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Office for the Internal Market opens for business

The OIM has officially launched today and is calling on businesses to report any issues relating to trading across different areas of the UK.

  • Governments across all 4 nations can now seek advice from the OIM on the operation of the UK internal market
  • OIM calls on businesses to voice any concerns about trading between UK nations
  • First State of the UK Internal Market report planned for Spring 2022

The Office for the Internal Market (OIM) is part of the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA). It has been tasked with supporting the effective operation of the UK internal market using its economic and technical expertise, following the UK’s departure from the European Union. It will provide reports to the Scottish Government, the Welsh Government, the Northern Ireland Executive and UK Government.

To help fulfil its role, the OIM has created a new digital reporting service, through which businesses can share their experience of how the UK internal market is working. For example, this could include issues relating to trading across all four nations, such as if producers from one part of the UK are paying more to meet the product standards in another part of the UK in order to sell there. It could also include difficulties in using certain professional qualifications awarded in one part of the UK in different parts of the UK.

The information provided will contribute to the first State of the UK Internal Market report, planned for Spring 2022, as well as providing intelligence for any discretionary reviews that the OIM decides to carry out.

From today, Governments can also seek advice or reports on the impact that rules and requirements are having – or may have – on the internal market. In addition, the OIM will look at changes to the operation of the internal market over time.

In order to deliver reports and advice which are useful and relevant, the OIM will bring together information and data gathered across the four nations to become a centre of expertise on the internal market.

Andrea Coscelli, Chief Executive at the CMA, said:

The Office for the Internal Market will shine a light on how effectively companies are able to sell their products and services to people across the four nations, post-Brexit. Strong competition relies on effective trading, and customers rely on competition to get the best choice of products and services.

The OIM will listen to concerns and report to all Governments on the barriers faced by businesses. Its reporting and advice rely on hearing from those who are directly affected, which is why we need people to tell the OIM about any relevant trading issues that they encounter.

More information can be found on the Office for the Internal Market homepage.

Notes to Editor

  1. Following the OIM’s consultation with businesses and stakeholders across the UK, it has published a summary of responses and final version of its guidance and statement of policy on the enforcement of the OIM’s information-gathering powers.

  2. The OIM will provide independent, technical, non-binding expert advice to Governments across the UK on regulations or regulatory proposals that may impact the effective operation of the internal market. It will also monitor and report on the health of the UK internal market, including trends and developments across sectors and regions.

  3. A provision (for example, legislation, regulation etc) that is necessary to implement the Northern Ireland Protocol will fall outside of the scope of the Act and the OIM will not be able to offer advice or produce reports on it.

  4. BEIS has also published information to help businesses and enforcement authorities understand the UK internal market.

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