EU Exit – Business Resilience Information

Knowsley Chamber and the Knowsley Business Team are committed to helping you plan for the various EU Exit scenarios you may face. 

The UK has left the EU. There is now 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.

Together Knowsley Chamber and Knowsley Business Team are here to support your queries regarding Brexit.  We regularly liaise with HMRC, other city region business organisations and Knowsley Council so that we can report back to you.

In 2019 we made contact with thousands of Knowsley businesses to offer support regarding Business Readiness & Brexit. 18 businesses attended our Business Readiness Event and we provided 9 in-depth 1:1 Brexit advice surgeries. In 2020 we are ready to continue our support.  If you wish to find out more or register for our EU Exit workshops or one-to-one meetings then email neil.roscoe@knowsleychamber.org.uk

Check how to get ready for new rules in 2021

There will be new rules for living, working, travelling and doing business in the UK and EU from 1 January 2021.  You, your family, or your business should prepare now.  Answer a few questions to get a list of things you should do to get ready.

https://www.gov.uk/transition-check

Here is the latest information from GOV… 

Business Support announced in the Budget

In the March 2020 Budget the Chancellor announced a package of measures to provide support for public services, individuals and businesses affected by Covid-19.

The UK is extremely well prepared for these types of outbreaks and will continue to take all necessary precautions to protect the public, including engaging with key industry partners to discuss their preparedness planning. To ensure the impact on businesses is minimised, in today’s Budget the Chancellor outlined a comprehensive package of support.

A new Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme, delivered by the British Business Bank, will enable businesses with a turnover of no more than £41m to apply for a loan of up to £1.2m, with the Government covering up to 80% of any losses with no fees. This will unlock up to £1 billion pounds to protect and support small businesses.

For businesses with fewer than 250 employees, the cost of providing 14 days of statutory sick pay per employee will be refunded by the Government in full. This will provide 2 million businesses with up to £2bn to cover the costs of large-scale sick leave.

A dedicated helpline has been set up to help businesses and self-employed individuals in financial distress and with outstanding tax liabilities to receive support with their tax affairs. Through this, businesses may be able to agree a bespoke Time to Pay arrangement.

There will be a £3,000 cash grant to 700,000 of our smallest businesses, delivered by Local Authorities, and worth a total of £2bn.

Finally, the Government is temporarily increasing the Business Rates retail discount in England to 100% for 2020-21 for properties below £51,000 rateable value. Nearly half of all business properties will not pay a penny of business rates. 

Bank of England measures to respond to the economic shock from Covid-19

The Bank of England have also announced a comprehensive package of measures to help UK businesses and households bridge across the economic disruption that is likely to be associated with COVID-19. Interest rates have been reduced from 0.75% to 0.25% and additional funding will be available for banks to increase lending, especially to SMEs.

Business Readiness Bulletin      

      

 

Introduction      

Welcome to the latest in a series of business readiness bulletins, aimed at keeping your business up to date on the latest guidance on the UK exiting the EU.

Recent Announcements

Business Support Website – NEW – The government has recently launched a Business Support campaign bringing together in one place a range of government business support and advice. For more information, visit www.businesssupport.gov.uk.

Digital tool for exporters of goods from the UK – The Department for International Trade has launched ‘Check How to Export Goods’, a new digital tool to help UK businesses trade with over 160 markets around the world. The free tool will help you easily find and understand what is needed to export goods internationally. It provides product-specific and country-specific information on tariffs, regulations, the UK border and other topics all in one place. It will be updated regularly to reflect any changes to trading arrangements.

NEW: Stay at home guidance. The guidance for people with confirmed or possible coronavirus infection has been updated. If a person has symptoms of coronavirus infection however mild, the person should not leave home for 7 days from when the symptoms started. After 7 days, if the person feels better and no longer has a high temperature, the person can return to their normal routine. If the person has not had any signs of improvement and have not already sought medical advice, the person should contact NHS 111 online at 111.nhs.uk or call NHS 111. Cough may persist for several weeks in some people, despite the coronavirus infection having cleared. A persistent cough alone does not mean the person must continue to self-isolate for more than 7 days. Find the updated guidance here.

NEW: For individual businesses, the first port of call for advice and support is gov.uk. However, we are also scaling up our Business Support Helpline so businesses in England, of all sizes, can pick up the phone and speak directly to an advisor. The number to call is: 0300 456 3565

NEW: HMRC have launched a tax helpline to help businesses concerned about paying their tax due to coronavirus (COVID-19). Find all the information here. The number is 0800 0159 559.

NEW: Companies House has produced guidance if coronavirus (COVID-19) has affected your company and you need more time to file your accounts. Find all the information here.

NEW: Guidance for British people living or travelling overseas following the outbreak of coronavirus (COVID-19). Find the update guidance here.

NEW – The Home Office has published a policy statement which sets out the government’s plans for a new UK points-based immigration system. The UK’s points-based immigration system: policy statement. They have also produced a New immigration system: what you need to know.

UPDATE – The Home Office has updated 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. Employing EU citizens in the UK

NEW – The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy’s Secretary of State, Alok Sharma, has written an article outlining the benefits of the new points-based immigration system for businesses. Our message to the world: Britain is open for business

Controls at the Border

In February, the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster delivered a speech where he confirmed the Government’s plans to introduce full import controls for goods moving  into and out of the EU to Great Britain after the transition period ends on 31 December 2020.

This means that all goods entering the UK from the EU will be subject to the same checks and controls as goods coming from the rest of the world and that there will be new processes that UK exporters and importers of EU goods will have to comply with, whether we reach a new trade agreement or not.

Businesses will need to prepare for life outside the EU and many have already done so. For example, from 1 January 2021 businesses will need to make customs declarations to move goods into and out of the EU. Businesses can prepare for border controls by making sure they have an EORI number if they don’t already have one and also look into how they want to make declarations such as using a customs agent.

It was also announced that HMRC have extended the deadline for businesses to apply for customs support funding to 31 January 2021. There is still at least £7.5 million available so that more businesses can hire or train experts to deal with customs declarations. Details can be found here.

Freeports Consultation

In February, a public consultation on Freeports policy was launched. It will last for ten weeks.

It is proposed that up to 10 Freeports will be introduced across the UK, which will be national hubs for trade, innovation and commerce. The Government’s aim is for Freeports to attract new businesses, jobs, investment and opportunity.

You can find more information and respond to the consultation by 20 April 2020 here.

UK Global Tariff Consultation

NEW – The UK Government has launched a consultation on the UK’s independent tariff policy to apply from 1 January 2021.

In setting the tariff rates, the Government will uphold the principles set out in the Taxation (Cross-border Trade) Act 2018, and seeks to balance strategic trade objectives, such as the delivery of the UK’s FTA trade agenda, and to maintain the Government’s commitment to developing countries to reduce poverty through trade.

The consultation offers respondents the opportunity to provide:

  • views on changes to the Common External Tariff to create a bespoke UK tariff regime;
  • specific feedback on individual products or commodity codes of importance to them, including on the corresponding tariff rate; and
  • information on their interactions with MFN tariffs and the importance of tariffs to their sectors.

The consultation will close on 5 March 2020 and an announcement on the UK’s new Global Tariff schedule will follow shortly afterwards.  The consultation can be found here.

New Online Tool ‘Check How to Export Goods’

NEW – The Department for International Trade has launched a digital tool to give businesses the information they need to export goods out of the UK market. The free tool, called ‘Check How to Export Goods’, has launched on GOV.UK.

The tool helps any business, particularly SMEs, to trade with over 160 markets by providing up to date information and guidance on what they need to know and do in order to export goods to an EU country or to the rest of the world.

Businesses input their product commodity code and export destination and can then access product-level and country specific information including duties, regulations, customs procedures and trade agreements between the UK and other markets.

The tool saves time by providing the information that is needed to trade goods in one place.

‘Check How to Export Goods’ includes key information on:

  • Commodity codes
  • Duties, taxes, charges and quotas
  • Rules of origin
  • How to move your goods out of the UK
  • How to move your goods into other countries/destinations

 

The service is free to use and is available here.

Click here for more information and advice on exporting.

Actions you can take now that do not depend on negotiations

Following its departure from the EU on 31 January 2020 the UK is now in a transition period until the end of 2020, while the UK negotiates a free trade agreement. This link provides a list of actions of what you can do now, all transition period information and the opportunity for you to sign up to email alerts about the transition period.

Recent Announcements

NEW – The Department for International Trade and Export Joint Control Unit have published a notice of the current export licensing arrangements which will continue to apply until the end of the transition period on 31 December 2020. Notice to exporters 2020/03: exporting and trading items subject to strategic controls during the transition period.

Companies House has produced guidance to help you find out whether your business will need to change its company registration from 1 January 2021, and how to do this. Changing your company registration from 1 January 2021.