download a step-by-step guide on how to navigate the new rules on business travel to the EU.
  • You can also use the Brexit Checker tool on gov.uk/transition, which will provide you with a personalised list of the most up to date actions that your business needs to take.

Helpline numbers

You can contact the government’s Business Support Helpline for free business advice.

England: 0800 998 1098

Scotland: 0300 303 0660

Wales: 0300 060 3000

Northern Ireland: 0800 181 4422