Are you prepared?

Mike Court, International Trade Compliance Specialist explains how to access vital training in what will be a very busy 6-month countdown for many UK importers and exporters.

In these uncertain times, we are all aware that behind the current Covid-19 crisis, looms the even-larger UK exit from the European Union.

With 6 months before the end of the current transition period has your business made plans for how your business will handle the supply chain for all your products?

What is happening with the UK negotiations and what advice and opportunities are there for local businesses?

The good news is that the UK Government has recently announced a new round of grants for businesses for training on the very important customs processes that will be required from January 2021.

Each business can apply for up to £2,500 per individual, which will cover a range of international trade training courses.

International Trade Matters Ltd provides courses via Chambers of Commerce in the South West. Visit our Chamber courses page to find out what is on offer and find out how to apply for your grant through the relevant Chamber.

Where are we now?

UK negotiators have so far issued proposals on how trade with Northern Ireland will be managed after the transit period. The UK has accepted that there will be new checks on some goods entering NI from the rest of the UK, according to the plans it set out in the recently published Command Paper outlining the Northern Ireland Protocol.

Command Papers are government documents conveying information or decisions that the government wishes to draw to the attention of one or both of the Houses of Parliament.

The paper sets out how the UK will implement the Northern Ireland Protocol while upholding Northern Ireland’s place in the UK and respecting the Belfast (Good Friday) Agreement.

In order to achieve this, the process will require Northern Ireland to continue to follow EU rules on certain product categories and introduces some new customs checks between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.

As defined by the Withdrawal Agreement, the protocol must ensure that there is no “hard border” on the island of Ireland and must be implemented on 1st January 2021 whether an EU/UK trade deal has been agreed or not.

According to the paper;

“Our proposals will deliver unfettered access for Northern Ireland businesses to the whole of the UK market; ensure there are no tariffs on goods remaining within the UK customs territory; discharge our obligations without the need for any new customs infrastructure in Northern Ireland and, finally, guarantee that Northern Ireland businesses benefit from the lower tariffs we deliver through our new Free Trade Agreements with third countries.”

https://www.gov.uk

This ensures that that businesses in Northern Ireland will stand to benefit from the lower tariffs delivered through the proposed U.K. Free Trade Agreements with countries like the United States, Australia, New Zealand and Japan.

Getting to grips with the new customs rules and regulations

The UK has been a part of the EU for a long time and there are many elements of customs rules and regulations that companies will not be used to dealing with on a regular basis.

Do you know your tariff and classification codes? Are you confident in filling out an Import or Export Declaration Form?

Coupled with activities related to recovery from Covid-19 next 6 months will be a busy time for UK companies looking to bolster supply-chain resilience and/or strengthen overseas opportunities. It is vital that anyone who hasn’t already begun to prepare for the end of the transition period begins now. There are some excellent courses available, many of which have been converted into an online format, in line with the “new normal”. Check out our events listings to view the courses and FREE introductory webinars available from International Trade Matters within the South West.

Want to find out more? Get in touch!

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