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Robert Keen, Director General at BIFA said: “Because the UK has left the EU, and whatever the outcome of the transition negotiations in regards to a trade deal, there will be a considerable increase in customs declarations from January 1, 2021.

“Rather than do the work themselves, many importers and exporters rely on freight forwarders, which have the appropriate experience, as well as software to communicate with HMRC’s systems, to manage the customs clearance of their commodities.

“Many of those importers and exporters will be using the government list for reference and that’s why we are encouraging BIFA’s members, which offer customs brokerage services, to ensure that their company is on it.”

Further details on how to be included on the list can be seen at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/list-of-customs-agents-and-fast-parcel-operators?utm_source=c531715c-739b-46aa-a269-5c5ece94f2e6&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=govuk-notifications&utm_content=daily


BIFA members may be interested in this as this contains information reletive to medicines and PPE.

To all in the Import/Export trade and related community,

Border Force and partner agencies have identified emerging trends involving criminal groups who are exploiting the current situation, taking advantage of the COVID19 crisis to ship illicit goods. In response to this threat we are writing to those who are the frontline of the industry to advise them of the threat and ask for continued assistance to protect society.

The goods include counterfeit medicines and PPE, specifically targeting the vulnerable and those at most risk during the COVID19 crisis. These goods are not fit for purpose offering little or no protection, they will cost lives if successfully imported into the UK.

It is imperative that essential goods can be imported expeditiously, keeping shops stocked, supporting the infrastructure of the country and allowing vital medical supplies and PPE to those in need. This has become the focus for criminal organisations who are also targeting commodities that fall in to these categories as cover loads to hide their illicit importations such as drugs and excise goods etc.

We are asking for your continued support and vigilance to ensure that essential items we, the UK need reaches the end user as efficiently as practical. If, during your business you have any concerns over the legitimacy of a shipment or those behind it please let us know as soon as possible. This will allow us time to carry out a variety of checks which may prevent any further action being taken thus allowing legitimate shipments free movement. However, your referral may result in the prevention of an illicit shipment making it through controls, saving lives.

Please note that you are solely requested to report any concerns that you may have about suspect shipments. Border Force does not wish you to investigate or make further enquiries on its behalf.

You can either report your suspicions via the www.gov.uk website or the Crimestoppers telephone number or website.

If you wish to use the www.gov.uk avenue, please type “report a border crime” in the search box and follow the link to the online form.

If you wish to use Crimestoppers, either call 0800 555 111 or use the website www.crimestoppers-uk.org

Your ongoing support and vigilance are greatly appreciated.


All coronavirus business support information can be found at gov.uk/business-support

Contents

  • Reminder: Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme

  • Reminder: Working safely during coronavirus (COVID-19) business webinars – find out how to make your workplace COVID-secure

  • New Updates and Guidance

  • Reminder: Transition - the future relationship between the UK and EU

  • Coronavirus - Requests for Business Intelligence and Assistance

 

Reminder: Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme

From Tuesday 26 May 2020, small and medium-sized employers, with fewer than 250 employees, will be able to apply to recover the costs of paying coronavirus-related Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) payments they have made to their employees. 

Employers will be able to make claims to the Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme through a new online service as from 26 May. Employers will receive repayments at the relevant rate of SSP that they have paid to current or former employees for eligible periods of sickness starting on or after 13 March 2020.

HMRC has published online guidance which includes information about who can use the scheme and the records employers must keep. Click here to find out more.

Reminder: Working safely during coronavirus (COVID-19) business webinars – find out how to make your workplace COVID-secure

Join a free webinar, hosted by the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, to find out more about how to make your workplace COVID-secure. The webinars cover a range of different types of workplace settings which are allowed to be open in England.  You can also find the full written guidance for a range of different types of work and practical actions for businesses to take based on 5 main steps here.

New Updates and Guidance

New

How the Corporate Insolvency and Governance Bill will help business

The Corporate Insolvency and Governance Bill will put in place a series of measures to amend insolvency and company law to relieve the burden on businesses during the coronavirus outbreak and allow them to focus all their efforts on continuing to operate. The Bill will:

  • introduce temporary easements on filing requirements and Annual General Meetings (AGMs)

  • introduce new corporate restructuring tools to the insolvency regime to give companies the time they need to maximise their chance of survival

  • temporarily suspend parts of insolvency law to support directors during this difficult time

Culture Secretary announces Cultural Renewal Taskforce

The Culture Secretary has announced representatives from the arts, cultural and sporting worlds who will join a new taskforce aimed at helping getting the country’s recreation and leisure sector up and running again.

Updates 

Updated information for parents and carers about the wider opening of nurseries, schools and colleges, transport, attendance, free school meals and remote education.

Transition - the future relationship between the UK and EU

The UK is in a transition period until the end of 2020 while the UK and EU negotiate additional arrangements.  The current rules on trade, travel, and business for the UK and EU will continue to apply during the transition period up to 31 December 2020.  New rules will take effect on 1 January 2021. To help businesses keep up to date, the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy publishes a free, sister Transition Bulletin alongside the Covid-19 Bulletin for Business.  Details of how to subscribe can be found below. The next Transition bulletin will be published on Thursday 21 May 2020.

Subscribe to the Transition Businesses and Employers Bulletin  by visiting Gov Delivery Subscriptions: i) Add Subscriptions, and ii) check 'Transition Bulletin' to subscribe to receive regular email updates.

Requests for Business Intelligence and Assistance

Offer coronavirus support
Tell us how your business might be able to help with the response to coronavirus by using our online service.

Share the impact coronavirus is having on your organisation
Let us know how the outbreak is impacting your business.  Please send your intelligence to intel@beis.gov.uk. Commercially sensitive information will be treated accordingly.  Please note that this inbox is only for receiving intelligence and does not provide business advice. 

Help us shine a light on the stories of key workers
Tell us about key workers you know that are helping to keep the UK moving during the Coronavirus pandemic. Please fill in this online form for key workers in the following sectors: manufacturing, construction, consumer goods, scientists/researchers, servicing, postal workers, and  oil/gas/electricity/water/sewage/chemical workers.

Other useful links

Some aspects of business support are devolved. Specific information for businesses and employers in Northern Ireland, Scotland, and Wales is available. In England, Growth Hubs can advise on local and UK Government business support.

Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy

Business Intelligence and Readiness Directorate      

sed@beis.gov.uk

21 May 2020 

You can subscribe to receive these bulletins directly. After adding your email address click add subscriptions, tick the newsletter box and then click next.



All coronavirus business support information can be found at gov.uk/business-support

Contacts

  • Working safely during coronavirus (COVID-19) business webinars – find out how to make your workplace COVID-secure

  • National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) Covid-19 SME Guidance

  • New Updates and Guidance

  • Transition - the future relationship between the UK and EU

  • Coronavirus - Requests for Business Intelligence and Assistance

 

Working safely during coronavirus (COVID-19) business webinars – find out how to make your workplace COVID-secure

The UK Government, in consultation with industry, has produced guidance to help ensure workplaces in England are as safe as possible during the coronavirus pandemic. Join a free webinar, hosted by the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, to find out more about how to make your workplace COVID-secure.

The webinars cover a range of different types of workplace settings which are allowed to be open. Many businesses operate more than one type of workplace, such as an office, factory and fleet of vehicles. You may need to use more than one of the guides/webinars as you think through what you need to do to keep people safe.

  • Wednesday 27 May, 11am: Factories, plants and warehouses – Guidance for people who run factories, plants and warehouses
  • Wednesday 27 May, 3pm: Restaurants offering takeaway or delivery – Guidance for people who run restaurants offering takeaway or delivery services.

  • Thursday 28 May, 11am: Shops and branches – Guidance for people who run shops, branches, stores or similar environments.

  • Thursday 28 May, 3pm: Vehicles – Guidance for people who work in or from vehicles, including couriers, mobile workers, lorry drivers, on-site transit and work vehicles, field forces and similar.

  • Monday 1 June, 11am: Construction and other outdoor work – Guidance for people who run outdoor working environments.

  • Monday 1 June, 3pm: Labs and research facilities – Guidance for people who run indoor labs and research facilities and similar environments

  • Tuesday 2 June, 11am: Offices and contact centres – Guidance for people who run offices, contact centres and similar indoor environments

  • Tuesday 2 June, 3pm: Homes – Guidance for people working in, visiting or delivering to home environments as well as their employers

National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) Covid-19 SME Guidance

NCSC has today published guidance to support businesses moving from physical to digital delivery as part of the ongoing Covid-19 response. The guidance has been created specifically to support businesses who are relying more heavily on IT services to run their business.

The NCSC is committed to equipping all UK businesses with the best cyber security advice. The support package includes guidance on home working, video teleconferencing and spotting email scams related to Covid-19. All additional and pre-existing guidance for business can be found on the NCSC webpage.

New Updates and Guidance

New

Pick for Britain helps bring workers and employers together

The UK Government and Prince of Wales have urged students and furloughed workers to apply for seasonal farm work. As part of efforts to support British farmers and growers to recruit workers throughout the harvest period, the UK Government launched the Pick for Britain website in partnership with industry to help match up available opportunities with local jobseekers.

Check the tax rules on waiving your income or donating to charity

HMRC advice for people choosing to give up their income to support their business or donate to charity during the coronavirus pandemic.

Updates

Apprenticeship programme response

Updated with information on training and assessing apprentices in line with the Government’s new safer working guidelines, calculating wages for furloughed apprentices, off-the-job training, and redundant apprentices.

Capacity Market: proposal to relax the rules temporarily in response to COVID-19

The UK Government response to this consultation has been published. The response outlines how the Government intends to implement the majority of proposals outlined in the coronavirus (COVID-19) easements consultation. The easements will be temporary and only remain in place as long as necessary.

Transition - the future relationship between the UK and EU

The UK is in a transition period until the end of 2020 while the UK and EU negotiate additional arrangements.  The current rules on trade, travel, and business for the UK and EU will continue to apply during the transition period up to 31 December 2020.  New rules will take effect on 1 January 2021. To help businesses keep up to date, the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy publishes a free, sister Transition Bulletin alongside the Covid-19 Bulletin for Business.  Details of how to subscribe can be found below. The next Transition bulletin will be published on Thursday 21 May 2020.

Subscribe to the Transition Businesses and Employers Bulletin  by visiting Gov Delivery Subscriptions: i) Add Subscriptions, and ii) check 'Transition Bulletin' to subscribe to receive regular email updates.

Requests for Business Intelligence and Assistance

Offer coronavirus support
Tell us how your business might be able to help with the response to coronavirus by using our online service.

Share the impact coronavirus is having on your organisation
Let us know how the outbreak is impacting your business.  Please send your intelligence to intel@beis.gov.uk. Commercially sensitive information will be treated accordingly.  Please note that this inbox is only for receiving intelligence and does not provide business advice. 

Help us shine a light on the stories of key workers
Tell us about key workers you know that are helping to keep the UK moving during the Coronavirus pandemic. Please fill in this online form for key workers in the following sectors: manufacturing, construction, consumer goods, scientists/researchers, servicing, postal workers, and  oil/gas/electricity/water/sewage/chemical workers.

Other useful links

Some aspects of business support are devolved. Specific information for businesses and employers in Northern Ireland, Scotland, and Wales is available. In England, Growth Hubs can advise on local and UK Government business support.

Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy

Business Intelligence and Readiness Directorate      

sed@beis.gov.uk

20 May 2020 

You can subscribe to receive these bulletins directly. After adding your email address click add subscriptions, tick the newsletter box and then click next.


The survey, run jointly by the ESC and Drewry, reveals that the 227 shippers and forwarders who took part rated the service of container shipping lines with an average score of 3.2 on a scale of 1 (very dissatisfied) to 5 (very satisfied).

The level of satisfaction for 16 different carrier service and cost criteria reviewed in the survey has been found to be diverse among respondents. Satisfaction with clarity of prices and surcharges, transit times and quality of customer service in 2019 ranked lowest – with scores of 2.8 to 3 (see chart below).

Satisfaction with availability of cargo space provided in 2019 ranked higher, at 3.3, and improved from 3.2 in 2018.

Availability of cargo space is now seen by shippers and forwarders as the most important criterion of carrier service, meaning that an improvement in cargo space availability in 2019 was a welcome development for the industry.

Source: Drewry-ESC shipper satisfaction survey 2020

However, following the Coronavirus outbreak since February 2020, some 281 Asia-Europe and Asia-North America sailings have been cancelled and availability of cargo space has decreased dramatically.

“Drewry foresees that the next ESC-Drewry survey will show growing concerns among shippers for three specific areas of service quality: availability of space and equipment, reliability of bookings and carriers’ financial stability,” said Philip Damas, head of the logistics practice at Drewry.

“These are key factors of carrier and forwarder selection particularly in today’s disrupted market, but also in the next year as and when ocean-borne volumes recover,” he added.

“This is a market with volatile capacity where liners remain price setters and keep freight rates high, despite very low fuel indexes, whilst they can only plan in the short term themselves. Our view is that shippers will benefit from shorter-term  contracts, and either by diversifying their carriers' selection pool or by concentrating more on financially healthier or government supported carriers” said Godfried Smit, Secretary General of the European Shippers’ Council.

Source: Drewry-ESC shipper satisfaction survey 2020

Shippers and forwarders also said that carrier performance has deteriorated between 2018 and 2019 in four areas: the range of different available carriers, the range of different available services, the price of service and the overall carrier service quality. But carrier performance related to sustainability/green and carrier financial stability has improved since 2019, according to respondents.

Source: Drewry


All coronavirus business support information can be found at gov.uk/business-support

Contents

  • Apply for the coronavirus Future Fund

  • Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme

  • Business Support Helpline

  • Department for International Trade Webinars

  • New Updates and Guidance

  • Transition - the future relationship between the UK and EU

  • Coronavirus - Requests for Business Intelligence and Assistance

 

Apply for the coronavirus Future Fund

The Future Fund will provide UK Government loans to UK-based companies ranging from £125,000 to £5 million, subject to at least equal match funding from private investors. The fund will be open for applications from Wednesday 20 May 2020.

These convertible loans may be a suitable option for businesses that typically rely on equity investment and are unable to access other government business support programmes because they are either pre-revenue or pre-profit.

The Future Fund was developed by the UK Government and is being delivered by the British Business Bank.

Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme

From Tuesday 26 May 2020, small and medium-sized employers, with fewer than 250 employees, will be able to apply to recover the costs of paying coronavirus-related Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) payments they have made to their employees. 

Employers will be able to make claims to the Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme through a new online service. Employers will receive repayments at the relevant rate of SSP that they have paid to current or former employees for eligible periods of sickness starting on or after 13 March 2020.

HMRC has published online guidance which includes information about who can use the scheme and the records employers must keep. Click here to find out more.

Business Support Helpline

The Business Support Helpline number in England has changed to FREEPHONE 0800 998 1098. The helpline provides free, impartial business support and signposting services to businesses in England – which currently includes business advice on Covid-19. 

You can also find free support, advice and sources of finance through your local growth hub or speak to an advisor on webchat about support for your business.

The Business Support Scotland helpline is 0300 303 0660, Business Wales helpline is 0330 060 300 and the Invest Northern Ireland helpline is 0800 181 4422.

Department for International Trade Webinars

The Department for International Trade are running a series of webinars to help businesses through coronavirus.

Logistics and movement of goods during COVID-19  - 20 May

Risk management when considering new markets - 21 May

Managing disruption of supply chains during COVID-19 – 22 May

New Updates and Guidance

New

Larger businesses to benefit from loans of up to £200 million

Government extends maximum loan size available through the Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme from £50 million to £200 million.

  • loans under the expanded scheme will be made available to large businesses affected by coronavirus from next week 

  • changes also mean companies receiving help through CLBILS and the Bank of England’s Coronavirus Corporate Financing Fund will be asked to agree to not pay dividends and to exercise restraint on senior pay 

You can find more information here.

Everyone in the United Kingdom with Covid-19 symptoms is now eligible for coronavirus tests

Everyone in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland with coronavirus symptoms can now get a test. Find out more information here.

Stay at home: guidance for households with possible coronavirus infection

New information about coronavirus symptoms has been announced. Individuals should now self-isolate if they develop a new continuous cough or fever or anosmia. Anosmia is the loss of, or a change in, your normal sense of smell. It can also affect your sense of taste as the two are closely linked.

Legionella risks during the coronavirus outbreak

Employers, the self-employed and people in control of premises, such as landlords, have a duty to identify and control risks associated with legionella. Find out further information here.

Get a payment deferral or deregister from money laundering supervision due to coronavirus

Check if you can get a payment deferral or deregister if you are a business with an annual fee due between 1 May and 30 September 2020. Find out more information here.

Support for care homes

New guidance sets out the support package to keep care homes safe during the coronavirus pandemic. Care providers can find the details of the support package and additional advice and resources to help stop the spread of infection here.

Government invests £35 million to protect critical freight routes

Ensuring there is enough freight capacity to prevent disruption to the flow of critical goods, such as food and medical supplies. Find out more here.

Updates 

Guidance for employees, employers and businesses

Added clarification on guidance and legislation.

Advice for the freight transport industry

Added clarification on guidance and legislation.

Actions for early years and childcare providers during the coronavirus outbreak in England

Guidance has been updated, including a new section clarifying the position on welcoming back all children to early years settings from 1 June 2020, information on when childminders can reopen to more children, and what provision they can currently provide, information on testing for essential workers, and information for parents on temporary changes to the 30 hours free early education entitlements.

Recreational general aviation

Updated UK Government coronavirus advice means that recreational general aviation (GA) flying is now allowed from English airfields or flying sites and if social distancing measures are strictly observed. 

Recreational general aviation is currently still not allowed in Northern Ireland, Scotland or Wales, where there are different public health and safety requirements.

Transition - the future relationship between the UK and EU

The UK is in a transition period until the end of 2020 while the UK and EU negotiate additional arrangements.  The current rules on trade, travel, and business for the UK and EU will continue to apply during the transition period up to 31 December 2020.  New rules will take effect on 1 January 2021. To help businesses keep up to date, the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy publishes a free, sister Transition Bulletin alongside the Covid-19 Bulletin for Business.  Details of how to subscribe can be found below. The next Transition bulletin will be published on Thursday 21 May 2020.

Subscribe to the Transition Businesses and Employers Bulletin  by visiting Gov Delivery Subscriptions: i) Add Subscriptions, and ii) check 'Transition Bulletin' to subscribe to receive regular email updates.

Requests for Business Intelligence and Assistance

Offer coronavirus support
Tell us how your business might be able to help with the response to coronavirus by using our online service.

Share the impact coronavirus is having on your organisation
Let us know how the outbreak is impacting your business.  Please send your intelligence to intel@beis.gov.uk. Commercially sensitive information will be treated accordingly.  Please note that this inbox is only for receiving intelligence and does not provide business advice. 

Help us shine a light on the stories of key workers
Tell us about key workers you know that are helping to keep the UK moving during the Coronavirus pandemic. Please fill in this online form for key workers in the following sectors: manufacturing, construction, consumer goods, scientists/researchers, servicing, postal workers, and  oil/gas/electricity/water/sewage/chemical workers.

Other useful links

Some aspects of business support are devolved. Specific information for businesses and employers in Northern Ireland, Scotland, and Wales is available. In England, Growth Hubs can advise on local and UK Government business support.

Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy

Business Intelligence and Readiness Directorate      

sed@beis.gov.uk

19 May 2020 

You can subscribe to receive these bulletins directly. After adding your email address click add subscriptions, tick the newsletter box and then click next.



“The government’s decision to provide financial support to safeguard 16 of the most important routes covering the Channel, the Short Strait, the North Sea and routes between Great Britain and Northern Ireland provides some reassurance for our members managing the movement of freight on those routes.

“Today’s announcement appears to be related to the promised broader package of support measures for routes between the UK and mainland Europe, first unveiled in late April.

“It would appear that funding has increased to £35 million, much of which will be committed to support for critical routes between Britain and the European mainland.”


 

 

 
 
 
 
 
 

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