25 November 2020

New cosmetics transition rules revealed in government guidance

The transitional arrangements for the cosmetics regulations have been clarified in the latest government guidance, published here. Importantly it confirms that the EU responsible person address can be used for a period of two years:

Article 19 (1)(a) transitional arrangements

For a period of two years until 31 December 2022: the name, address and country of origin requirements are satisfied if there is compliance with the requirements of Article 19(1)(a) of the Regulation as it has effect in EU law (that is, where it has the name and address etc. of the Responsible Person based in the EU/EEA and meets the other requirements of Article 19(1)(a) of the EU Cosmetics Regulation).

Other details include confirmation that existing products, already notified in the EU should be notified to the UK system by 31 March. New products require notification as they are placed on the market.

There is additional guidance available for the Northern Ireland Market, under the same link. The NI market will essentially follow the EU rules but NI operators have additional responsibilities to notify the UK regulator.

Brexit transition ends in five weeks’ time, but it’s still unclear whether the UK will agree a deal with the EU or leave with no deal on WTO terms. The BTHA is constantly updating this page with all the latest guidance taken from government guidance and filtered for relevance to members.

Movement of goods

Accounting for VAT on goods moving between Great Britain and Northern Ireland from 1 January: This guidance gives information about when you can, or need to, account for VAT on your tax return if you’re a UK VAT-registered business.

Goods (including toys) regulations

Product safety and metrology from 1 January 2021: Great Britain: Guide added on Weights and Measures (Packaged Goods) Regulations 2006.

Product safety and metrology from 1 January 2021: Northern Ireland Guides added on General Product Safety Regulations 2005 and Electromagnetic Compatibility Regulations 2016.

Reminder: Moving goods on wooden pallets (ISPM 15 requirements)

After the end of the Transition Period, all wood packaging material (WPM) moving between GB and the EU must be treated and appropriately marked in compliance with international standards (ISPM 15). The legal requirement applies in both directions. The WPM holding a consignment may be subject to inspections upon entry to GB to verify compliance with the ISPM 15 requirements from 1 January.

The information can be found in the Border Operating Model here. (training on the border model is available to members (see below)).

Personal data

Using personal data in your business or other organisation after the transition period: Crucial information on managing  personal data flows, with further information on data protection for organisations can be found here; guidance specifically for SMEs here and a useful interactive tool for EEA-UK data flows here.

Webinars

Webinars on preparing your business for the end of the transition period – Register and watch the sector-specific webinars about how to prepare your business for new rules from 1 January.

Access the stakeholder toolkit here. This toolkit groups key messages and downloadable assets by business sector.

We’ve also uploaded a Brexit transition Q&A from the government to the BTHA website with information on customs, commodity codes, TSP, VAT and EORI numbers.

Useful links:

19 November 2020

Grants to help with customs declarations still available

The government says various grants are still on offer to help with filling out customs declarations after the end of the Brexit transition period.

You can apply to get funding for:

  • recruitment, training and IT to help your business to complete customs declarations
  • co-funded training project to help your business complete customs declarations
  • trader-training to understand customs

Amounts of funding available

Recruitment, training and IT grant

This grant will give you £3,000 towards recruitment costs for each new employee. Upfront recruitment costs won’t be covered for an employee redeployed from another part of the business, unless this is part of an external recruitment campaign.

You could also get up to £12,000 to cover the salary costs for each new or redeployed employee.

The grant will give you up to 100% of the actual costs of externally-provided training for your employees, up to a limit of £1,500 for each employee on the course.

It will also cover the cost of training you run internally, up to a limit of £250 for each employee on the course.

The grant will give you 100% of the costs relating to your IT expenditure to improve the efficiency of making customs declarations.

Trader training

If you are applying for customs training for traders, the grant will cover up to £1,000 per organisation. You can apply for funding for up to 100% of the cost of training.

State aid limitations

These grants will give you up to 200,000 euros, which is the maximum amount of state aid available. This limit applies to the total of all grants applications received in the last 3 years.

How to apply

PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) is administering the grants for HMRC.

Apply online through PwC.

After you’ve applied

If your application is successful you’ll get a grant offer letter.

You will receive the funding for the cost of recruitment and then 50% of the eligible salary costs once the grant offer is issued. The remaining 50% of salary costs will be paid when you have provided the new employee’s contract, signed and dated, and first payslip. You’ll need to claim for this within four months of your grant offer.

You’ll need to submit proof of how much you’ve spent on IT improvements or training within 2 months of getting the grant offer letter.

You’ll then get the grant within 30 days. It’ll be paid by Bacs to a UK bank account in the name of the person or organisation who applied.

Following a successful grant application you will be contacted for further information to check how the funding has supported your organisation to deliver its plans.

16 November 2020

Guidance on placing manufactured goods on the market post-Brexit transition

  1. Northern Ireland from 1 January 2021: Guidance has been issued detailing what you need to do to comply with regulations on manufactured goods you place on the Northern Ireland market from 1 January. You can check which rules apply to you, if you need to change your conformity assessment or marking, find information about appointing an authorised person and check whether your legal responsibilities are changing and more here 
  2. Great Britain from 1 January: Placing manufactured goods on the market in Great Britain from 1 January: Guidance has been updated to include information about placing qualifying goods on the market in Great Britain from Northern Ireland. For more information, click here. 

There is different guidance if you’re placing manufactured goods on the EU Market from 1 January 2021.

Check what declarations need to be made for goods you bring or receive into the UK from 1 January 2021: If you’re a UK-based business bringing or receiving goods into Great Britain or Northern Ireland Find out what declarations may need to be made by clicking here 

Check what declarations need to be made for goods you send the UK from 1 January 2021: If you’re a UK-based business sending goods from Great Britain or Northern Ireland find out what declarations may need to be made by clicking here. 

Using personal data in your business or other organisation after the transition period: Guidance about personal data provisions in the Withdrawal Agreement has been updated. Click here for more information and to see what actions you need to take regarding data protection and data flows with the EU/EEA, after the end of the transition period. 

HMRC have released a short video to promote a new digital tool to help traders check if they can apply for authorisations to delay customs payments and declarations. To view the video, click here.  

The date that you can claim VAT refunds has been updated 

  • VAT refunds from EU countries from 1 January 2021You can continue to use the EU VAT refund system to claim a VAT refund on expenses incurred before 1 January in EU member states, until 11pm on 31 March. For more information, click here 
  • UK VAT refunds from 1 January if you’re an EU business: The UK will continue to accept refund claims through the EU VAT refund system for VAT charged in the UK before 1 January, until 11pm on 31 March. For more information, click here 

Customs agents and fast parcel operators: The list of customs agents and fast parcel operators has been updated. For more information, click here 

With 46 days to go until the end of the transition period, you can keep up to date by attending one of the government’s webinars to help prepare your business: 

  • Using personal data from 1 January – 11am, Wednesday 18 November, and then on demand register here. This webinar will provide information on the actions you should take to prepare your business for new rules from January including:
    • The UK Data Protection regime from January
    • Data Adequacy 
    • Data Preparedness 
  • Business Travel and investing or establishing in the EU from January – 11am, Wednesday 25 November, and then on demand, register here. This webinar will provide information on the actions you should take to prepare your business for new rules from January 2021 including: 
    • Travelling for business 
    • Owning, managing or directing a business in the EU  
  • Department for International Trade webinar for exporters – 10:30am – 11:30am, Thursday 19 November: The Department for International Trade (DIT) has organised a series of webinars to help UK businesses understand the new trading rules which will come into effect from 1 January. For more information, and to register, click here. 
  • Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office Webinars: UK Sanctions Policy and Compliance after the Transition Period. 
    • Wednesday 18 November, 10:00-11:00 GMT: Wider private sector (please attend this session if your sector was not included in earlier webinars or if you were unable to attend them) – Register here 
    • Thursday 19 November, 09:00-10:00 GMT: International trade sector – Register here. 
  • HMRC Transition webinars: HMRC have launched multiple editions of this live webinar covering how to complete customs import declarations and explaining how to make import declarations when importing goods between the EU and Great BritainFind a date and to register, click here. 
  • IPO webinar, 2pm Tuesday 17 November: This webinar will cover changes to registration of EU Trade Marks and Designs, how parallel trade with the EU will change after 1 January, changes to copyright licencing and operational changes to office processes for the registration of trade marks, designs and patents after the end of the transition period. Register here. 

13 November 2020

Intellectual property rules are changing

In just 49 days there will be changes to how the Intellectual Property (IP) system and the Intellectual Property Office (IPO) will operate. These changes will affect:

You can find out more information about all of these changes in this news story from the IPO.

Help is available to ensure your business is ready. You should:

  • Consider carefully where to disclose your designs to ensure they have adequate protection in their most important market;
  • If you export IP-protected goods on the secondary or parallel market, contact the rights holder in the EEA to see if you have permission to continue to parallel export.
  • Consider if you want exports to continue if you are a business that owns the IP rights for goods currently parallel exported from the UK to the EEA.

If you do not take action, there is a risk your business operations will be interrupted. You can find out what other actions you may need to take by using the checker tool at gov.uk/transition and signing up for business readiness updates.

11 November 2020

Government steps up advice with 50 days until end of transition period

With just over seven weeks until the Brexit transition period with the EU ends, the government is advising businesses to get ready for the new rules and regulations which will be introduced on 1 January 2021.

​It’s launched a self-help questionnaire to get firms to understand what they have to do in the next 50 days as part of its Check, Change, Go campaign. It’s also urging firms to take three key actions:

  • Appoint a specialist to deal with import and export declarations
  • Check to see if you will be able to delay your declarations or duty payments.
  • Register for the free-to-use Trader Support Service if you plan on moving goods into Northern Ireland from 1 January 2021.

A number of other guides have been launched or updated in the past week as well as advice on tax rules, including:

There are a series of webinars to help firms prepare, including one on chemical regulations at 11:00 on 12 November, one on Intellectual Property issues at 14:00 on 17 November, using personal data at 11:00 on 18 November plus an on demand video on manufactured goods regulations, including CE and UKCA markings.

There’s also a Great Britain – Northern Ireland trade training course available if you sign up for the Trader Support Service.

30 October 2020

New webinar announced for UKCA marking after Brexit transition

The government has announced a new webinar on UKCA and placing goods on the market after 1 January 2021.

The Regulations on Manufactured Goods webinar will take place at 11:00 on Thursday 5 November and will then be available on demand.

The webinar will cover changes to the UK regime for goods that currently use the CE marking, the new UKCA marking and what you will need to do to place certain goods on the GB, NI and EU markets from 1 January 2021. Register for free here.

New guidance

Air, sea, road and rail transport from January 2021: There is new guidance on working in and travelling to the EU from 1 January 2021 for transport operators, workers, visitors and passengers.

International road haulage permits – ECMT permits 2021: New guidance explains the criteria for allocating ECMT permits and what hauliers need to do.

Updated guidance

What UK goods vehicle operators need to do to carry out international road haulage from 1 January 2021:  Updated guidance is available with information about preparing to apply for ECMT permits for 2021 between 2 November and 20 November 2020.

Trading timber – imports and exports from 1 January 2021: New guidance is available on how to move timber from GB to Northern Ireland, and from Northern Ireland to GB, imports from Indonesia to GB and Northern Ireland, and how monitoring organisations’ duties will change from 1 January 2021.

Complying with REACH chemical regulations when using, selling or importing chemicals in the EU: Updated guidance on grandfathering, tonnage deadlines and how UK downstream users can notify the HSE is available here.

List of customs agents and fast parcel operators: An updated list of customs agents and fast parcel operators who can assist with submitting customs declarations is available here.

New immigration system

From 1 January 2021, the UK will introduce a points-based immigration system that will treat EU and non-EU citizens equally and transform the way in which employers recruit internationally.

The government says the new points-based system will ensure it prioritises and invests in those people already in the UK, upskilling the current work force, while also attracting the best and brightest from around the world.

Regardless of the nature of the UK’s future trading relationship with the EU, from 1 January there will be guaranteed changes for businesses:

  • You will need to be a licensed sponsor to hire eligible workers from outside the UK. This normally takes 8 weeks and fees apply. Check your business is eligible and read the accompanying sponsorship guidance.
  • New job, salary and language requirements will apply to anyone that you want to hire from outside the UK. Check that the people you want to hire will meet the requirements for coming to the UK for work.

The new system will not apply to hiring Irish citizens, or EU citizens already living and working in the UK who are eligible under the EU Settlement Scheme.

23 October 2020

Government says ‘time is running out’ to take Brexit transition action 

There are now fewer than 70 days until the end of the transition period, the government is urging UK firms to prepare for the new rules being introduced on 1 January.

This week the government is launching a major public information campaign to help firms prepare and keep business moving.

Support is available, including sector-specific webinars to walk you through the changes. If you missed the webinars for the Services and Investment, Retail, Materials and Metals, Electronics Machinery and Consumer Goods sectors, they are available to watch on demand now.

Border Operating Model and Trade

The updated Border Operating Model provides further detail on how the GB-EU border will work and the actions that traders, hauliers and passengers need to take. These steps will be needed regardless of whether the UK reaches a trade agreement with the EU. The updated GB-EU Border Operating Model:

  • Maps out the intended locations of inland border infrastructure. The sites will provide the necessary additional capacity to carry out checks on freight.
  • Announces that passports will be required for entry into the UK from October 2021 as the Government phases out the use of EU, EEA and Swiss national identity cards as a valid travel document for entry to the UK.
  • Confirms that a Kent Access Permit will be mandatory for HGVs using the short strait channel crossings in Kent. The easy-to-use ‘Check an HGV’ service will allow hauliers to check if they have the correct customs documentation and obtain a Kent Access Permit. A preview demo of the Check and HGV service is available now.

Government launches plans to keep trade flowing after 1 January 2021: The government has announced a series of measures to help keep trade flowing by minimising the risk of disruption at the end of the transition period.

Exporters: sign up for the EU dual-use OGEL: Check now whether your business will need to register for the Open General Export Licence (OGEL), for export of dual-use items to EU member states from 1 January 2021. A full listing of sectors covered, and how to register for the licence with the Export Control Joint Unit is contained in this Notice to Exporters.

HMRC has written to VAT-registered businesses highlighting actions they need to take to prepare for new processes for moving goods between Great Britain and the EU from 1 January 2021.

Intrastat declarations for exports: Information for traders on importing and exporting goods between Great Britain and the EU after 1 January 2021 has been updated to remove references to Intrastat declarations for exports. You do not have to submit Intrastat declarations for goods exported from Great Britain to the EU.

People

  • Employing EU citizens in the UK: Further information for employers on employing EU, EEA and Swiss citizens in the UK, covering right to work checks, the EU Settlement Scheme and the UK’s new immigration system can be found here.
  • Guidance for providers of further education and apprenticeships: Information to help further education and training providers and employers of apprentices prepare for the end of the transition period on 31 December 2020.

Digital and Data

  • Using your mobile in EU and EEA countries after the UK leaves the EU: New guidance has been published.
  • Making phone calls and sending texts to EU and EEA countries after the UK leaves the EU: New guidance has been published.
  • The eCommerce Directive after the transition period: At the end of the transition period, the eCommerce Directive will no longer apply to the UK. You should begin to prepare for these changes now. Find out more here.
  • Using personal data in your business or other organisation after the transition period: What action you need to take regarding data protection and data flows with the EU/EEA after the end of the transition period.
  • .eu domain names – what you need to do before the end of the transition period: Find out what you need to do before the end of the transition period if you hold a .eu domain.
  • NIS Regulations – what UK digital service providers operating in the EU should do from 1 January 2021: What you must do to comply with the regulations covering the security of network and information systems.
  • NIS Regulations – what non-UK digital service providers operating in the UK should do from 1 January 2021: What organisations based outside of the UK offering services in the UK must do to comply with the regulations covering the security of network and information systems.
  • Broadcasting and video on-demand from 1 January 2021: How the rules for broadcasters and providers of video on-demand services will change after the transition period.

14 October 2020

Government urges businesses to get ready for end of Brexit transition period 

There are now fewer than 80 days until the end of the transition period and there will be no extension, so the government is urging UK firms to act now.

Regardless of whether the UK reaches a trade agreement with the EU, from 1 January there will be guaranteed changes to:

  • the way businesses import and export goods;
  • the process for hiring people from the EU; and
  • the way businesses provide services in EU markets.

Help is available to:

  • Check what actions you need to take by visiting gov.uk/transition.
  • Sign-up for updates.
  • Attend government webinars for additional support, you can sign-up to attend BEIS webinars now.

Unless you take action, there is a risk business operations will be interrupted. You should also check with your suppliers and customers that they are taking action.

UK Transition: The Customs (Transitional Arrangements) (EU Exit) Regulations 2020: This Tax Information and Impact Note is about the measures to allow traders importing goods from the EU to make a declaration in their commercial records.

Return your rejected exports from the EU from 1 January 2021: Rules you must follow for returning rejected exports to Great Britain from 1 January 2021.

Northern Ireland Trader Support Service communications resources: Images and files for use when communicating with traders in Northern Ireland about the end of the transition period and how to access the available support.

9 October 2020

BTHA launches new Brexit guide with product technical issues and markings

At the start of September the government updated its guidance on Brexit. In our eyes, some key areas were amended – including extra time for UKCA marking but no extra time for UK address markings. Since then, the BTHA has been talking to government and working on a reasonable response to this latest guidance. We realise that while some will be able to achieve the requirements, many, through no fault of their own, may struggle.

As a result we have drafted new guidance. The content of this guidance is based on government documents and discussions to date but cannot be fully confirmed. In some cases, the advice is based on a BTHA interpretation of the situation or on what is reasonable to expect companies to do based on the timings, previous advice and resources available in the current climate. In these cases, the advice may be outside government guidelines, and this will be highlighted where appropriate in the text. It should be noted that being unable to comply with UK specific labelling guidance does not affect the safety of the products.

This document has been endorsed by the British Retail Consortium (BRC) and the Toy Retailers Association (TRA). Both these bodies will be advising their members to follow the BTHA recommended advice.

The BRC commented: “The BRC welcomes this guidance. We fully support the clear practical, pragmatic guidance it provides as we face the challenge of exiting the EU”

The TRA said: “The TRA welcomes this guidance document and the advice it contains. Our members can take comfort that suppliers following the guidance will have done their best to meet the challenging new product compliance requirements as the UK exits the EU.”

There will no doubt be further updates and many questions remain unanswered by government. We hope that having at least some industry standard supported by our key retailer customers will help members in the current difficult circumstances.

7 September 2020

Brexit government updates on chemical regulations

How to comply with REACH chemical regulations: Guidance on how to comply with the EU’s REACH chemical regulations when using, making, selling or importing chemicals in the EU has been updated to provide businesses with more information on what they’ll need to do to prepare for 1 January 2021.

Working in the UK as a frontier worker from 1 January 2021: Guidance for frontier workers who want to enter the UK from 1 January 2021 has been updated. From 1 January 2021 you’ll need to apply for a frontier worker permit to enter the UK as a frontier worker (You’re a frontier worker if you’re an EU, EEA or Swiss citizen and you regularly commute to the UK because you are employed or self-employed here but live elsewhere.)

Pay less or no duty on goods you store, process, repair or temporarily use: Find out about customs special procedures that enable you to suspend, pay less or no duty on goods you import or export.

2 September 2020

New government guidance on Brexit requirements

In recent months the UK Government guidance on the new UKCA mark has been withdrawn and more recently it has been stated that the mark will be required with no transition period applied after 1st January 2021.

Following extensive lobbying from the BTHA, yesterday the UK Government has re-issued its guidance on the requirements for applying the UKCA mark. However, we are disappointed the requirements for new UK address markings have not been confirmed in the same way.

Using the UKCA mark from 1 January 2021

A summary of the UKCA marking guidance is as follows:

1.     UKCA marking will be required for products that come under new approach legislation e.g. the Toys Safety Directive (previously CE marked products)

2.     All stock fully manufactured and placed on the market before 1 January 2021 can continue to circulate unmodified in the UK and the EU

3.     Toys with CE marks will still be accepted in the UK until 1 January 2022 unless the EU rules change and become different to the UK rules. This is, in effect, a 12-month transition period before UKCA marking is required

4.     From 1 January 2022, CE marking will not be recognised in the UK as confirmation of compliance to UK regulations (however it can still be present on product in the UK for use in the EU market where relevant)

5.     UKCA marks will be required from 1 January 2021 if products require mandatary third party assessment or have had conformity assessment by a UK Approved body

6.     When required UKCA marks can be affixed on a label affixed to the product or on an accompanying document. However, for legislation that requires the UKCA mark to be on the actual product there will be an additional transition period until 1 January 2023 before it must actually appear on the product (see note 1 below)

Note 1: The UK Toy (Safety) Regulations allow a UKCA mark to be affixed to; the toy; a label affixed to the toy or the toys packaging. Therefore, it does not have to be on the actual toy. However other new approach legislation can be less flexible, and members need to ensure the UKCA mark appears on the toy where necessary in line with previous CE marking requirements.

Note 2: The UKCA mark can be added today as long as the CE mark is retained. It is likely that most companies will continue to use both marks in the future and comply with EU and UK legislation and allow circulation in both territories.

Members are also advised to read the following new guidance which covers related aspects after 1 January 2021:

Placing manufactured goods on the market in Great Britain from 1 January 2021

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/placing-manufactured-goods-on-the-market-in-great-britain-from-1-january-2021

Placing manufactured goods on the EU market from 1 January 2021

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/placing-manufactured-goods-on-the-eu-market-from-1-january-2021

Conformity assessment bodies: Change of status from 1 January 2021

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/conformity-assessment-bodies-change-of-status-from-1-january-2021

The BTHA Brexit guide will be updated in line with these guides in due course. If you have any questions please contact jerry.burnie@i-q-s.co.uk

27 August 2020

Government confirms UKCA marking transition period of 24 months

The BTHA has regularly been sending papers and questions to the government regarding the rules relating to UKCA marking. The BTHA asked the same questions recently at a Transition Business Readiness Forum. The officials present were unable to answer the question. However, various answers to questions have been sent this week.

The following has been confirmed in writing, and while it does not appear on any official government websites, we are considering it to be official advice.

UKCA Marking

  • The UKCA (UK Conformity Assessed) marking is the new UK product marking to be used for certain goods being placed on the GB market. 
  • The UKCA marking will only be recognised as demonstrating compliance with UK regulations from 1 January 2021. 
  • Manufacturers can affix the UKCA marking before this date – however during the transition period it is also necessary to use the CE marking in line with EU regulations.  
  • The requirements for affixing the UKCA marking immediately after the end of the transition period will mirror those for the CE marking. This includes both the essential requirements and the harmonised standards that can be used to give presumption of conformity.  
  • After the end of the transition period you can place the UKCA and CE marking on the same product if it is destined for both markets so long as the product meets the relevant regulatory requirements for both markets.
  • Transitional measures relating to the UKCA marking:
    • The UKCA marking will be recognised as demonstrating conformity for the GB market from 1 January 2021. 
    • For 24 months after this date (until 1 January 2023), you have the option to affix the UKCA marking on a label affixed to the product or on an accompanying document. The economic operators (whether manufacturer, importer or distributor) should take reasonable steps to ensure the UKCA marking remains in place.  
    • From 1 January 2023, the UKCA marking must, in most cases, be affixed directly to the product. You should start building this into your design process ready for this date. 
  • In terms of the status of the CE marking in the UK after 1 January 2021, the previous guidance is under review and we will be publishing updated guidance shortly onto gov.uk.  In the meantime, we would recommend signing up to updates on https://www.gov.uk/transition.”

Note that all stock placed on the EU market before 31 December can continue to circulate without changes. See the BTHA Brexit pages and guidance for details of the other key requirements for Brexit.

If you have any questions about Brexit you can contact jerry.burnie@i-q-s.co.uk who will be able to help.

13 August 2020

Preparing businesses for the end of the Transition Period and 1 January 2021

With the UK leaving the EU in January, and the transition period coming to an end this year, the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) says it recognises the important role that organisations such as the BTHA play in preparing businesses for when the UK leaves the single market and customs union.

Throughout the rest of 2020, it says its aim is to ensure that it provides businesses with the latest information from the government to keep members up to date on announcements and guidance that they can use to prepare.

The government has launched a major new “Transition” public information campaign called “The UK’s new start: let’s get going”, to give everyone the facts that they will need to be ready for 1 January 2021. A straightforward checker tool at https://www.gov.uk/transition will quickly identify the specific steps any business or individual needs to take to be ready.

7 August 2020

Northern Ireland protocol details revealed with Trader Support Service

Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, Michael Gove, and the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Brandon Lewis, have announced a £650m package of investment to help traders in Northern Ireland, and support peace, prosperity and reconciliation projects on the island of Ireland.

At the centre of this package is a free-to-use Trader Support Service (TSS) – an end-to-end support service to deal with import and safety and security declarations on behalf of traders. This will effectively see the government acting as a customs agent on behalf of businesses.

The new service will be available to businesses bringing in goods from Great Britain or the rest of the world, providing guidance as well as dealing with their requirements for moving goods into Northern Ireland.

Businesses in Northern Ireland can sign up for further information about the scheme on GOV.UK from now, before it becomes operational in September.

£155m of the money will fund the development of new technology to ensure the new processes can be fully digital and streamlined.

The service is outlined as part of the publication of new guidance on the Northern Ireland Protocol for businesses moving goods into and from Northern Ireland. The new online pages have been added to gov.uk/transition and will be updated as implementation work and UK-EU discussions proceed as part of the Withdrawal Agreement Joint Committee. Additional details will be outlined as work proceeds in the coming months to support preparations for the end of the transition period.

See also: Moving goods into, out of, or through Northern Ireland from 1 January 2021

28 July 2020

Government makes important announcement on UKCA marking

As many members will be aware, products that come under CE marking EU Directives will require a UKCA mark as well. It has always been the case that UKCA marking will be required immediately for products that have undergone UK approval testing (equivalent to EU Notified Body EC Type Approval) from 1 January 2021. In addition, products already placed on the market can continue to be sold after the 1 January 2021.

However, it has always been the understanding of the BTHA that UKCA mark application to other products will have an 18-month UK transition period, or at least it will become mandatory after a “time limited period” followed by giving “business notice before ceasing to recognise CE marking”. The BTHA has been regularly chasing the Office for Product Safety and Standards (OPSS) for clarification given the short time period between now and January for companies to comply.

OPSS has confirmed that there is no general 18-month period for UK specific requirements after 1 January 2021 except for the requirement to add a UK importer name where the main manufacturer address is based in the EU.

It has also confirmed that although any deal that is negotiated may change things the following will apply:

  • At the end of the Transition Period (TP) (31 December 2020), the Product Safety and Metrology etc. (Amendment etc.) (EU Exit) Regulations 2019 will, with some amendments, come into force.
  • The published mandate on the future relationship with the EU states a Free Trade Agreement could include (subject to negotiations), a protocol on mutual acceptance of the results of conformity assessment. This would mean conformity assessment done by an EU notified body would be recognised in the UK, and UK conformity assessment would be recognised in the EU.
  • However, in the meantime at the end of the transition period for products that require third-party conformity assessment, you may need to arrange for a UK Approved Body to do this from 1 January 2021 so that those products can continue to be placed on the UK market. You can do this by either asking your EU-based Notified Body to transfer information to a UK Approved Body, or alternatively by arranging for a UK Approved Body to re-test your products. Currently, UK Approved Bodies are listed as Notified Bodies on the EU NANDO database.
  • The UKCA (UK Conformity Assessed) marking is intended to be the new UK product marking used for certain goods being placed on the UK market and will come into force at the end of the transition period so you may wish to prepare now for its use. The requirements for affixing the UKCA marking immediately after the end of the TP will mirror those for the CE marking. Products with the UKCA mark can be placed on the UK market now, so long as they also carry the CE marking (if required) and the UKCA marking does not impact the visibility of the CE marking. The essential requirements and the standards that can be used to demonstrate conformity with these will be the same for the UKCA on 1 January 2021 as they are now for the CE marking.
  • Further guidance will be published in the near future which will include information on the status of CE marked goods that have not yet been placed on the market by 1 January 2021 (including goods conformity assessed by EU27 bodies). The guidance is being finalised in consultation with Ministers.
  • We know that for many businesses the changes required may be costly or take time to implement. Ministers are therefore considering, alongside having a UK regulatory regime that will involve having the UKCA mark on products that need conformity testing, if there should be a period of time where businesses can continue to place CE marked goods on the UK market. We hope to have a decision in a few weeks, and will give guidance as soon as we can.

The BTHA continues to question the above and if we get any further details will send out further updates and will update our BREXIT Guidance when some further clarity is achieved.

20 July 2020

Government carries out UK internal market and devolution consultation

The government is consulting on new measures to protect internal trade within the UK when powers return from the EU in January 2021. Measures will protect the UK’s economy by preventing new burdens on cross-UK business and provide certainty to support coronavirus recovery.

The proposals aim to ensure that devolution can continue to work for everyone; that all devolved policy areas stay devolved, while maintaining certainty for business by ensuring that rules and standards across the UK are mutually recognised, so that trade is as easy for business as possible.

A 4-week consultation opened on 16 July, sourcing views from businesses across all 4 nations of the UK. The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy is consulting on the options set out in the white paper. Please respond by close of play on 13 August. Find the paper here.

15 July 2020

Brexit advice six months ahead of transition period ending

A number of announcements have been made by the government, six months out from the Brexit transition period ending. Trade talks are continuing for the UK and EU to secure a free trade deal meanwhile both are preparing for a no-deal exit. Here are the latest updates from the government:

New immigration system: This includes information on the Skilled Workers route – how points are allocated and can be traded based on an individual’s experience, academic qualifications, and the salary of £25,600 and/or the “going rate” for an eligible occupation/role that is sponsored by an approved employer. Annex E (page 69 in the Further Details booklet) contains a list of eligible occupations in the Skilled Worker route.

Major new campaign to prepare UK for end of the transition period: The government has launched a new campaign to help businesses and individuals prepare for the end of the transition period.

£705 million investment for GB-EU border: A £705m investment will fund new infrastructure, jobs and technology at GB-EU border.

Declaring goods brought into Great Britain from the EU from 1 January 2021: You can record your goods in your commercial records and make a supplementary declaration 6 months later. You will not need to submit an entry summary declaration.

Get someone to deal with customs for you: How you can hire a person or business to deal with customs for you.

How to import and export goods between Great Britain and the EU from 1 January 2021: Information for traders on importing and exporting goods between Great Britain and the EU after 1 January 2021.

List of customs agents and fast parcel operators from 1 January 2021: The list of customs agents has been updated with 17 new entries and 3 amendments, and the list of fast parcel operators with 4 new entries and 1 amendment.

The Border Operating Model: A guide to how the border with the European Union will work after the transition period.

The eCommerce Directive will no longer apply to the UK: The directive currently allows EEA online service providers to operate in any EEA country, while only following relevant rules in the country in which they’re established. This framework will no longer apply to the UK providers as the UK will have left the EEA. All members with a website need to look at this link to determine the impact on their continued business.

BTHA Brexit Webinar

All the slides from the BTHA's recent Brexit transition webinar can be accessed via the read more button.

Read more

If members want more information on the authorised representative scheme they should contact ar@vulcanconsulting.eu

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