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27 April 2021 – Northern Ireland UK trader scheme updated with extra guidance
19 April 2021 – Apply for a grant to help SMEs new to importing and exporting
15 March 2021 – Revised timetable for introduction of import border controls
08 March 2021 – SME Toolkit: Trading with the EU and Northern Ireland
02 March 2021 – High value trader support for new border processes announced
23 February 2021 – EU/UK road haulage information updated and how to pay customs duty costs for a recipient
15 February 2021 – £20m SME Brexit support fund launched

02 February 2021 – HMRC answers frequently asked questions on new trade rules
27 January 2021 – Government asks for feedback about VAT and customs transit procedure changes
19 January 2021 – Haulage firms offered chance to test employees at their own depots for Covid-19
12 January 2021 – Updated advice for exporters and hauliers around paperwork and Covid-19 tests
05 January – Extensive government guidance issued after Brexit trade deal agreed
30 December – More Brexit transition guidance issued as parliament ratifies deal
24 December – Brexit trade deal signed 7 days before end of transition period
21 December – Amendment to BTHA guidance on EU address requirements
18 December – Authorised representative service for members
17 December – How to check if an HGV is ready to cross the border
14 December – BTHA product technical issues updated
11 December – Designated standards for toys from 1 January
03 December – Kent access permit details published and information for EU businesses
25 November – New cosmetics transition rules revealed in government guidance
19 November – Grants to help with customs declarations still available
16 November – Placing manufactured goods on the market post-Brexit transition
13 November – Intellectual property rules are changing
11 November – Government steps up advice with 50 days until end of transition period
30 October – New webinar announced for UKCA marking after Brexit transition
23 October – Government says ‘time is running out’ to take Brexit transition action
14 October – Government urges businesses to get ready for end of Brexit transition period
9 October – BTHA launches new Brexit guide with product technical issues
7 September – Brexit government updates on chemical regulations
2 September – New government guidance on Brexit requirements
27 August – Government confirms 24-month UKCA marking transition period
13 August – Government prepares businesses for end of transition period
07 August – Northern Ireland Trader Support Service revealed
28 July – Government makes announcement on UKCA markings
20 July – Government carries out UK internal market and devolution consultation
15 July – Brexit updates six months ahead of transition ending
BTHA Brexit transition webinar

View more

27 April 2021

Northern Ireland UK Trader Scheme updated with extra guidance

Trading and moving goods in and out of Northern Ireland: The information about bringing goods into Northern Ireland from Great Britain and from countries outside of both the EU and the UK has been updated.

Declaring goods you bring into Northern Ireland ‘not at risk’ of moving to the EU: Guidance about when goods can be declared ‘not at risk’ has been updated.

Apply for authorisation for the UK Trader Scheme if you bring goods into Northern Ireland: The page has been updated with additional guidance on the authorisation criteria for the UK Trader Scheme, including the establishment conditions.

Rule of Origin: UK-EU 

Rules of origin for goods moving between the UK and EU: Guidance about the rules for small consignments of goods has been updated.

Information for NI and EU based businesses

Claim VAT refunds in Northern Ireland or the EU, if you’re established in Northern Ireland or in the EU: Sections ‘what this guidance is about’ and ‘codes and sub-codes for goods required on refund applications’ have been updated.

Postponed VAT Accounting – HMRC Q&A

Question 1: I’ve heard about PVA, but I’m not sure if it’s for me. Why should I use it, and where can I find out more about it?

Answer: PVA allows UK VAT registered importers to account for and recover import VAT on their VAT return. PVA is available permanently and we expect that most businesses will choose to use it, because it provides significant cash flow benefits compared to the alternative of paying the import VAT when the goods are imported.

Different rules apply in different situations. In some cases, you must account for import VAT on your VAT return – for example, if you delay your customs declaration.

You can go to GOV‌‌‌‌.UK to check when you must use PVA to account for import VAT on your VAT return, and when it is optional.

Question 2: How do I tell HMRC that I want to use PVA?

Answer: There isn’t an application process for PVA, and you do not need to tell HMRC in advance if you want to start accounting for import VAT on your VAT return. You need to confirm in your customs declaration that you are using PVA.

If you use the Customs Handling of Import and Export Freight (CHIEF) system

On your declaration, enter:

  • your EORI number starting with ‘GB’ which includes your VAT registration number into box 8 (Header Consignee), or, if applicable, your VAT registration number in box 44h (Registered Consignee)
  • ‘G’ (Postponed accounting for VAT approved) as the method of payment in Box 47e.

If you use the Customs Declaration Service (CDS)

On your declaration, enter:

  • your VAT registration number at header level in data element 3/40.

Please note that VAT will be recorded against your EORI and will be at declaration level only.

If someone else is doing your customs declarations for you such as a freight forwarder, customs agent, broker or fast parcel operator you must tell them you want to use PVA. Tell them that you want to use PVA to account for import VAT on the imported goods, so that they can complete the customs declaration correctly on your behalf. Keep a written record of what is agreed for your records.

Whoever completes the declaration must take care when selecting how to account for import VAT on the customs declaration, as this cannot be changed once the declaration has been submitted.

Question 3: How do I complete my VAT return if I’m using PVA?

Answer: After you have selected PVA on your customs declaration you will need to account for import VAT when you complete your VAT return.

To complete your VAT return, you will need:

  • details of any customs entries you have made in your own records
  • copies of your monthly postponed import VAT statement, when available.

Unless you have delayed your customs declaration, each of your statements will show the total import VAT postponed for the previous month.

If you are delaying your customs declarations:

  • you must account for import VAT on the return which includes the date you imported the goods
  • to complete the boxes on your return, you’ll need to estimate the import VAT due from your records of imported goods
  • when you submit your delayed declaration, you must select that you’re accounting for your VAT on your return.

Your next online monthly statement will show the amount of import VAT due on that declaration. You’ll then be able to:

  • adjust your estimate
  • account for any difference on your next return.

Question 4: How do I get the statement I need to complete my VAT return?   

Answer: If you account for your import VAT on your VAT return, you’ll need to get a postponed import VAT statement online.

Unless you have delayed your customs declaration, each statement will show the total import VAT postponed for the previous month.

Your statements will usually be available to view by the 6th working day of the month.

To view your statements, you’ll need a Government Gateway user ID and password which is linked to your EORI number. If you do not have a user ID and password, you can create your account on GOV‌‌‌‌.UK.

Customs agents and fast parcel operators

List of customs agents and fast parcel operators: It can be complicated to submit import and export declarations, so you may want to use a company which specialises in this area. Find customs agents and fast parcel operators who can help submit customs declarations.

19 April 2021

Apply for a grant to help SMEs new to importing or exporting

Firms can now apply for the SME Brexit Support Fund. Smaller businesses can get up to £2,000 to pay for practical support, including training or professional advice to adjust to new customs, rules of origin and VAT rules when trading with the EU.

You can apply and find more information on eligibility here.

Business travel: The Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office will be hosting its next webinar for travel, insurance and business partners on Thursday 22 April. Focusing on the new rules for UK travellers to the EU following the end of the Transition Period, experts from a range of government department will update on the latest changes and actions travellers need to take to be prepared. The session will also feature new rules for business travellers, and there will be plenty of opportunity to ask any questions you may have. Space is limited, so click here to sign up.

VAT: Trading and moving goods in and out of Northern Ireland: Information has been added to guidance with information about when to use an ‘XI’ prefix in UK VAT numbers in the ‘paying VAT’ section. For more information, click here.

List of customs agents and fast parcel operators: The list of agents and operators who can help submit customs declarations has been updated. Click here for more information.

Webinars

  • On demand webinar – Trading with the EU under the new rules, providing an overview of the new rules that have come into place since the UK left the EU. To view this, click here
  • On demand webinar – Moving goods via ports in the Netherlands and Belgium, a webinar outlining the common problems emerging with moving goods between GB to UK and EU to GB. To view this, click here
  • Webinars for businesses trading with the EU: A recording of the webinar ‘Moving Goods into, out of, or through Northern Ireland’ has been added. To watch this, click here

15 March 2021

Revised timetable for the introduction of import border controls

The government says it will introduce full border control processes, six months later than originally planned. 

From 1 January 2022: 

  • Safety and Security declarations for imported goods will be required. 
  • Customs declarations on all goods will be required at the point of import, and businesses will no longer be able to use the deferred declaration scheme. 

Traders moving controlled goods into Great Britain will continue to be ineligible for the deferred customs declaration approach. They will therefore be required to complete a full customs declaration, when the goods enter Great Britain. 

For more information on the announcement, click here. 

For a step-by-step guide on importing goods into the UK, click here. 

SME Brexit Support Fund is open for applications

The SME Brexit Support Fund could give you up to £2,000 to help with training or professional advice, if your business has up to 500 employees and no more than £100 million annual turnover. 

Traders can apply for up to £2,000 in total through two types of grants: 

Grant for Training: The grants can be used to provide training on the following: 

  • How to complete customs declarations  
  • How to manage customs processes and use customs software and systems  
  • Specific import and export related aspects including VAT, excise and rules of origin 

Grant for Professional Advice: The grant can be used to get professional advice, so your business can meet its customs, excise, import VAT or safety and security declaration requirements. 

Find out more information on eligibility for the fund and apply online  

Applications will close on 30 June 2021 or earlier, if all funding is allocated before this date. 

Trading with developing nations: Guidance on the UK’s Generalised Scheme of Preferences has been updated, with guidance added on Guidance Scheme of Preference (GSP) goods entering the UK from a customs warehouse in an EU member state, and GSP goods sent to an EU member state from a customs warehouse in the UK. For more information, click here 

List of customs agents and fast parcel operators: The list of agents and operators who can help submit customs declarations, has been updated. For more information, click here. 

Solutions for achieving low carbon goals in NE England

Calling all small businesses based in the North of England.

Are you interested in practical solutions to help achieve your low-carbon goals? 

Join the government’s virtual event, focused on the North of England on Friday 19 March.

Limited places available, register here 👉 https://event.bablglobal.com/beis-business-journey-to-net-zero-north/home 

8 March 2021

SME Toolkit: Trading with the EU and Northern Ireland

A new summary of actions SMEs may need to take to trade with the EU is now available 

The document provides an overview of actions to take, outlines support, helplines and resources that may be useful for SMEs, and signposts more detailed guidance on Government websites. 

To view the toolkit, click here.

SME Brexit Support Fund. Applications will open on Monday 15 March: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/grants-to-help-small-and-medium-sized-businesses-new-to-importing-or-exporting

Borders – discharging Transit movements: BEIS says it has received information from various EU member states of a significant increase in Transit movements not being discharged at the Office of Destination or by the authorised consignee. When your goods arrive at the destination country, it’s important that the TAD (Transit Accompanying Document) is presented to customs at the office of destination (a customs office) or at the premises of an authorised consignee (your own or an agent’s premises), so they can inform the NCTS that the goods have arrived.

Even if your goods have been presented to an office of transit at the border in the country of destination, the haulier must still go to an office of destination or premises of an authorised consignee to end the Transit movement. 

If you do not discharge your transit movement, the guarantee cannot be released which means that some traders are approaching their limit on guarantees. If this limit is reached, then new transit movements cannot be started which will cause significant disruption to your supply chain. If the office of destination is closed:

  • Arrange for the transfer of work to the nearest operational office of destination.
  • Arrange for the redirection of mail to that office.
  • Display notices referring economic operators to the nearest office of destination.

Instruct such offices to issue proof of the end of the procedure (i.e., a stamped copy of the TAD or business continuity document) on request, to prevent the need to resort to the inquiry procedure.

There are more technical videos on trade with key markets and how to avoid common problems with customs (including Irish road freight): https://www.gov.uk/guidance/help-and-support-if-your-business-trades-with-the-eu#importing-and-exporting-goods.

Moving goods to Ireland: Irish Customs have introduced some additional functionality for those using the Pre-Boarding Notifications service – providing text and email updates for channel routings for loads. For more information, click here. 

List of customs agents and fast parcel operators: The list of agents and operators who can help submit customs declarations, has been updated. For more information, click here.

Applying for authorisation for the UK Trader Scheme if you bring goods into Northern Ireland: Guidance on applying for authorisation for the UK Trader Scheme has been updated to include new information about authorisation requirements. For more information, click here.  If you do not have experience in customs or would like to find out more information, you can register with the Trader Support Service to support you with this process. 

Declaring goods you bring into Northern Ireland not ‘at risk’ of moving to the EU: Guidance has been updated with information about making a declaration based on expected outcomes. Further information about rules of origin requirements and preferential rates when bringing goods into Northern Ireland has also been added. For more information, click here 

Value Added Tax EU Exit Transitional Provisions: Guidance on the VAT treatment of transactions, or movement of goods which span the end of the transition period, has been updated at Section 6: Financial services, and includes a link to the new detailed guidance on transitional guidance for VAT specified supplies. For more information, click here. 

Podcasts and webinars

  • Trading with the EU: A calendar of upcoming webinars for organisations that trade with the EU is available here. Topics include: importing, trader responsibilities, exporting and more. 
  • Webinars giving an overview of the new rules that have come into place since leaving the EU customs union and the EU single market are now available to view now, to access these, click here 
  • Webinars for EU audiences: Recordings from recent webinars for EU audiences (including details on using Short Straits routs, routes into Belgium and the Netherlands) can be viewed here.
    • Moving Goods Between Great Britain and France‘ took place on 12 February. Click here to watch the recording. 
    • Moving Goods Between Great Britain and Ireland‘ took place on 26 February. Click here to watch the recording.
  • YouTube video on trader responsibilities when using an intermediary has been added. To view this, click here.

Video content to keep your business moving: short on-demand videos covering the new rules on exports, imports, tariffs, data and hiring are available to view here

2 March 2021

High value trader support for new border processes announced

The field force support programme is being offered by the Cabinet Office to support businesses that trade more than £250,000 of goods with the EU each year.

The support available ranges from invitations to specialist events, 1-to-1 query resolution, more access to business case studies and sector-specific guidance from policy experts.

To be part of this programme you will need to answer some questions on your business and the goods you trade in.

For more information and to fill in the contact form, click here.

HMRC has put in place a range of support for customs and international trade customers. In response to feedback that customers are experiencing difficulties with transit for imports/exports, HMRC has introduced 24/7 support. More detail, including helpline numbers and contact email addresses for support, can be found in this document.  

On Guarantee Reference Amounts, HMRC has now updated the New Computerised Transit System (NCTS) meaning that declarations require a value to be entered in the guarantee reference amount field. As a temporary solution, for those traders who are unable to enter a figure in the guarantee reference amount field, HMRC is now entering a value of £1 for each movement to enable the movement to be started.

The Goods Vehicle Movement Service: The GVMS is for traders, hauliers and carriers who use a UK port. This service brings together multiple declaration reference numbers into a single goods movement reference. This is to speed up the clearance of goods through customs. The updates clarify what hauliers need to do to take advantage of this service.

  • Guidance for hauliers has been updated here.
  • Guidance on registering for the Goods Vehicle Movement Service has been updated with new information about who should register for the service. For more information, click here.
  • Get a goods movement reference: Information about what you need to do to get a goods movement reference has been updated. For more information, click here.
  • Check if a goods movement reference is valid: Information about hauliers moving goods from the EU to GB has been updated. For more information, click here.

Travelling to Europe for work? Business Travel: An explainer document 

A short explainer document has been produced to help you understand the new rules that are in place for business travel to Europe for work. These rules apply to you if you’re travelling for work in Europe regardless of whether you’re attending a conference or providing services.

For more information on entry requirements, luggage, earnings, qualifications, and insurance pertaining to your travel, view the full explainer document.

Sending goods to the EU through roll on roll off ports or the Channel Tunnel: Guidance on transporting goods to the EU from the UK via these channels has been updated with a new section on Assumed Departure. For more information, click here.

Taxes and Tariffs: Guidance about taxes and tariffs for EU businesses trading with the UK has been updated with new Information about paying VAT or claiming VAT refunds. For more information, click here.

Working in the UK: Guidance for EU citizens on what they need to do if they’re working in the UK has been updated with new business activity information, now including Covid entry restrictions. For more information, click here.

International EU protected designs: Guidance has been issued with information about changes for businesses and holders of international EU protected designs. For more information, click here.

Unfettered access procedure for marketing authorisations approved in Northern Ireland: Guidance has been updated with new information around how to get a 5-digit company number and added new links to conditions for eligibility of unfettered access, and definitions of qualifying Northern Ireland goods. For more information, click here.

Moving goods between Great Britain and France: A recording of the technical webinar hosted on 12 February is now available to view here.

New guidance issued about rules of origin and how to claim zero tariffs

For anyone that make sufficient change to products in the UK and has a toy that carriers a tariff, the following may be of interest to establish whether you qualify for UK origination:

23 February 2021

EU/UK road haulage information updated and how to pay customs duty costs for a recipient

A number of Brexit-related pages have been updated by government departments this week.

The Goods Vehicle Movement Service: The Goods Vehicle Movement Service is for traders, hauliers and carriers who use a UK port

  • Guidance for hauliers has been updated here.
  • Guidance on registering for the Goods Vehicle Movement Service has been updated with new information about who should register for the service. For more information, click here.
  • Get a goods movement referenceInformation about what you need to do to get a goods movement reference has been updated. For more information, click here
  • Check if a goods movement reference is valid: Information about hauliers moving goods from the EU to GB has been updated. For more information, click here 

European Conference of Ministers of Transport (ECMT) international road haulage permits: Guidance on permits to travel to or through ECMT member countries has been updated.  Information about applying for short-term permits has been updated, you can now apply for there for the rest of 2021. For more information, click here. 

HMRC newsletter to help traders avoid some problems they may encounter when moving goods under transit: The most recent HMRC newsletter, has been updated with information on ‘French ports with the ‘smart border’ system’. For more information, and to view recent editions of the newsletter, click here. 

List of customs agents and fast parcel operators: The list of agents and operators who can help submit customs declarations has been updated. For more information, click here. 

Guidance and FAQ from HMRC

Question: I run a small non-VAT registered business, do I need an EORI number to move goods for my business between Great Britain and the EU, even if the goods are in my car?

Answer: Yes, all businesses that move goods between Great Britain and other countries (including the EU) must have an Economic Operator Registration and Identification (EORI) number.

That’s because if you wish to move goods between Great Britain (England, Scotland and Wales) or the Isle of Man, and other countries, you will need it to complete your customs declarations. But don’t forget, you may also need a separate EORI number if you move goods to or from Northern Ireland.

If you don’t have an EORI number, you can find out more and register for free by going to GOV.UK.

If you’re moving your goods between Great Britain and another country in your car, you may be able to use the online declaration service. You’ll find more information about that on GOV.UK.

Trading and moving goods in and out of Northern Ireland by parcel: Guidance has been updated with information about moving goods from Great Britain to Northern Ireland by parcel. This information can be found in the section ‘Moving excise goods’. For more information, click here. 

15 February 2021

£20 million SME Brexit support fund launched

new £20 million SME Brexit Support Fund will offer support to help small businesses adjust to new customs procedures, rules of origin, and VAT rules when trading with the EU. 

SMEs who trade only with the EU, and are therefore new to importing and exporting processes, can apply for grants of up to £2,000, to pay for practical support including training and professional advice to ensure they can continue trading effectively with the EU. 

You can use the grant for training on: 

  • how to complete customs declarations 
  • how to manage customs processes and use customs software and systems 
  • specific import and export related aspects including VAT, excise and rules of origin 

It can be used to help you get professional advice so your business can meet its customs, excise, import VAT or safety and security declaration requirements. 

Your business may be eligible if you have up to 500 employees, and no more than £100 million annual turnover. 

Applications for the SME Brexit Support Fund will open soon. For more information on how you can use the grant, who can apply and how to apply, click here.

Step-by-Step guides to importing and exporting goods between Great Britain and the EU: There are new rules for importing and exporting goods between Great Britain and countries in the EU. Whether you’re completing customs declarations yourself or have an intermediary to do it for you, these guides will take you through each step and set out your options. 

Importing from and re-exporting union goods to the EU Resources such as trader support packs and flowcharts, have been updated to include a new ‘Importing and re-exporting union goods to the EU – Flowchart’. For more information, click here 

List of customs agents and fast parcel operators: The list of agents and operators who can help submit customs declarations has been updated. For more information, click here. 

Using the UKCA marking: Guidance has been updated to include further instructions regarding the height of the UKCA marking. For more information, click here 

Using the UKNI marking: Guidance has been updated to include further instructions regarding the height of the UKNI marking. For more information, click here.

Brexit transition helplines: A list of government helplines organised by theme and key actions for businesses has been published. To view this, click here 

For more information for:

businesses in England, call 0800 998 1098

businesses in Scotland, call 0300 303 0660

businesses in Wales, call 0300 060 3000

businesses in Northern Ireland, call 0800 181 4422.

For more information, including opening hours, click here.

02 February 2021

HMRC answers frequently asked questions on new trade rules

Now that the Brexit transition period has ended, all businesses that move goods between Great Britain and countries in the EU, or under the Northern Ireland Protocol, must follow new customs and tax rules since 1‌‌‌ ‌January. HMRC has provided answers to some of the most frequently asked questions on the new trade rules.

1. Customs processes are complicated. Who can help me complete them?

Most traders find that they need specialist support to help with importing from or exporting to the EU. For instance, you might decide to use a customs intermediary.

A customs intermediary is someone who makes customs declarations for you or your business. This could be:

  • a freight forwarder – a company that helps their clients move cargo globally, including supporting the customs process
  • a customs agent or broker – these make sure your goods clear through customs.

If you decide to use an intermediary, make sure you approach them as soon as possible, as there is high demand for these services. You can find a list of businesses that can help on GOV‌.UK.

There are still specific actions you will need to take if you get an intermediary to help you with your customs declarations. You will:

  • be responsible for paying any taxes or duties owed;
  • be responsible for providing details about your transactions to your chosen intermediary;
  • need to apply for an Economic Operator Registration and Identification (EORI) number (if you don’t already have one). An intermediary can’t apply for an EORI on your behalf and they will need this to complete your customs declarations. You can register for free on GOV‌.UK. It takes 5 to 10 minutes to apply and you will normally receive it in under a week.

For more information, you can:

2. My business is located in the United Kingdom and I export goods to EU customers, can you explain how I should account for VAT?

If you sell, send or transfer goods out of the UK you do not normally need to charge VAT on them in the UK. You can zero-rate most exports from:

  • Great Britain to a destination outside the UK
  • Northern Ireland to a destination outside the UK and EU.

If you incorrectly charge UK VAT on exports of goods, your customers may also have to pay VAT in the country where the goods are imported.

Different rules may apply in different countries. Therefore, it’s important that you understand the import VAT rules of each EU country that you sell to.

You can find out more about exports, sending goods abroad and charging VAT on GOV‌.UK.

3. I send goods from the United Kingdom to my customers in the EU, has anything changed about how I should account for VAT?

Yes. Previously, before the end of the transition period:

  • VAT was due on the goods that you sold to your EU customers. If your EU customer was not VAT registered themselves (for example, because they were a private individual) you accounted for UK VAT in the UK. If your sales to EU customers breached an annual distance selling threshold you had to register for VAT in that EU Member State and account for EU VAT in that country.
  • If your EU customer was registered for VAT in their own country your business zero-rated the sale as a ‘dispatch’ and your EU customer accounted for the VAT as an ‘acquisition’ in their own country.

Now, following the end of the transition period:

  • if you are a business subject to the Northern Ireland protocol, the above rules will still apply.
  • if you are a business moving goods from Great Britain to the EU, your goods should be zero-rated exports from the UK and import VAT will be due to be collected from the EU recipient at import into the EU and subject to EU rules.
  • different rules may apply in different countries – therefore, it’s important that you understand the import VAT rules of each EU country that you sell to.
  • you can find more information and guidance about the conditions for zero-rating VAT on the goods you export, and what you should do when you export goods in specific circumstances on GOV.UK.

Importing and Exporting

Claiming preferential rates of duty between the UK and EU: Guidance on claiming preferential rates of duty on goods covered in the UK’s deal with the EU and how to declare goods imported into the UK on your import declaration has been updated. Guidance now includes a clarification to the statement of origin section and the need to identify goods that are originating and non-originating. For more information, click here.

Moving Goods

Border and Protocol Delivery group video series: The Border and Protocol Delivery Group have produced a video series on border readiness at the end of the transition period on the following:

Moving goods under transit: The latest edition of the Community, Common Transit and Transport International Routiers (TIR) Newsletter is now available. The newsletter focusses on helping traders avoid some problems they may be experiencing when moving goods under transit. To view this, and previous editions of the newsletter, click here.

Groupage consignments: The Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (DEFRA) have been working with their Northern Irish counterparts at the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) alongside hauliers, to establish a new Groupage model which will aid the movements of these loads into Northern Ireland. Following successful trials with industry (involving taking goods from GB to NI), two Groupage models have been agreed: consolidation hubs model and linear model.  To view groupage guidance for traders and hauliers, click here.

List of customs agents and fast parcel operators: The list of agents and operators who can help submit customs declarations has been updated. For more information, click here.

27 January 2021

Government asks for feedback about VAT and customs transit procedure changes

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) is asking BTHA members for feedback about changes which have been introduced with the end of the Brexit transition period.

  1. VAT – BEIS  welcomes any feedback on issues members are having around paying import VAT when exporting into the EU.
  2. Customs Transit Procedure (CTP) – BEIS is asking members what issues they are having with the CTP process, and any suggestions on how to provide you with better support. For both of these issues, please contact natasha@btha.co.uk
  3. Returned Goods Relief. Please see the links below to guidance on Returned Goods Relief, as well as Outward and Inward Processing Relief: 
    Pay less import duty and VAT when re-importing goods to the UKUsing outward processing to process or repair your goodsOutward Processing Relief calculation for imports (C&E1154)Apply to pay less duty on goods you import for specific uses and Moving processed or repaired goods into free circulation or re-exporting them.
  4. Preferential Duty Rates/Rules of Origin – Find out how to claim preferential rates of duty on uK manufactured toys covered in the UK’s deal with the EU and how to declare goods imported into the UK on your import declaration. The statement of origin section has been updated to clarify the need to identify goods that are originating and non-originating.
  5. Webinars and videos: There are various government webinars here and here to find out what you need to do now to keep trading with the EU, to familiarise yourself with the new customs processes and what you need to do before you trade goods with the EU (and on Regulating chemicals after the UK transition period). You can also Register for video explainers on 18 topics (including on chemical regulations) including importing and exporting, trade, data, and audit and accounting.
  6. BEIS is working closely with NHS Test and Trace to enable large businesses (250+ employees) to set up testing on site. It is working through a priority list of critical sectors to roll this out. It also wants to work closely with all other employers interested in the offer. If you would like to register your interest please email employee.testing@beis.gov.uk.
  7. NHS Test and Trace is also working with local authorities to establish testing for employees of smaller organisations (<250 employees) who can’t work from home in the community. Many local authorities are already planning to test specific worker groups or those who can’t work from home as part of their community testing plans. Please email communitytesting.centralops@dhsc.gov.uk or see https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/community-testing-explainer/community-testing-a-guide-for-local-delivery for more information.

19 January 2021

Haulage firms offered chance to test employees at their own depots for Covid-19

The requirement for hauliers planning to cross the Channel to get a negative Covid-19 test before travelling to Kent or other Channel crossing points is set to continue, following a decision by the French Government on 7 January to keep the current measures in place until further notice. This requirement includes drivers and crew of HGVs, drivers of LGVs and van drivers.

Haulage companies must ensure their hauliers have tested negative, conducted within 72 hours prior to travel, before travelling to the border.

The Government has established 34 free Covid testing facilities at haulier advice sites.

Despite these being in place, the government says the majority of HGVs are still arriving at the Kent ports without having undertaken tests.

As capacity at the sites will be limited, the government is asking firms to consider whether testing hauliers on their own premises, such as at their own depots, might be a suitable arrangement to put in place.

This does require some preparation, the acceptance of requirements on matters such as data sharing and risk, and companies would need to provide people to administer the tests.

The Department of Health and Social Care will provide lateral flow testing kits free of charge until the end of March 2021 and support firms in establishing testing facilities via webinars and Q&A sessions.

If you would like to explore setting up testing for hauliers at your own premises, please contact retail@beis.gov.uk and mention the BTHA.

HMRC for customs, international trade and technical support

Customs & International Trade (CIT) Helpline – 0300 322 9434

The helpline is the main route in for customers with general customs queries. Capacity on this team has been scaled up following the end of the transition period. The helpline is able to handle the vast majority of operational queries including general calls about NCTS and GVMS. The helpline opening hours are Mon-Fri 08.00-20.00, weekend 08.00-16.00 and has a Webchat capability access via gov.uk: https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/hm-revenue-customs/contact/customs-international-trade-and-excise-enquiries

In the event the helpline and webchat are being affected by any system outages or known problems, HMRC will aim to broadcast short support messages on this line.

Technical support

For support with specific systems there are the following:

  • CDS submission enquiries – You can email HMRC about issues with electronic CDS submissions to cds.operations@hmrc.gov.uk. Emails are monitored Monday to Friday: 9am to 5pm.
  • CHIEF Error codes – Not all of the error responses currently have a solution. If you find an error response that doesn’t have a solution or you need clarification then please email chief.operations@hmrc.gov.uk. This will help HM Revenue and Customs to improve the service. You can also email if you need information on CHIEF error code responses that haven’t been included on the trade version of the help text.
  • NCTS Technical questions – Customers with questions around a specific consignment that is already live in transit can contact the NCTS.helpdesk@hmrc.gov.uk. As these queries may be more time sensitive.

Outside this, HMRC has also set up a dedicated Technical e-mail account monitored by an expert team and with access to a range of HMRC support if required. This helpdesk will be monitored during business hours and HMRC aims to respond to operational technical questions within 48 hours. Please send request for help to technicalcustomssupport@hmrc.gov.uk

If the request is urgent, please mark the subject heading when sending your enquiry.

National Clearance Hub

Across all customer groups the National Clearance Hub supports border movements and operates 24/7. The email address for NCH is nch@hmrc.gov.uk

Northern Ireland

Using CHIEF for declaring goods into or out of Northern Ireland Information has been added about when HMRC will tell users they must stop using CHIEF.

Claim a waiver for duty on goods that you bring to Northern Ireland from Great Britain: What to do if you exceed your allowance.

International Road Haulage

Check which international road haulage permits you need: Serbia has been removed from the list of countries you can get a bilateral international road haulage permit for. You can still apply for an ECMT permit for journeys to Serbia.

The UK’s Integrated Tariff Schedule

This tax information and impact note concerns the UK’s Integrated Tariff Schedule, setting out the rules for the classification of goods and the approach for determining the tariff applicable to those goods.

These measures establish and give effect to the UK’s Integrated Tariff Schedule, setting out the rules governing the classification of goods and the approach for determining the tariff applicable to those goods.

The UK’s integrated tariff is based on the UK’s Most Favoured Nation (MFN) tariff schedule called the UK Global Tariff (UKGT), which the Government announced in May 2020.

In line with the World Trade Organization MFN principle, UKGT tariff rates apply to all trading partners the UK has no alternative agreements with, such as:

  • Free Trade Agreements
  • Regional Trading Arrangements
  • preferential access schemes (such as the Generalised Scheme of Preferences for developing countries)

As well as the UKGT, the UK’s Integrated Tariff Schedule includes:

  • suspensions
  • reliefs
  • tariff rate quotas
  • trade remedy measures
  • preferential tariffs
  • rules of origin for FTAs
  • preferential access schemes

12 January 2021

Hauliers advised about paperwork and Covid-19 tests

Exporters must provide the right documentation to hauliers…

  • including export declarations and the extra certificates needed for products, like plant and animal products,
  • hauliers heading to Kent must get a negative Covid test and
  • obtain a Kent Access Permit before heading to port, or risk facing a fine and being turned away.

For more information, click here.

An introductory guide to Lateral Flow Device (LFD) testing in workplaces has been published and is available to view here.

The eCommerce Directive and the UK

The eCommerce Directive no longer applies to the UK, now that the transition period is over.

Rules relating to online activities in European Economic Area (EEA) countries may newly apply to UK online service providers who operate in the EEA, now that the transition period is over. If you are a provider of online services, you should take steps in response to these changes.

Guidance, outlining what has changed and what checks you need to make, has been issued.

For more information, click here.

Moving Goods

NEW: Moving goods between the UK and Ireland: Those who move goods between the UK and Ireland need to complete a Pre-Boarding Notification using the Irish Revenue’s system. A User guide for Pre-Boarding Notification (PBN) is available from the Irish government here. A video guide is also available here.

UPDATED: Ongoing customs movements and procedures at the end of the transition period: Guidance on, what to do if you had goods in customs procedures at the end of the transition period, has been updated, with information about moving goods from Great Britain to Northern Ireland. For more information, click here.

UPDATED: Get a goods movement reference: Guidance on using this service to get a reference, after registering with the Goods Vehicle Movement Service, has been updated with new information on declaring goods orally or by conduct. For more information, click here.

UPDATED: Moving goods through the Port of Dover and Eurotunnel using common transit: Guidance on finding alternative offices or destination or departure, when moving goods under Common Transit Convention has been updated, with a changed address for Sevington inland border facility for satellite navigation purposes. For more information, click here.

UPDATED: Return your rejected exports from the EU: Guidance on the rules you must follow for returning rejected exports to Great Britain has been updated to include links to post Brexit transition guidance. For more information, click here.

Business Information

NEW: Receiving interest, royalties or dividends payments from the EU: Guidance has been issued explaining changes to tax deductions from interest, royalties and dividends, following the end of the Brexit transition period. For more information, click here.

UPDATED: National Insurance for workers from the UK working in the EEA or Switzerland:  Check which country’s social security contributions you must pay if you are a worker from the UK working in the EU, Norway, Iceland, Switzerland or Liechtenstein. Guidance has been updated, with the countries who have agreed to apply the ‘detached worker’ rules. For more information, click here.

Data protection and Copyright law

UPDATED: EU business: data protection and copyright: Guidance on what EU businesses need to do with data protection, intellectual property and copyright in the UK, has been updated with the latest information on transferring personal data to the UK. For more information, click here.

 

Webinars and Podcasts

  • Webinars for organisations that trade with the EU: Click here to view a list of webinars you can sign up to watch live or on demand.
  • HMRC customs declarations webinars: 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 Britain. To register and find a date, click here.
  • HMRC webinars: Get help on UK transition with online webinars from HMRC by registering for webinars on:
    • Importing: staged controls and how to prepare to use them
    • Exporting: actions you need to take to prepare for 1 January 2021

To register, and for more information. Click here.

  • The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is hosting a series of free podcasts to help businesses that make, use or supply chemicals, understand what actions they should take as independent GB chemical regimes are now in place. To listen to the podcast, just search ‘The HSE Podcast’ on your chosen platform. Audiences can also register to receive notifications for each episode released, to do so, click here.
  • HSE and the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) will host a webinar on Wednesday 20 January at 10am. The event will cover the actions businesses need to take now an independent GB chemical regimes is in place. To register, and for more information, click here.

05 January 2021

Extensive government guidance issued after Brexit transition deal agreed with EU

The UK has now left the EU, and the Brexit transition period has ended. There are new rules for businesses doing business with the EU from 1 January, and you need to take action now. All information on Brexit can be found at www.gov.uk/transition.

Border Operating Model

The Border Operating Model has been updated to reflect the UK’s new Trade and Cooperation Agreement  with the EU. The vast majority of the Border Operating Model remains unchanged. The main updates that have been made relate to:

  • how to claim preferential rates of duty by meeting Rules of Origin requirements,
  • mutual recognition for AEO status

Guidance now includes case studies that have been created to represent end-to-end scenarios that will happen between GB and EU, importing and exporting goods from January 2021. These show not just the journeys for standard goods, but also for journeys with additional requirements such as those using the Common Transit Convention or transporting controlled goods. This should still be used in conjunction with the Border Operating Model which will contain further details, particularly for controlled goods.

For more information, click here.

Marketing goods

Guidance has been issued for placing manufactured goods:

Using the UKCA marking: Guidance has been issued to help you find out if you need to use the UKCA marking and how to use it. For more information, click here.

Using the UKNI marking: Guidance has been issued to help you find out if you need to use the UKNI marking and how to use it. For more information, click here.

Placing manufactured goods on the EU market: Guidance has been issued on what you need to do to comply with regulations on manufactured goods you place on the EU market. For more information, click here.

Customs, VAT, and eCommerce

Customs, VAT and Excise UK transition legislation from 1 January 2021

Customs notices and directions that have the force of law has been updated to include:

  • ‘Notices to be made under the Control of the Movement of Goods Regulations 1984’,
  • ‘Notices to be made under the Customs (Bulk Customs Declaration and Miscellaneous Amendments) (EU Exit) Regulations 2020’,
  • ‘Notices to be made under The Cash Controls (Amendment) (EU Exit) Regulations 2019’
  • ‘Notices to be made under the Customs (Northern Ireland)(EU Exit) Regulations 2020’

Notices to be made under The Customs (Origin of Chargeable Goods: Trade Preference Scheme) (EU Exit) Regulations 2020: Notices to be made under The Customs (Origin of Chargeable Goods: Trade Preference Scheme) (EU Exit) Regulations 2020

List of customs agents and fast parcel operators: The list of customs agents and the list of fast parcel operators have been updated.

Declaring reusable packaging for Great Britain imports and exports: From 1 January reusable packaging will require an import or export declaration. You may be able to make a declaration at the border (known as a ‘declaration by conduct’) instead and provide information to HMRC on a quarterly basis.

Delaying declarations for EU goods brought into Great Britain: Check if you can record goods in your own records and give HMRC the information up to 6 months later.

VAT and overseas goods sold directly to customers in the UK: How sellers deal with VAT for goods from overseas that they sell direct to customers in the UK.

VAT and overseas goods sold to customers in the UK using online marketplaces: How online marketplaces will deal with VAT for goods from overseas that are sold to customers in the UK.

How to report EU sales made on or before 31 December 2020 for VAT: Find out how to report supplies of goods and services to VAT-registered customers in an EU country using an EC Sales List. This guidance is only for sales made on or before 31 December 2020.

The eCommerce Directive after Brexit: What you need to do now that the eCommerce Directive no longer applies to the UK.

Registering and renewing.eu domain names in the UK: Find out what you need to do if you hold a.eu domain or want to register one.

Northern Ireland, and Goods Regulations

Notices to be made under the Customs (Northern Ireland) (EU Exit) Regulations 2020: Notices made under the Customs (Northern Ireland) (EU Exit) Regulations 2020 which have the force of law.

Trading and moving goods in and out of Northern Ireland: Information about moving commercial goods in your baggage has been added.

Moving goods into, out of, or through Northern Ireland from 1 January 2021 Updates to copy and collection links, including publication and guidance summaries newly published:

–         Placing manufactured goods on the market in Northern Ireland

–         Placing manufactured goods on the market in Great Britain

–         Check if you can declare goods you bring into Northern Ireland not ‘at risk’ of moving to the EU from 1 January 2021: Information has been updated about how to check that goods brought into Northern Ireland from Great Britain are not ‘at risk’, when your goods are not ‘at risk’ due to the applicable tariffs and what supporting evidence you’ll need to declare your goods not ‘at risk’.

–         Claim a waiver for duty on goods that you bring to Northern Ireland from Great Britain: Information has been updated about how often you’ll need to fill in the Customs Duty waivers form after you’ve made your first claim.

–         Claim VAT refunds in Northern Ireland or the EU, if you’re established in Northern Ireland or in the EU: How Northern Ireland and EU businesses can claim refunds of VAT incurred on goods in the EU and Northern Ireland using the EU VAT refund system.

Placing manufactured goods on the EU market: What you need to do to comply with regulations on manufactured goods you place on the EU market.

Using the UKNI marking Find out if you will need to use the new UKNI marking and how to use it.

Using the UKCA marking Find out if you need to use the UKCA marking and how to use it.

Designated standards: Links to designated standards from 1 January 2021 added for household refrigeration appliances and conformity assessment and management systems.

Textile labelling: Advice for manufacturers and retailers on textile labelling.

Footwear labelling: Advice for manufacturers and retailers on footwear labelling.

Meeting climate change requirements in 2021: How emissions trading, ecodesign and energy labelling have changed from 1 January 2021.

EU ETS obligations and access to EU registry systems in 2021: Information on how to meet ongoing obligations under the EU Emissions Trading System (ETS) and accessing EU registry systems in 2021.

Trade with EEA EFTA and Non-EU countries (including GSP)

Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein: arrangements from 1 January 2021: This page brings together guidance and information on the UK’s relationship with Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein (EEA EFTA States) from 1 January 2021.

Existing UK trade agreements with non-EU countries: Updated to add links to the agreement documents for Mexico, Moldova, Vietnam and Turkey. Added a link to the summary of the Cameroon trade agreement.

Trading with developing nations: Details on the UK’s Generalised Scheme of Preferences.

Trading under WTO rules: Updated with new guidance for Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

The UK sanctions list: The UK’s sanctions framework has changed.

Travelling to the EU (including for work)

Air, sea, road and rail transport between the UK and EU: Transport and travel guidance for working in or travelling to the EU.

Passenger travel to the EU by air, rail or sea: Travel and passenger rights and the measures in place to minimise disruption.

Accounting and company registration

Accounting for UK companies: How companies incorporated in the UK, or where the parent company is incorporated in the UK, can comply with UK accounting and reporting requirements.

Changing your company registration from 1 January 2021: Find out if your business will need to change its company registration following the end of the Brexit transition, and how to do this.

Data and Intellectual Property

Using personal data in your business or other organisation: What action you need to take regarding data protection and data flows with the EU/EEA.

Intellectual property after 1 January 2021: The transition period has ended. On 1 January 2021 there were changes to UK intellectual property law to ensure the smooth departure from EU IP systems.

Retaining protection in the UK for EU Intellectual Property rights

Information on retaining protection in the UK for EU Intellectual Property rights

Access to copyright works for visually impaired people from 1 January 2021: The IPO’s guidance on access to copyright works for visually impaired people after the transition period has been updated to reflect that the UK has now ratified the Marrakesh Treaty in its own right. The UK’s ratification of the treaty came into force on 1 January 2021.

Changes to copyright law from 1 January 2021: The IPO’s guidance on the protection of UK Copyright works in the EU from 1st January 2021 has been revised to reflect that the transition period has now ended.

EU-UK data and dividends/interest transfers

EU business: data protection and copyright: Updated with the latest information on transferring personal data to the UK.

Receiving interest, royalties or dividends payments from the EU: Find out about changes to tax deductions from interest, royalties and dividends following the end of the Brexit transition period.

Information for EU-National staff

National Insurance for workers from the UK working in the EEA or Switzerland: Check which country’s social security contributions you must pay if you’re a worker from the UK working in the EU, Norway, Iceland, Switzerland or Liechtenstein.

EU Settlement Scheme: applying from outside the UK and EU Settlement Scheme: evidence of UK residence: Added information for if you’re applying as the family member of an EU, EEA or Swiss citizen.

EU Settlement Scheme: presentation: Updated to reflect end of EU transition period.

Freight and freight fowarding

Moving goods through the Port of Holyhead with an ATA Carnet: Information for moving goods through the Port of Holyhead with an ATA Carnet has been updated.

Get clearance to leave a UK port for commercial vessels: If you’re the ships’ master (or their agent) of a commercial vessel, you will need to get clearance to leave a UK port.

Report goods arriving at a UK port on a commercial vessel: If you’re the ships’ master (or their agent) of a commercial vessel, you will need to report any goods that are arriving on your vessel at a UK port.

Carry out international road haulage: What UK goods vehicle operators need to do to carry out international road haulage.

International road haulage: HGV driver documents

–         Updated the section on international driving permits (IDPs) to confirm that you will usually not need one to drive in the EU, Iceland, Liechtenstein or Switzlerland.

–         Updated the Driver CPC section to make it clear you can still use your UK Driver CPC card in the EU if you’re employed by a UK company.

–         Updated the healthcare section to confirm that UK-issued European Health Insurance Cards (EHICs) are still accepted in EU countries, and there will be different rules for people travelling to Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Switzerland.

–         Added a section on carrying green cards to prove you have vehicle and trailer insurance.

–         Added a section on coronavirus (COVID-19) test results for journeys from England to France.

–         Added a section on checking your HGV is ready to cross the border and getting a Kent Access Permit.

–         Added a section on using a vehicle security checklist to record the checks you do to stop people using your vehicle to enter the UK illegally.

–         Added a section on the haulage licence and permit documents you need to carry.

–         Added a section on the certificates you need to carry for any specialist vehicle approvals you have.

–         Updated the section on vehicle and trailer insurance to confirm the rules for carrying ‘green cards’.

–         Updated the section on GB stickers to confirm the new rules on when they must be displayed.

Check which international road haulage permits you need: Replaced the EU Community Licence with the UK Licence for the Community to make international journeys for hire or reward within the EU, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland. Added links to a new guide about carrying out a road haulage job entirely within one EU country (cabotage) or between 2 EU countries (cross-trade).

–         UK Licence for the Community for international road haulage: Get a UK Licence for the Community to transport goods by road to or through the EU, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland, and the rules you have to follow.

International road haulage: HGV and trailer documents

Check which documents you need to carry if you’re the driver or a passenger in a lorry or other heavy goods vehicle (HGV) that crosses international borders. Guidance has been updated to include new sections on the haulage licence and permit documents that you need to carry when visiting the EU including: a section on vehicle and trailer insurance to confirm the rules for carrying ‘green cards’; and a section on GB stickers to conform with the new rules on when they must be displayed. For separate guidance about the HGV driver documents you need for international road haulage, click here.

Business helplines

A helpline has been set up by the government. For English businesses, the Business Support Helpline can help you identify the actions you need to take. Similar helplines are available for Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales.

For more information for:

businesses in England, call 0800 998 1098

businesses in Scotland, call 0300 303 0660

businesses in Wales, call 0300 060 3000

businesses in Northern Ireland, call 0800 181 4422.

For more information, including opening hours, click here.

30 December 2020

Brexit trade deal ratified in parliament day before transition period ends

MPs have approved the UK’s post-Brexit trade deal with the EU in a parliamentary vote.

A bill bringing the deal into UK law was backed by the Commons with 521 in favour and 73 MPs voting against the deal after Parliament was recalled.

The UK will follow its own laws and rules from 23:00 on 31 December 2020.

Meanwhile, the following advice has been issued for businesses:

 

24 December 2020

Brexit trade deal signed 7 days before end of transition period

1,645 days after the UK voted to leave the European Union, a trade deal has finally been agreed between Prime Minister Boris Johnson and European Commission President Ursula von der Layen.

With the deal running to more than 1,500 pages, and a flurry of supporting documents expected, it will take time for the BTHA to digest what it means for the toy industry. The government has published a 34-page summary of the deal and the full agreement.

We will send any appropriate advice out in January.

As a reminder, there is a Brexit transition webinar taking place on Wednesday 13 January from 14:00. It will cover topics such as VAT and tariffs, technical requirements and legal requirements.

Final details will be confirmed ASAP but in the meantime, to register your interest in joining the webinar, please email Rebecca@btha.co.uk.

Highlights of the deal include:

Highlights include:

Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs)

The Agreement includes commitments to provide SMEs with clear and accessible online information about the Agreement, helping them to trade and do business in the UK and the EU. This covers customs procedures, intellectual property rights, and public procurement. The Agreement commits the UK and the EU to provide for a searchable online database, on measures such as customs duties, taxes and rules of origin.

 

Moving Goods

The United Kingdom and the European Union have agreed 100% tariff liberalisation. This means that there will be no tariffs or quotas on the movement of goods between the UK and the EU, where goods meet the relevant Rules of Origin.

 

Business Services

The Agreement includes provisions to support trade in services (including financial services and legal services). This will provide many UK service suppliers with legal guarantees that they will not face barriers to trade when selling into the EU and will support the mobility of UK professionals who will continue to do business across the EU.

 

In line with common FTA practice, the Technical Barriers to Trade Chapter also includes a number of sector-specific Annexes which seek to promote cooperation and tackle barriers to trade in the automotive, chemical, pharmaceutical, organic products and wine sectors

 

Medicine

The Annex on medicinal products provides for mutual recognition of Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) inspections and certificates, meaning that manufacturing facilities do not need to undergo separate UK and EU inspections, as well as ongoing co-operation.

 

Motor Vehicles

The Annex confirms that both the UK and the EU will mutually recognise approvals based on UN regulations. It establishes dedicated cooperation mechanisms to address regulatory barriers and provides for information exchange to support activities including market surveillance.

 

Chemicals

The Annex seeks to facilitate trade in chemicals, ensure high levels of environmental and health protection and provides for cooperation between authorities. It includes joint commitments to comprehensive implementation of international classification and labelling rules as well as commitments to ongoing cooperation and information exchange.

 

Food and Drink

The Annex will provide for an equivalence agreement between organic products in the UK and the EU. This means products that are certified as organic in one market will be recognised as organic in the other.

The Annex provides for simplified certification, documentation, labelling and packaging requirements for the imports of wine produced in the UK or the EU, reducing costs for exporters and consumers. It also sets out requirements to share information and to jointly review the agreement in future with a view to further facilitating trade in wine.

 

Travel between the UK and EU

The Agreement also includes arrangements for airlines and hauliers that provides them with certainty and gives people the ability to travel to and from the EU easily. It also includes a social security agreement that has practical benefits for UK citizens including accessing healthcare when travelling in the EU.

 

Mutual Recognition of Professional Qualifications

The Agreement clarifies that the provisions on professional qualifications are without prejudice to alternative arrangements that the UK may agree with the EU, allowing for improved mechanisms to be agreed in future. Agreements will be negotiated on a profession-by-profession basis.

 

Digital Trade

These provisions will promote trade in digital services and facilitate new forms of trade in goods and services. The provision helps to facilitate the cross-border flow of data by prohibiting requirements to store or process data in a certain location. This prevents the imposition of costly requirements for British businesses.

21 December 2020

Regulation (EU) 2019/1020 on market surveillance and compliance of products and amending Directive 2004/42/EC and Regulations (EC) No 765/2008 and (EU) No 305/2011

Last week we confirmed that this regulation comes into force on 16 July 2021. It applies to the EU only and was mentioned for the first time at the forum. The regulation specifies that an address within the EU is required on all products offered for sale. Up until now it has been thought that CE marking Directives and Regulations such as for Toys require address markings and other products may not.

At the time of publishing we believed that this regulation would mean that all products in the EU will need an EU address. However one member has pointed out that for Article 4 of this Regulation there is a scope stated in paragraph 5. The scope lists the following Regulations and Directives ONLY as follows:

This Article only applies in relation to products that are subject to Regulations;

(EU) No 305/2011 (34) Conditions for the marketing of construction products

(EU) 2016/425 (35) Personal Protective Equipment

(EU) 2016/426 (36) Appliances Burning Gaseous Fuels

and Directives;

2000/14/EC (37) Noise emission for outdoor equipment

2006/42/EC (38) Machinery

2009/48/EC (39) Toys

2009/125/EC (40) Ecodesign for energy related products

2011/65/EU (41) RoHS

2013/29/EU (42) Pyrotechnics

2013/53/EU (43) Recreational Crafts and personal watercrafts

2014/29/EU (44) Pressure Vessels

2014/30/EU (45) EMC

2014/31/EU (46) Non-automatic weighing instruments

2014/32/EU (47) Measuring Instruments

2014/34/EU (48) Equipment and protective systems in explosive atmospheres

2014/35/EU (49) Electrical Equipment

2014/53/EU (50) Radio equipment

2014/68/EU (51) Pressure Equipment

This regulation does not add an address to other regulations or directives or other non-harmonised products.

18 December 2020

Authorised representative service for members

EU

Vulcan Consulting is a government relations company, based in Dublin and Brussels, providing advice to businesses and associations on domestic and EU regulation and policies.

Vulcan Consulting has teamed up with the BTHA seeking practical solutions for members in relation to EU Authorised Representatives.

Vulcan Consulting will work with members of the BTHA and represent interested manufacturers as the authorised representative in Ireland as laid out in the European Communities Safety of Toys Regulations 2011 (The Irish implementation of the TSD).

Both parties would sign a written mandate which would lay out key duties to be performed by both the manufacturer and Vulcan as the authorised representative.

Vulcan Consulting would also provide an address and contact details in Dublin for use on packaging for European traceability requirements. Please contact ar@vulcanconsulting.eu.

 UK

IQS is an independent consultancy offering product compliance services to a wide range of clients. IQS specialises in non-food products and in particular toys.

IQS provides the BTHA Toy Safety Advisory Service for their members and their Managing Director Jerry Burnie chairs the BTHA Technical Committee.

To help companies needing a UK Authorised Representative, IQS offers this service for anyone needing a UK presence.

The service will operate under a written mandate that both companies would sign, and which has set costs where possible.

It’s hoped that this service will help BTHA members continue to trade with the UK as Brexit progresses in the coming months.

Contact: jerry.burnie@i-q-s.co.uk

Note: AR representation must be available 10 years after a product has been delisted under the appropriate UK legislation so annual fees must be continued during this time.

17 December 2020

Checking a Heavy Goods Vehicle (HGV) is ready to cross the border

The ‘Check an HGV is ready to cross the border service’ can be used to apply for a Kent Access Permit, and to check if you have the paperwork you need to cross the UK border in an HGV.

This service can be used by HGVs that weigh less than 7.5 tonnes, and HGVs of any weight that are going to the EU, but are not going via the Port of Dover or the Eurotunnel. You will require paperwork to cross the border even if the HGV is not carrying goods or if it’s only carrying post.

The ‘Check an HGV is ready service’ is available in English, Russian, Welsh, German, Spanish, French, Dutch, Polish and Romanian.

For more information and to use the service, click here.

Northern Ireland specific guidance 

Moving qualifying goods from Northern Ireland to the rest of the UK: Your goods will be qualifying Northern Ireland goods from 1 January 2021, if they’re in free circulation in Northern Ireland – that means, not under a customs procedure before you move them from Northern Ireland to Great Britain. For more information, click here.

UK Trader Scheme launched to support business moving goods from Great Britain to Northern Ireland: The New UK Trader Scheme (UKTS) will help ensure traders don’t pay tariffs on the movement of goods into Northern Ireland from Great Britain, where those goods remain in the UK’s customs territory. For more information about what businesses need to do before their first movement of goods after 1 January 2021, click here.

Apply for authorisation for the UK Trader Scheme if you bring goods into Northern Ireland from 1 January 2021: New guidance has been issued. Find out how to get authorised to declare goods you bring into Northern Ireland, not ‘at risk’ of moving to the EU, so that EU duty will not be payable on those goods. For more information, click here.

Trading and moving goods in and out of Northern Ireland from 1 January 2021: Guidance on how to prepare if you trade and move goods in and out of Northern Ireland from 1 January 2021, has been updated with information about where there may be changes to some processes; bringing goods into Northern Ireland from Great Britain and from outside the EU; what you need to do if you import goods into Northern Ireland and, want to declare your goods not ‘at risk’; making declarations for bringing or receiving goods into Northern Ireland; transporting and carrying goods if you’re a haulier or a carrier and moving goods under transit. For more information, click here.

Importing and Exporting

Registering to make an entry summary declaration in Great Britain: Guidance has been issued on using the S&S GB Service if you import goods into Great Britain and need to make an entry summary declaration. For more information, click here.

Registering to make an entry summary declaration in Great Britain: Service availability and issues. Guidance to check the availability and any issues affecting the register to make an entry summary declaration in Great Britain service has been issued. For more information, click here.

 

14 December 2020

BTHA Product Technical Issues including Markings Guide updated

Since September many new official guidance documents and UK Government webinars have been taking place concerning Brexit. BTHA staff have been reading and attending all of these on your behalf and have been lobbying for changes to recent guidance first issued in September. Some key things have changed to be more in line with BTHA original guidance. As a result our recent BTHA guide, which was started in February 2019 and went to version 5 and then was rewritten in October this year and is already up to Version 3 has been republished with the following updates.

  • A number of minor typos have been corrected and in line with the latest UK Government terminology “UK” has been changed to Great Britain and GB where relevant and IP end date has been changed to IP completion date.
  • Section 1 – Introduction, and each page – All dates of publication have been updated
  • Section 4.2 – Product Markings – NEW UK Government use of “accompanying documents” has been added and our definition of those document updated to match
  • Section 4.2.1 – Comparison Summary of UK Government and BTHA Marking Recommendations – chart has updated to include accompanying documents
  • Section 4.2.3 – Conformity Markings – Address requirements and NI markings update
  • Section 4.2.5 – Address Markings – Removal of text relating addresses to CE marks and UKCA marks
  • Section 4.2.6 – BTHA Q&A Addresses – New question 6 relating to address requirements for non-CE marked stock
  • Section 4.3.1 – Omissions in UK Regulations – Addition of specific mention of formaldehyde and Aluminium
  • Section 4.5 – Standards – designated standards link
  • Section 4.6 – DoC – CE marked stock until 1/1/2022 and addition of Declaration of Conformity format as listed in the Toy Regulations
  • Section 4.7 – Notified Bodies – Updates allowing use until 1st January 2022
  • Section 5 – Northern Ireland – Additional comments on UKNI marking
  • Section 7 – Tools and Resources from Government – New UK Government guidance links added
  • Appendix A – Products areas covered by UKCA marking – Updated Directives verses Regulations table in with link to source

All changes except for typos, GB and IP completion date are highlighted in yellow so they can be quickly identified. In recent meetings it should be noted that the tone of Government was more understanding of industry’s issues and we were lead to believe that any enforcement action would be pragmatic and proportionate to the issue.

This guide continues to be endorsed by the British Retail Consortium, the Toy Retailers Association and is assured under the BTHA Primary Authority Partnership. We hope it gives some clarity in unclear times. This guide is publicly available and therefore can be shared with any stakeholders as appropriate.

Any questions? Please contact jerry.burnie@i-q-s.co.uk

Northern Ireland updates

Moving qualifying goods from Northern Ireland to the rest of the UK: Find out which goods qualify for unfettered access when moving from Northern Ireland to the rest of the UK.

How VAT will apply to goods moving between Great Britain and Northern Ireland: Find out how import VAT will apply to goods moving between Great Britain and Northern Ireland for individuals and non-VAT-registered businesses.

Trading CITES-listed specimens through UK ports and airports from 1 January 2021: The government has updated the guidance for ‘CITES specimens entering GB from the EU or Northern Ireland’. For the movement of CITES specimens between GB to NI, and NI to GB, the import and export checks will all happen in Northern Ireland. This means you may use any point of exit from GB but you must use one of the CITES-designated points of entry and exit in NI.

Moving CITES specimens through Belfast Seaport from 1 January 2021: Updated the Belfast Seaport address and telephone.

GVMS, borders and customs

List of ports using the Goods Vehicle Movement Service: Find out which locations are using the Goods Vehicle Movement Service from 1 January 2021

Moving goods through the Port of Dover and Eurotunnel with an ATA Carnet from 1 January 2021: The address for Stop 24 has been updated.

List of customs agents and fast parcel operators: The list of customs agents and the list of fast parcel operators have been updated.

Customs, VAT and Excise UK transition legislation from 1 January 2021: Statutory Instruments has been updated to include The Travellers’ Allowances and Miscellaneous Provisions (EU Exit) Regulations 2020, The Value Added Tax (Miscellaneous and Transitional Provisions, Amendment and Revocation) (EU Exit) Regulations 2020, and The Customs Transit Procedures (Amendment, etc) (EU Exit) Regulations 2020.

EU Settlement Scheme (information for employers)

EU Settlement Scheme: employer toolkit: Added ‘Frontier worker permit for EU citizens’ guide

Information for EU based businesses/trading partners

Webinars for EU-based organisations that trade with the UK: A recording for the webinar held in Spain has been uploaded.

11 December 2020

Designated Standards for toys from 1 January

After Brexit, the current EU Harmonised standards will be adopted by the UK as “Designated Standards”. On 10 December the initial lists of these standards were published.

Designated standards main page:

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/designated-standards

Toy Designated standards have also been published and these match the EU versions currently used. There are toy standards that have been published in the EU but are yet to be harmonised that have not been listed by the UK. The BTHA will be watching the actions taken with these standards in the UK in the coming months.

In the meantime members should assume they will be adopted in the UK and plan accordingly. The standards yet to be adopted are: EN71-2: 2020, EN71-7: 2014 +A3: 2020, EN71-12: 2016, BS EN IEC 62115 + A11: 2020.

Toy Standards:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/designated-standards-toy-safety

Product Testing

Some members have reported receiving advice that stated they will have to test to EN71 standards AND BS EN71 standards in the future. Compliance to the Toy Regulations and to the Toy Safety Directive is by self-certification. Therefore members can determine the best way to ensure compliance themselves giving flexibility on assessments and whether testing is necessary – companies have to comply and testing is only one way to confirm compliance.

Currently both sets of standards are identical in every way so NO additional testing is necessary. In the future it is possible that the standards may diverge. If this occurs the BTHA will be working to assess the minimum amount of testing (if you choose to test to prove compliance) required to comply with both markets. Members should not automatically add additional tests even if standards diverge.

In the event that substance levels varied between standards, for instance, it may be acceptable to just test the most stringent of the two standards. Where the test methods vary further assessments of the impact will be conducted and final advice given to members.

Any questions please contact jerry.burnie@i-q-s.co.uk

Movement of Goods

Moving goods into, out of, or through Northern Ireland from 1 January 2021: What UK businesses can do now to get ready for 2021.

Claim VAT refunds from EU countries from 1 January 2021

You can continue to use the EU VAT refund system to claim a VAT refund on expenses incurred before 1 January 2021 in EU member states, until 11pm on 31 March 2021.

You will not be able to use the EU VAT refund system to claim refunds of VAT on expenses incurred in an EU member state on or after 1 January 2021. Find out how to make a claim.

You will still be able to:

  • view your previous claims
  • amend your previous claims until 31 March 2021

Claim a refund for expenses incurred in an EU member state on or after 1 January 2021

Each EU member state has its own process for refunding VAT to businesses based outside the EU. You’ll need to use the process for the EU member state where you’re claiming a refund.

Find out what the process is for each country on the European Commission website.

3 December 2020

Kent access permit details published and information for EU businesses

The government has published new details on a host of new end of transition-related topics.

Kent Access Permit

The “Check an HGV is Ready to Cross the Border Service” (formerly referred to as Smart Freight) on gov.uk will inform the user that a permit has been issued and that the HGV is able to travel to the Port of Dover or Eurotunnel. Access to key roads will be prohibited for HGVs that don’t have a KAP obtained from the service and this will be communicated to drivers on the road network. Officials involved in enforcement will have access to an app which allows them to confirm whether a particular HGV has a KAP as registered on the GOV.UK web service. HGV drivers on those key roads in Kent without one could be stopped and issued with a £300 on the spot fine. For the avoidance of doubt, those HGV drivers doing domestic journeys that start, travel through, or end in Kent, will not need to obtain a KAP. Drivers of HGVs transporting trailers that will be moved unaccompanied are doing domestic journeys (as they will not be leaving GB) and also will not require a KAP. It’s advisable that all drivers who are transporting goods domestically, carry paperwork detailing their journey so any possible delays can be minimised.

UK Timber Regulations

PCs will be required for all plants but only certain types of timber originating in specific parts of the EU. For oak timber there will be no requirement, for ash timber there will be a requirement for PCs to accompany unmanufactured wood originating in Switzerland and France (Schedule 7, item 142 of the Phytosanitary Conditions Regulation as amended refers).

HS Commodity Codes

Exporting and importing businesses: prepare for 1 January 2021: This has been updated to make it clear that the existing commodity code system will continue to apply from 1 January onwards.

Please note that this page, while helping you to confirm commodity codes, will still show current tariffs and not the UKGT. The correct tariffs will be updated in due course. To confirm: from 1 January, the existing commodity code system will continue to apply but the relevant tariffs applicable are those under the UKGT.

UK – Japan Trade

UK-Japan Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement: Documents containing treaty information and a summary of the UK-Japan trade agreement, published with links to:

  • Trade with Japan from 1 January 2021,
  • provisions for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs),
  • tariff rate quota (TRQ) scheme technical notice,
  • and changes to product-specific rules (PSRs)

Customs Legislation

Notices to be made under The Customs (Declarations) (Amendment and Modification) (EU Exit) Regulations 2020: Notices made under The Customs (Transitional Arrangements) (EU Exit) Regulations 2020 which have force of law under Customs Regulations.

Service Provision in the EU/EFTA states

If you’re a UK business or professional providing services in the EU, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway or Switzerland, you’ll need to check the national regulations of the country you’re doing business in to understand how best to operate. See the selling services guides to each country for more information

CMA

Guidance on the functions of the CMA after the end of the Transition Period: This guidance concerns the functions of the Competition and Markets Authority after the end of the Transition Period.

Communications tools with key links and messages

 UK Transition campaign: local communications toolkit: A practical guide for use when supporting the UK Transition campaign at a local level.

Customs

List of customs agents and fast parcel operators: The list of customs agents and the list of fast parcel operators have been updated.

Information for EU businesses

EU business: exporting to the UK: Find out what EU businesses need to do to export to the UK from 1 January 2021.

EU business: importing from the UK: Find out what EU businesses need to do to import from the UK from 1 January 2021.

EU business: services: Find out what EU businesses need to know about providing services in the UK from 1 January 2021.

EU business: taxes and tariffs: Find out what taxes and tariffs might apply to EU businesses trading with the UK from 1 January 2021.

EU business: data protection and copyright: Find out what EU businesses need to do with data protection, intellectual property and copyright in the UK from 1 January 2021.

EU business: working in the UK: Find out what EU citizens need to do if they are working in the UK from 1 January 2021.

Webinars for EU-based organisations that trade with the UK: Learn more about UK border requirements by registering for an upcoming webinar or viewing previous webinars for your industry.

VAT

Complete your VAT Return to account for import VAT from 1 January 2021: Details have been updated on how to estimate your import VAT on your VAT return. Additional guidance on your statements and how long they will be available has also been added. 

Changes to accounting for VAT for Northern Ireland and Great Britain from 1 January 2021: 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.

 

Product Safety and Metrology

Product safety and metrology from 1 January 2021: Great Britain: The guide to the Weights and Measures (Packaged Goods) Regulations 2006 has been amended in Annex A to clarify the transitional arrangements for importers in regulation 3(7).

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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