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Their step-by-step guide, which appears in the association’s winter newsletter, covers issues from the simple – how to get round the lack of a euro symbol on the computer keyboard – to the more complex legal agreements.

Top of the list comes pricing. From January 1, all prices in the Eurozone of 11 countries must be displayed in euros. “One effect of this will be that pricing will become more transparent and more competitive,” the brief advises. It also means that those bidding at auction or standing at fairs will have to be up to date on the euro/sterling exchange rate.

Second on the list comes invoicing: “Not only will you be presented from January 1 with an invoice in euros by a Eurozone seller, but you may also be asked for a purchase invoice in euros when trading in this country.”

This, of course can be turned to a trading advantage, as overseas customers may be attracted by prices quoted in euros. But LAPADA also warn members that invoices already issued in national currencies must be paid in euros after the relevant cut-off date for each country, when those national currencies cease to be legal tender.

Banking and cash handling advice starts with the simple suggestion of cashing in any foreign currency that is about to become useless. For the longer term, LAPADA suggest that those members who conduct trade a lot in Eurozone countries should consider opening a euro account in the UK.

Information systems also need to be taken into consideration. “ If you currently have software set up in an old national currency, then you will need to change this to euros. The euro symbol € is not available on older software, typewriters, etc, and you will therefore need to use the initials EUR.

On the legal side, members are advised to address any contracts they may have with suppliers or clients in the Eurozone which specify payment in a national currency. “You will need to agree an exchange rate and note this on the contract.”

LAPADA also note that although the euro is not legal tender in the UK, it is certain that it will be used increasingly here.

As far as tax is concerned, LAPADA note that tax, including VAT, can be paid in euros to the Inland Revenue and Customs & Excise and that there will be no charge for this but any currency movement in their favour will be billed to the taxpayer.

The brief rounds off with a reminder to train staff on the introduction of the euro and warns of potential counterfeiting of the new currency as well as other risks. “Be aware of this, tread carefully until you are familiar with the euro,” the brief concludes.