Gemma Pearce

Ahead of the looming Brexit transition deadline, Loopwheels’ Co-Founder and Managing Director, Gemma Pearce, has detailed the prep the manufacturer has done to ensure it continues trading in the EU.

On 12 October, Business Secretary Alok Sharma called on businesses across the UK to take immediate action to prepare for the end of the Brexit transition period. From 1 January 2021, there will be a guaranteed set of changes, regardless of a deal with the EU or not, and businesses must familiarise themselves with the actions they will need to take. These changes include the way businesses import and export goods, the process for hiring people from the EU, and the way businesses provide services in EU markets.

With little time remaining, the government is pointing to the online resources – including webinars, workshops and a Brexit checklist – it has made available for businesses to help prepare for the UK’s new trading relationship with the EU.

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Describing the government’s resources as key to helping prepare her business, Loopwheels’ MD Gemma Pearce explained why getting ready for Brexit is critical for the mobility supplier.

“The EU is our biggest market, so we’ve been very thorough to make sure Loopwheels is able to continue exporting there,” she explained.

“We have made sure we have EORI (Economic Operators Registration and Identification) numbers for all our EU business customers, and have confirmed with our freight forwarder that they will be able to prepare customs documentation for us, as they do for our other international destinations.”

The Nottinghamshire-based business received backing by Innovate UK in 2013 to ‘reinvent’ the wheelchair wheel, introducing suspension loops to improve the comfort of every journey.

As some of its products can be classed as a medical device, Gemma noted that there have been additional elements that Loopwheels has had to consider.

“We have made sure to check out the arrangements for CE marking to ensure our products comply with EU requirements,” she continued.

“Some of our products are classed as medical devices, and there are changes happening at the same time around those regulations. I attended a very useful webinar that helped me understand what action we needed to take, and I have another one booked in early December to give me further assurance we are on top of this area.”

For many in the industry, preparing for changes to CE marking will also play a key role in ensuring the trade can continue in Europe after the Brexit transition has ended.

To help other importers and exporters in the sector, the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) is preparing to deliver a new series of webinars.

The webinars are free, available to view on-demand and, depending on the topic being covered, take between 45-90 minutes. Upcoming topics include chemicals, use of personal data and business travel.

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