What can businesses achieve from the Export Academy Programme?

The Export Academy programme gives small and medium businesses the knowledge and expertise to export. Learning directly from experts at the Department for International Trade and a range of external specialists. This course is designed to help businesses grow their international sales in new markets overseas.

What is included in the programme?

There will be two half-day workshops providing a practical, interactive forum to explain the fundamentals of exporting. The sessions will encourage delegates to consider how they can develop their own individual export action plans.

PART 1 – 2nd June 09:30-12:30, will cover:

  • The benefits of exporting and the potential barriers
  • How to select the right target markets and conduct market research
  • An introduction to the basic procedures associated with exporting products and services
  • The different routes to market available and how to select the most appropriate options

PART 2 – 9th June 09:30-12:30, will cover:

  • How to set the right price for your product or service
  • Understanding International Commercial terms
  • Customs procedures, tariffs and export controls
  • Managing money and getting paid
  • How to develop a strategic export action plan and successfully win business

Who can join?

The programme is for managers working within the export function. In order to join this programme, businesses must be based within the Midlands, or East of England. If you would like any further information please contact your Export Adviser, call 0345 222 0159 or email poppy.surplice@mobile.trade.gov.uk.

Guidance: Air emissions risk assessment for your environmental permit

How to complete an air emissions risk assessment, including how to calculate the impact of your emissions and the standards you must meet.

Read more: Air emissions risk assessment guidance

Environmental assessment levels (EALs) used in air emissions risk assessments

Detail of outcome:

We have been made aware that a number of comments were not included in the record of responses to our last Environmental Assessment Levels (EAL) consultation (November 2020 – February 2021). We have investigated the issue and are now updating our records of comments to include those which were omitted.

We will republish the records of comments as soon as possible. In the meantime, pre-consultation EAL values will continue to apply. The relevant table has been refreshed. This work is a priority for us but we cannot give a date when it will be completed as it is dependent on the number of comments to be included and addressed.

Read more: Air emissions risk assessments

What secures the deal? The machine or the people?

Few things in business are as frustrating as seeing potential business slip out of your grasp. It’s especially disappointing when the reasons are nothing to do with your competence, quality or pricing.

A couple of years ago, we were approached by a business that, on the face of it, had everything going for it. A leading force in cladding and façades with a superb reputation, they were finding themselves missing out on orders. The reason was nothing to do with their expertise, their design capabilities, technical ability or fabrication skills. In fact, many buyers stated that if it weren’t for one specific issue, they would have secured the deal. That issue was the outsourcing of part of their fabrication process.

No one was saying that the outsourced components weren’t up to scratch. The supplier of the sub-structures had been carefully chosen.elumatec_SBZ 122 71 Quality standards were high and had no significant impact on the finished cladding or façade installation. Instead, the issue was the perceived loss of control or continuity. A trusted provider was introducing an “unknown” third party into the supply chain. That single fact, however well the outsourcing was managed, was sufficient to make some buyers go elsewhere.

The decision to move fabrication of the sub-components in-house was part of a wider strategy. The business had identified that control of their entire process was essential for them going forward. Reliance on outsourcing had to stop. But naturally, that meant that significant investment in new production assets would be required. Workflows would need to be changed and the layout of the shop floor amended. It also meant staff would need extra training, skills development work and that new quality procedures would need to be introduced.

As you would expect from a highly professional organisation, planning was a key part of the project. Having been identified as a possible machinery supplier, we soon found ourselves part of the plan. It was immediately clear to us that, from the outset, nothing less than outstanding service would meet the grade, and our team made that a priority.

Even though elumatec is a machinery supplier with an impressive product portfolio, it’s our people that really hold the power to transform the operations of our customers. We set about the project just as we’d expect, gaining an understanding of what was required and what issues were critical.

We found a business that wanted to talk and to listen. Discussions about their market, existing fabrication equipment, the various options, solutions and set-up were frank and open. What’s more, this team was on our wavelength. They had experts with lots of ideas, but they retained both curiosity and an open mind.  I believe that the ability to look at the wider picture – not to be fixed on a certain solution – is a key characteristic of a successful business. Happily, the customer was of the same mind and together, we were able to pinpoint the precise machinery configuration required.

The customer is now the proud owner of an SBZ122/71 CNC machine and its associated software. This is a machining centre that is ideally suited to working aluminium and thin wall steel profiles. It’s fast but stable and easy to adjust for bespoke fabrication work. It incorporates ergonomic design and safety features and is frugal in its power consumption. It’s based on a user-friendly Windows operating system, uses our trusted eluCam software and can even be programmed during operation.

There’s no doubt that the machining centre can perform. The engineering is proven, but again, it’s the commitment and expertise of the project team that ensures a successful outcome. The training we delivered was thorough and tailored, enabling the workforce to get up to speed as soon as possible.

In this case, we managed to combine all the essentials on the customer’s wish list alongside efficient and economical operation. This puts the customer in the best possible position to challenge its competitors, and those orders that were going elsewhere can now be secured.  The business can quote with confidence and is gaining business that they might otherwise have lost on price.

By understanding the challenges our customers are facing, we can help to find both solutions and opportunities. We can help to create the firm foundations from which a business can grow. Our approach is holistic and although we make brilliant equipment, supplying a machine is only part of the picture.

Neil Parton, MD, elumatec







elumatec offers a range of high-quality machining centres, saws and small machinery for the processing of aluminium, steel and PVC-U. Their UK operations are based in Milton Keynes. Contact them on 01908 580 800 or via email at sales@elumatec.co.uk or visit https://www.elumatec.com/

Open consultation: UK rebalancing measures to US additional tariffs on steel, aluminium and derivatives

The UK is today (May 24th) launching a review of tariffs against the US in response to the ongoing trade conflict around steel and aluminium.

A public consultation has opened aimed at ensuring any future tariffs applied in response to the US’ unjustified ‘Section 232’ duties on aluminium and steel imports are shaped to UK interests.

The UK currently has measures in place on products like whiskey, motorcycles and tobacco in response to US tariffs. Originally brought in by the EU, these measures were rolled over by the UK at the start of the year.

Today’s announcement will help ensure these measures are tailored to the needs of the UK economy and shaped to defend industries across the UK, including steel and aluminium manufacturers.

Read more: Section 232 tariffs

Consultation description:

We want to know what you think about our proposed list of UK rebalancing measures. These are in response to US additional tariffs on UK steel, aluminium and derivatives.

The UK is currently applying rebalancing measures transitioned from the EU. After this consultation, we will seek to amend our rebalancing measures to make sure they work for the UK.

In particular, we want to hear:

  • specific feedback on the proposed list of rebalancing measures
  • about the effect of the proposed rebalancing measures on your business or sector

Read more: Open consultation: UK rebalancing measures to US additional tariffs on steel, aluminium and derivatives

UK Suspensions Application Window: to open on 1 June 2021

Following the end of the Transition Period, the UK has established its independent tariff regime, including its duty suspensions regime.

To guide the UK’s suspensions regime, the Department for International Trade (DIT) is launching a process that will allow those based in the UK or Crown Dependencies to apply for duty suspensions. This year, you will be able to apply from 1 June until 11.55pm on 31 July.

Duty suspensions are temporary reductions in the UK Global Tariff rate for specific products. They are designed to allow UK and Crown Dependency businesses, and in particular producers, to remain competitive in the global marketplace.

DIT has now published information about the application process and the assessment criteria on GOV.UK, alongside the application form you will need to complete to submit a request.

DIT will publish a notice of the applications received once the application window has closed. UK businesses will then be given the opportunity to object to any requests. The window for submitting objections will open later this year. More information will be provided on GOV.UK in due course.

Once DIT have received all applications and objections, the merits of these will be assessed based on the criteria outlined on GOV.UK, as well as other relevant considerations – examples of which are included in the guidance section of the application form.

Any duty suspension requests that are granted will come into effect no earlier than early 2022 and will last until summer 2024. Once granted, all businesses can benefit from the suspension.  

In recognition of the challenges surrounding the Covid-19 pandemic, existing duty suspensions that the government rolled over from the EU will be extended beyond 31 December 2021 to ensure business certainty.

If you have any questions about the application process, please contact: TariffSuspensions@trade.gov.uk.

HSE Local Exhaust Ventilation (LEV) eBulletin

In this issue:

  • HSE inspections focus on occupational lung disease
  • Hierarchy of control
  • What is LEV?
  • What is RPE?
  • HSE enforcement activity

Read more: HSE update May 2021

UK Trade Tariff: duty suspensions and tariff quotas

Temporary duty suspensions and tariff quotas for importing goods into the UK.

Duty suspensions are designed to help UK and Crown Dependency businesses remain competitive in the global marketplace. They do this by suspending import duties on certain goods, normally those used in domestic production.

These suspensions do not apply to other duties that may be chargeable like VAT or the anti-dumping duty.

Duty suspensions allow unlimited quantities to be imported into the UK at a reduced tariff rate. Autonomous Tariff Quotas (ATQs) allow limited quantities to be imported at a reduced rate.

Duty suspensions and ATQs are temporary and can be used by any UK business while in force. They are applied on a ‘Most Favoured Nation’ (‘MFN’) basis. This means that goods subject to these suspensions or quotas can be imported into the UK from any country or territory at the specified reduced tariff rate.

Read more: UK Trade Tariff

New series of global events launched to help hard-to-abate sectors reach carbon neutrality by 2050

Coalition of experts curate series of major events focussing on sustainable industrial manufacturing

Organisers of a new industry platform for manufacturers within hard-to-abate sectors today announced details of Sustainable Industrial Manufacturing (SIM) – set to be Europe’s largest showcase of solutions in sustainable manufacturing, when it opens at Brussels Expo in Belgium from 9-10 March 2022.

The EU has committed to carbon neutrality by 2050 and it wants industry to “pave the way”. With heavy industry responsible for 30% ofSIM_Global_Series_ carbon emissions worldwide, a transition towards net zero emissions is no longer optional for those in-charge of heavy industrial sectors.

Nadine Bloxsome, Event Director of SIM comments: “To deliver change at the speed required, manufacturers must urgently accelerate and embrace sustainable technologies to future-proof their competitiveness, viability, and protect the other industries that they support. SIM has been created to help address this challenge and encourage a collaborative approach. By working together to conserve resources and deliver change, industrial manufacturers can ensure a sound future for generations to come.”

Curated by a coalition of industry experts, SIM is a global series of events supporting and facilitating the transition towards cleaner manufacturing around the world and will focus on five hard-to-abate sectors: Steel, Cement, Glass, Aluminium and Chemicals.

Hosting leaders from the worlds of science, innovation, government, industry, and investment, SIM Europe will provide the first opportunity for those at the frontier of energy intensive industrial manufacturing to collaborate and deliver real change.

Bloxsome adds: “Solutions exist to make heavy manufacturing carbon neutral. But to make that transition, that change has to deliver economic prosperity, efficiencies, jobs and a brighter future. Industry must work together, at scale, across sectors and right along the supply chain. Bringing together senior executives from across difference manufacturing sectors could be a real game-changer and is very exciting. That kind of knowledge transfer is key, and that is exactly what we want SIM to facilitate.”

The SIM agenda is being driven by a steering committee of international experts in the fields of industry, academia, R&D, media and investment and includes: Geoff Matthews, Modulation Specialist, EnergyFlex Pty Ltd; Pernelle Nunez, Deputy Secretary General and Director – Sustainability, International Aluminium Institute; Oscar Verheijen, Chairman of the GlassTrend Board, and Melanie Williams, CEO and Sustainability Consultant.

SIM Europe will be the first of four regional events planned for 2022, with other editions to be hosted in the United Arab Emirates, United States and China.

The cornerstone of every SIM event is a trio of exhibition and conference zones entitled ‘Energy’, ‘Evolve’ and ‘Environment’ that together, deliver end-to-end sustainable manufacturing opportunities. Zones will include solutions for providing cleaner energy, new technologies to enable plants to evolve, and a collaborative approach to protecting the environment and the future of industrial manufacturing businesses.

Organised by Quartz Business Media, SIM has been curated by a team that is combining more than 90 years of experience of facilitating business for the manufacturing industry. Owners of market-leading trade journals, exhibitions, conferences, and digital content solutions for the steel, glass and aluminium industries, each year QBM products reach more than 85,000 manufacturing professionals around the world.

For further information visit www.sustainableindustrialmanufacturing.com

Trucks for transport: driving standards throughout our fleet

Simon Wood – Director of Transport and Logistics, EMR

EMR’s goal is to be a progressive, industry-leading metal recycler and to achieve this we must have world class logistics and transport operations.

We run a fleet of around 220 heavy trucks and more than 100 bulk tipping trailers which enables us to serve our customers wherever they are in the UK. And, in a modern world we need to be flexible to their needs and offer a range of services.  EMR therefore operates with around 10,000 demountable containers into which our customers can deposit their metal for recycling, from large 45-cubic yard containers to 12-yard skips and two cubic yard box stillages.

We need to be flexible because our customers come from many different industries and thus have many different needs. One major customerEMR Transport Fleet Vehicle sector is the car industry. We work with a number of vehicle manufacturers (as well as their suppliers) and the complex nature of this industry means our planners and drivers need to work within their just-in-time supply chains with a lack of storage capacity.

We also serve the construction industry, the demolition industry, scrap merchants, car breakers, manufacturers, aerospace, supermarkets and more.

Meanwhile, our large articulated trucks also carry recycled products out of our yards to steel-makers and other industries that use our materials to make the next generation of products, buildings or infrastructure.

The collection and processing of materials can be complex so, at EMR, it’s important that our operations are efficient, timely, safe and flexible for our customers.

That’s why we make sure we have some of the best trained drivers in the industry. This is highlighted in the fact that the transport teams at 15 of our biggest UK sites have achieved ‘Silver’ status from the Fleet Operator Recognition Scheme (FORS), a voluntary programme which recognises good industry practice.

The scheme builds on EMR’s own efforts to ensure our drivers’ skills and knowledge are at a high level, that they meet our standards for operational efficiency, and that their daily checks routine reduces maintenance costs.

To support our drivers, EMR is continually investing in training and technology. The transport team have worked with our Learning and Development team to create up-to-date, interactive training programmes. We have also recently updated our driver handbook, providing the latest best practice advice to our drivers.

We are also investing in processes and equipment such as new trailer and container door opening mechanisms to keep our drivers safe when loading or unloading scrap from their vehicles. We’ve also standardised PPE and introduced new cut-proof gloves to reduce the risk of injury to our drivers.

Thanks to this support from others in EMR, we’re now confident that this ‘Silver’ status will be rolled out to all UK sites in the months ahead.

Sustainable practices continue to be the driving force behind the operational changes we make. We provide our drivers with guidance and training on reducing fuel, ensuring that we meet the commitments laid out in ‘Our Decade of Action’ strategy, our roadmap to becoming a net-zero business by 2040.

As society demands a greater focus on green and safe practices from businesses, much of EMR’s work is focused on meeting increasing compliance standards. Yet we also know that this isn’t enough.

As we celebrate moving forwards with the FORS ‘Silver’ standard, my team and I are also working on our new vehicle replacement programme to further lower our emissions. We’re also improving our driver performance culture, further improving in-house software systems for routing and scheduling and looking to create new maintenance management software.

When it comes to raising standards and improving safety, it goes without saying that EMR’s fleet isn’t staying still.