Brexit: 18 days to go and still no resolution
key update from John Bridge OBE DL

Unbelievably we still don't have the details we need all across the UK economy to make the adjustments that are required. We do however want a deal so we do want them to keep going. Essentially we want them to find a solution on that compromise over sovereignty.

At this late date the responsibility rests squarely with the UK government to provide crystal-clear guidance that lets businesses plan into 2021 and beyond.

Businesses need detailed answers now. It is hard to believe that we are still asking the government for clarity on the nuts and bolts of trade – things like rules of origin, customs software, tariff codes and much more besides – just over a fortnight before the end of the transition period. It is all the more frustrating because some of the grey areas for firms lie outside the scope of UK-EU negotiations, and could have been addressed some time ago.

Ultimately, businesses can and will adapt to the UK’s new trade reality. We are not however miracle workers or mind-readers. Without official guidance we can act on, many will continue to pause long-term planning and hold back on investment.

Deal or no deal, businesses will have to be flexible and fleet-of-foot over the coming months, as they grapple with the changes wrought by Brexit and Covid uncertainty. Many will have to rethink tried and trusted business models, supply chains and market strategies.


Business Readiness Bulletin – The UK Transition
Issued at the end of last week this bulletin was issued by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and provides the latest information for businesses.

As the UK has left the EU, and the Brexit transition period comes to an end this year in 18 days time, it asks businesses to take action now to get ready for new rules from January 2021. (no comments please).

Please find the information provided below:

Implementing the Northern Ireland Protocol
The government has published a command paper, setting out the details of an agreement in principle, on the implementation of the Northern Ireland Protocol between Great Britain and the EU. The paper outlines the way in which the agreement meets the three commitments to the people of Northern Ireland, as the protocol takes effect:
  • Unfettered access guaranteed for Northern Ireland businesses to the rest of the UK market
  • Northern Ireland’s place in the UK customs territory secured
  • The smooth flow of trade from Great Britain to Northern Ireland maintained.
The UK government is also launching a new element of its Comprehensive Support Scheme for Traders - The Movement Assistance Scheme. This scheme will complement the existing Trader Support Service .  


For more information on the command paper, click here

Temporary relaxation of the enforcement of the drivers’ hours rules: delivery of essential items to retailers
In response to pressures on local and national supply chains, the Department for Transport has introduced a temporary, and limited, urgent relaxation of the enforcement of EU drivers’ hours rules in England, Scotland and Wales. This temporary relaxation will apply from 12.01am on 10 December 2020 and will run until 11.59pm on 30 December 2020.

Find out about who the relaxation applies to, and information on using the relaxation here


New and Updated Guidance


TRADE

NEW: Trade with Japan from 1 January 2021: Guidance on how you import and export to Japan from 1 January 2021 has been updated to reflect changes to the origin value threshold. For more information, click here

UPDATED: Updated information on existing UK trade Agreements with non-EU countries: On 10 December, the UK signed the UK-Singapore Agreement. For more information on this, and the current status of progress on trade agreements with non-EU countries, click here .  

IMPORTING AND EXPORTING

NEW: UK – Japan CEPA: Guidance on importers knowledge: Guidance has been issued to explain how an importer can make a claim for preferential tariff treatment under the UK- Japan CEPA. For more information, click here.  

NEW: The DIT Export Control Joint Unit will be making changes to SPIRE (the electronic strategic export licence database) in preparation for the end of the transition period. SPIRE will not be available on 31 December 2020. Read Notice to Exporters 2020/19  to find out more. See also some additional information you will need to supply when making applications, so that ECJU can issue the correct licence from 1 January 2021. Please also ensure you have registered for the Open General Export Licence (exports of dual-use items to EU member states)  if you export dual-use items to the EU. From 1 January 2021, without this licence, your goods could be stopped by Customs.

NEW: Importing and exporting plants and plant products from 1 January 2021: Guidance on how to trade plants and plant products inside and outside the EU from 1 January 2021, has been updated to include a link to the PEACH user guide. For more information, click here .  

UPDATED: Letters to businesses about new trade arrangements with the EU from 1 January 2021: The latest letters sent to VAT-registered busines in GB trading with the EU and/or the rest of the world, have been published, highlighting actions they need to take to continue trading with the EU from 1 January 2021. To view this in full, click here

UPDATED - Complete your VAT Return to account for import VAT from 1 January 2021: Guidance has been updated with information on getting access to your postponed import VAT statement. For more information, click here

NEW: Protection of trading interests (retained blocking regulation) from 1 January 2021: Guidance has been issued that sets out how protection of trading interests (also known as the retained blocking regulation), will work in the UK from 1 January 2021. The Protection of Trading Interests Legislation, protects UK persons trading with countries affected by the extraterritorial application of certain laws (currently US Sanctions against Iran and Cuba). For more information, click here

MOVING GOODS 

NEW: The Goods Vehicle Movement Service: If you're a haulier and move goods through a port in the UK that uses the Goods Vehicle Movement Service, you'll need to register for the service to get your goods through customs.
  • For more information and to register for the Vehicle Movement Service, click here  
  • Check how to move goods through ports that use the Goods Vehicle Movement Service, here  
NEW: How VAT will apply to goods moving between Great Britain and Northern Ireland: Guidance has been issued with information about how import VAT will apply to goods moving between GB and NI, for individuals and non-VAT registered businesses. For more information, click here

UPDATED: Moving goods through the Port of Dover and Eurotunnel using common transit from 1 January 2021: Guidance and information on the inland border facilities has been updated. For more information, click here

UPDATED: Moving goods through the Port of Dover and Eurotunnel with an ATA Carnet from 1 January 2021: Guidance has been updated, with details of inland border facilities, and transporting live animals under an ATA Carnet. For more information, click here

UPDATED: Moving goods through the Port of Holyhead with an ATA Carnet from 1 January 2021: Guidance has been updated and information about transporting live animals under an ATA Carnet has been added. For more information, click here

UPDATED: Get your business ready to move goods to the common or EU countries: Guidance on what you need to do to prepare your business to move goods using common and Union Transit has been updated to explain what you need to do if you are using transit from 1 January 2021. For more information, click here

UPDATED: The list of customs agents and fast parcel operators has been updated. Click here to view this. 

UPDATED: ECMT international road haulage permits: Guidance has been updated to confirm that emails have been sent to tell applicants if they’ve been allocated an ECMT permit for 2021. For more information, click here

UPDATED: Settlement Scheme: introduction for employers: The dates in the document have been updated, and the information has been brought in line with other EU Settlement Scheme documentation. To view this, click here

INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY

UPDATED: Intellectual Property after 1 January 2021: Guidance on international trademarks and designs has been updated. For more information, click here

PLACING GOODS ON THE MARKET

Product safety and metrology from 1 January 2021: Guidance on product safety and metrology has been updated for Great Britain and Northern Ireland. A second version of the guide on Noise Emission in the Environment by Equipment for outdoors Regulations 2001, has been published. For more information on products placed on the GB market, click here . For more information on products placed on the NI market click here.  

SECTOR SPECIFIC GUIDANCE

Life Sciences
UPDATED: Regulating medical devices from 1 January 2021:
Guidance has been updated to include links to new guidance on registering as a manufacturer to sell medical devices from 1 January 2021. For more information, click here .  

NEW: Register as a manufacturer to sell medical devices from 1 January 2021: For guidance on registering your medical devices with the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency in GB and NI from 1 January 2021, click here

Climate change agreements
NEW: Climate change agreements: information to report to HMRC from 1 January 2021: Guidance has been published for businesses with a CCA who receive more than €500,000 a year in state aid. For more information, click here


Food & Drink
UPDATED: Importing or moving animals, animal products to the EU or Northern Ireland from 1 January 2021:
Guidance has been updated to explain new processes for importing or moving animals and animal products into the GB from the EU, non-EU countries and NI. For more information, click here


UPDATED: Export or move composite food products to the EU or Northern Ireland from 1 January 2021: Guidance has been updated to show export rules for composite products from GB to the EU and NI. For more guidance, click here

UPDATED: Export or move live animals and animal products to the EU or Northern Ireland from 1 January 2021: Guidance has been updated to show rules for exporting or moving live animals and animal products to the EU or Northern Ireland from 1 January 2021. For more information, click here

UPDATED: Food and drink labelling changes from 1 January 2021: Guidance has been updated to include information on using organic logos. For more information, click here

UPDATED: Import fish from the EU from 1 January 2021: Guidance on how to import fish for human consumption has been updated to include guidance around Northern Ireland movement. For more information, click here

UPDATED: Export or move fish to the EU or NI from 1 January 2021: Guidance on exporting fish for human consumption has been updated to include guidance around Northern Ireland movement. For more information, click here .  

UPDATED: Importing and exporting live fish and shellfish from 1 January 2021: Guidance has been updated to include more information on labelling requirements for exporting to the EU or movements to Northern Ireland. For more information, click here


All information on the UK Transition can be found at www.gov.uk/transition

Contact the Chamber

01223 237414 •  chamber@cambscci.co.uk
Cambridgeshire Chamber of Commerce
Clifford House • 2 Station Yard • Oakington • CB24 3AH • United Kingdom
www.cambridgeshirechamber.co.uk