Further guidance on flexible furloughing and how employers should calculate claims has been published and can be found here.
Border and transition period not being extended
Following a meeting with the Withdrawal Joint Committee on 12 June 2020, the UK has formally notified the EU that it will neither accept, nor seek, any extension to the Transition Period.
Recognising the impact of coronavirus on businesses’ ability to prepare, the UK will introduce the new border controls in three stages up until 1 July 2021.
- From January 2021: Traders importing standard goods, covering everything from clothes to electronics, will need to prepare for basic customs requirements, such as keeping sufficient records of imported goods, and will have up to six months to complete customs declarations. While tariffs will need to be paid on all imports, payments can be deferred until the customs declaration has been made. There will be checks on controlled goods like alcohol and tobacco. Businesses will also need to consider how they account for VAT on imported goods. There will also be physical checks at the point of destination on all high risk live animals and a proportion of low-risk live animals.
- From April 2021: All products of animal origin (POAO) – for example meat, pet food, honey, milk or egg products – and all regulated plants and plant products will also require pre-notification and the relevant health documentation.
- From July 2021: Traders moving all goods will have to make declarations at the point of importation and pay relevant tariffs. Full Safety and Security declarations will be required, while for SPS commodities there will be an increase in physical checks and the taking of samples: checks for animals, plants and their products will now take place at GB Border Control Posts.
To support businesses with the new processes taking effect next year, the UK Government has developed a new £50 million package to boost the capacity of customs intermediaries – including customs brokers, freight forwarders and express parcel operators – providing businesses with further support. This funding will support intermediaries with recruitment, training and supplying IT equipment to help handle customs declarations. Applications for the new funding will be open from July and HMRC will unveil more details in due course. Rules will also be changed to remove barriers for intermediaries taking on new clients.
HM Treasury coronavirus (COVID-19) business loan scheme statistics
Figures published by HM Treasury last Friday reveal that lenders have provided £34.9 billion through the three major government-backed lending programmes. £3.6 billion has been granted to 85,000 businesses in the past week, with more applications expected to be approved in the coming days as the industry continues to help the UK get through these tough times.
The statistics can be accessed here.