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Brexit’s impact on companies in Hamburg

Around 1,000 Hanseatic companies have close business ties to Britain

Companies in Hamburg should prepare – whether with or without a trade agreement – for changes from January 1, 2021, now that Britain is no longer a member of the European Union, according to André Mücke, Vice President of the Hamburg Chamber of Commerce. However, companies in Hamburg will “feel few changes initially “ in their business relations with Britain following its exit from the bloc on Friday (January 31, 2020). This is ensured by a transitional agreement until December 31, 2020. Mücke said: “Therefore, I recommend that Hamburg companies and that the senate do not remain inactive.” The danger of an unregulated Brexit has been postponed, not eliminated for the time being, he stressed.

Special online information

Referencing Brexit, Dr. Peter Tschentscher, Mayor of Hamburg, said: “Hamburg will continue to have good relations with Britain. As a port and trading city, Britain is an important partner in free world trade”. Administration in Hamburg, headed by the Brexit Co-ordinating Office of the Senate Chancellery, has been preparing for Britain’s withdrawal from the EU.
Companies and the public can find information about the effects of Brexit and the current state of negotiations on the website.

Britain – major foreign trade partner

Around 1,000 companies in Hamburg maintain close business relations with Britain, according to the Chamber of Commerce. Of these, around 200 companies have a permanent local presence with an office, joint venture, agency or production facility. Britain is an important foreign trade partner for the Elbe city. In 2018 Hamburg imported goods worth around EUR 2.3 billion from Britain which ranked sixth after the U.S. China, France, the Netherlands and Russia. The most important imported goods include aircraft parts as well as oil and gas. During that year, goods worth EUR 4.2 billion were delivered from Hamburg including aircraft parts. This makes Britain the third most important trading partner for Hamburg after France and China. In 2018, sea freight trans-shipments with Britain amounted to 3.8 million tonnes or 2 per cent of Hamburg’s total sea freight trans-shipment. The Hanseatic City had around 354,000 overnight stays by British tourists in 2018. (Source: Senate Chancellery).

Sources and further information:
Pressemitteilung Senatskanzlei
Stellungnahme Handelskammer Hamburg


On June 23, 2016, 51.9 per cent of the British voted to leave the European Union. After lengthy negotiations between the EU and Britain, a withdrawal agreement and a political declaration on future relations were agreed on October 17, 2019. At the same time, a transitional period was agreed until the end of 2020, which can be extended once for up to two years.

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