Upswing in Trade must be sustained
Responding to the latest ONS Trade figures released yesterday, William Bain, Head of Trade Policy at the British Chambers of Commerce, said: “It is heartening to see an increase in the rate of exports to the EU and the rest of the world. Nevertheless, continued progress is needed to meet the Office of Budget Responsibility’s (OBR) forecast of a net increase in UK exports of nine per cent across the whole of 2022.
“On exports to the EU, the welcome increase of 8.8 per cent since March is driven mainly by fuels and, to an extent, by machinery and transport equipment, but exports to the EU in chemicals, food and material manufactures remain flat.
“On the import side, there are early signals on the potential for delays, due to COVID outbreaks centred around major ports in China, which may impact the flow of certain goods into the UK.”
View the Trade data overview here.
BCC urges WTO Ministerial Conference to boost global trade
The British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) is urging political leaders to aim for bold reforms to boost world trade in goods and services.
It believes too many smaller businesses are still missing out on export opportunities and says politicians heading to the World Trade Organisation (WTO) Ministerial Conference (MC12) must adopt more practical measures.
It made the call ahead of the start of the four-day meeting in Geneva that started on Sunday 12 June.
William Bain, Head of Trade Policy at the BCC, said: “Facing the trade headwinds of the war in Ukraine plus continued supply chain concerns in Asia, smaller businesses need a growth-focused Ministerial Conference in Geneva.
“We urge ministers to take further action on kickstarting e-commerce, improving the commitments on gender equality in trade, reaching agreement on subsidies, and adopting a bold reform agenda to create a trade system which business can more easily engage with, and rely upon.
“It is also vital that delegates do not end the moratorium on customs duties on electronic transmission of goods and services. With the Office of Economic Co-operation and Development and WTO both lowering forecasts for global growth this year and next, the last thing businesses need is the re-introduction of customs duties on electronic transmission.
“They would hurt exporters of UK creative, professional and business services in particular. Leaders in Geneva must deliver practical support to smaller businesses in the UK, and beyond, who are keen to scale up their export capacity in the coming months and sustain global economic growth.”
Understanding Commodity Codes
Friday 17 June, 9.30am-1.00pm
This course will ensure you are aware of what a commodity code is and what it is used for, understand the process of how to classify goods, successfully classify a range of goods, and understand the importance of getting your commodity codes correct.
Tuesday 21 June, 9.30am-1.00pm
The misuse of Incoterms® can lead to delays, penalties, problems with payment and more. This seminar will explain Incoterms® and their importance in international trade contracts.
You can view the full list of all our courses on the Chamber website.
Courses can also be tailored to meet your company’s specific requirements. For more information about a bespoke course for your company, which can be delivered remotely or in person, please contact the Chamber on 01223 237414.
The British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) presented our key asks on UK-EU trade at a meeting of trade advisers from member state embassies last week. View our latest slide deck here. The discussion was very useful and will assist with engagement with the EU institutions in Brussels later in the year.
Last Thursday the BCC met with a delegation from the French Senate who visited them in London to discuss the economy and trade.
This week, the BCC will be participating in a meeting of the Business Brexit Taskforce with the Cabinet Office team.
The WTO 12th Ministerial Conference is currently taking place in Geneva until Wednesday 15 June. Expectations for concluded new agreements on e-commerce, Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property (TRIPs) waivers, and subsidies are tempered by realism on political disputes between key states. We also await a decision on whether the ban on tariffs on electronically communicated goods and services will be extended for another 12 months.
HM Revenue and Customs has published new guidance for firms completing processes for migration from Customs Handling of Import and Export Freight (CHIEF) to the Customs Declaration Service (CDS) later this year. You can read the latest checklist for declarants and traders here.
Imports Design - Have Your Say!
In April, the UK Government announced no further import controls would be introduced this year, whilst a new Target Operating Model (TOM) was developed. The TOM will be published later this year.
To support the development of the TOM, the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs want to engage with industry to understand the current challenges for importing goods from the EU and the rest of the world and gain your input into the future design of an imports regime.
If you didn't attend the workshop or have some additional ideas, you can still provide input into the design of the future imports regime via the online form. This form is available till 12.00pm on Friday 17 June.
Slides from the workshop that took place last week can be found here.