Share your views on trade with Government
Our latest survey asks about your international trade activities. Please share your views so we can pass these on to Government as they set their priorities going forwards.

Action is required if you are importing and use CHIEF. Please read our notice below and get in touch if you need any assistance with the move across to CDS.

You can also read about the latest ONS figures on trade, how to complete your VAT return for Import VAT, the latest trade updates and details of our course on trade diagnostics and ensuring you are compliant should you be investigated by HMRC.

If you have any queries please get in touch with our International Trade team by emailing or telephone 01223 237414.

Karen Cash
International Trade Team Leader
An opportunity to put your views to a new Prime Minister

Political change at Westminster means that the voices of businesses like yours have never been more important. We have a unique opportunity to get your views directly in front of a new UK Government as they begin to set their priorities for the months ahead.

The results of this survey will be anonymously shared directly with UK government ministers and officials, ensuring that any new administration is fully aware of the challenges and opportunities facing businesses around the UK.

In this survey, we want to hear about:

  • Your experience of supply chain disruption
  • The impact of inflation
  • Whether your trade with Europe has changed
  • Your views on a possible switch back to imperial measures
  • What would help you to increase trade internationally.
Please spare a few minutes to take part here.

Export growth in goods maintained but trade deficit widening

Reacting to the latest ONS figures on trade for May 2022, William Bain, Head of Trade at the BCC, said: “Overall, on goods exports growth, the pace of recent progress is being maintained, although goods export trade with the EU was not as strong as in April 2022. Machinery, transport goods (ships and aircraft) and fuel exports to the EU performed well in May.

“Of concern is the widening trade deficit in the three months to May 2022 - which has risen on that measure on goods for four successive months. Overall, on goods and services, the trend has been upwards for the last five months, in addition to the rise in the current account deficit in Q1 2022.

“Stronger performance on growth in services and goods exports is needed to counteract this and soon.”

Goods exports grew by 7.4 per cent in May 2022, driven by a 12.7 per cent rise in exports to non-EU countries. This matched the 7.4 per cent rise in goods exports in April 2022.

However, goods exports to the EU lost some momentum in May, rising only by 2.6 per cent, only a fifth as fast as rest of world goods exports.

In the three months to May 2022 compared with the three months to February 2022, goods exports to the EU increased by 16.1 per cent and to the rest of the world by 9.2 per cent. Machinery, transport equipment and fuels were the key areas (ships and aircraft) where exports to the EU rose in May.

On goods imports these rose by 4.2 per cent in May, largely down to a 5.2 per cent rise in exports from the EU, again on a similar track from April’s data. Food import values are higher, in part down to rising import prices.

The overall trade deficit in goods and services is continuing to widen to £27.9bn (£23.2bn ex-inflation) in the three months to May 2022 - up by £8.6bn (£4.1bn ex-inflation) compared with the three months to February 2022.

This is mainly due to the relatively larger increase in goods imports (14.6%) over that period. This is the fourth successive month the trade deficit has widened.

If you import you need to take action now

The Customs Handling Import and Export Freight (CHIEF) is closing for all import declarations on Friday 30 September 2022.

The system is no longer accepting new registration requests from importers, instead they need to register with the Customs Declaration Service (CDS) to make their import declarations.

CDS will replace CHIEF representing a significant upgrade by providing businesses with a more user-friendly, streamlined system that offers greater functionality.

This marks the first step towards the government’s vision of a Single Trade Window, which will have considerable benefits for businesses through reduced form-filling, better data use across government and a smoother experience for users.

To use CDS there are a number of actions that you need to take now. CDS operates differently to CHIEF and as your customs agent we can help you to understand the new data elements, the CDS tariff, how to operate your CDS deferment account and how the cash account system works.

Get in touch today by emailing or telephone 01223 237414.  


Import / Export Diagnostics
Thursday 11 August, 9.30am-1.00pm

This workshop goes through key areas of procedures and compliance, preparing you for trading internationally either by exporting or importing. We will talk you through the steps you should take to get your procedures in order to ensure you meet HMRC requirements should they come out and inspect you.

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.

Trade updates

The UK and Ukraine have launched an infrastructure taskforce to engage in the agenda for reconstruction of Ukraine. Further details are expected soon for UK companies who wish to take part in projects as part of this reconstruction effort.

Last week, the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) took part in the meeting of the Domestic Advisory Group on UK-EU trade and co-operation. A meeting on key trade issues with EU stakeholders will be held in early October. They issued a comment which was picked up by the Financial Times, on the need for intensified UK-EU discussion and co-operation over the summer.

UK trade negotiations with India are increasing at pace ahead of the completion deadline on Monday 24 October. This week, the BCC will have access to some of the closed chapters already negotiated.

The Trade Remedies Authority has proposed removing the anti-dumping measures (tariffs) on HFP Rebar (reinforcement or reinforced) steel products from China. It found that maintaining these would cause injury to the construction industry. A 30-day consultation will now be held before the final recommendation is made. If made, the recommendation would go to the International Trade Secretary for consideration. If you have any views on the proposals, please email Karen Cash.

Future changes to the Export amendment declaration form (C81)

On Monday 25 July 2022, the current Export Amendment (C81) form is being replaced. You will soon be able to complete and submit the form via the UK Trade Info website.

HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) will no longer be able to accept Export Amendment (C81) forms by any of the following methods from 25 July 2022:

  • Paper documents by post
  • Electronic versions by email
  • Digital Mail Service.
Further information including a link to the form will be sent out in due course.

Complete your VAT Return to account for import VAT

Find out how to account for import VAT on your VAT Return if you're using postponed VAT accounting.

If you’re a UK VAT-registered business and account for import VAT on your return, you’ll need:

  • Details of any customs entries you’ve made in your own records
  • Copies of your monthly postponed import VAT statement (when available)
Unless you’ve delayed your import declaration, each of your statements will show the total import VAT postponed for the previous month.

Find out how to complete your VAT return here.

Contact the Chamber

01223 237414 •
Cambridgeshire Chamber of Commerce
Clifford House, 2 Station Yard, Oakington, Cambridge, CB24 3AH