Dept for Business, Energy and Industry Strategy (BEIS)

Business Readiness Bulletin: Issue 44

Introduction:
Welcome to the latest in a series of business readiness bulletins, aimed at keeping trade associations, business representative bodies and business intermediaries up to date on the latest guidance for business whilst the UK is in a transition period which will last until the end of the year. This Bulletin aims to provide you and your networks/members with important information from Government, to help prepare for the end of the transition period.  

Recent Announcements:
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.

Business Readiness Forum:  
Thank you to those that joined the Forum last week.  Please see the attached PDF of the slides from our Business Readiness Forum from 20 February 2020. Our next forum will be a webinar on Thursday 5 March 2020. Further details will be sent to relevant organisations under a separate cover. Please share your thoughts, feedback or topics you would find useful with us via sed@beis.gov.uk.

UK Global Tariff Consultation:
The UK left the European Union on 31 January 2020.

For the first time in almost fifty years the UK is free to set its tariff rates on imported goods. To inform the development of the new UK Global Tariff, the Government has launched a four-week public consultation and is seeking your views. The consultation began on 6 February 2020 and closes on 5 March 2020 at 23:59 GMT.

This consultation seeks:

  • views on a potential series of amendments to the EU’s Common External Tariff to create a bespoke UK tariff regime;
  • specific feedback on individual products or commodity codes of importance to you (including the corresponding tariff rate); and
  • information on your interactions with Most Favoured Nation tariffs and the importance of tariffs to sectors that are relevant to you.

The bespoke UK tariff regime will enter into force on 1 January 2021 and replace the EU’s Common External Tariff.

To take part in the consultation and have your say on the new UK Global Tariff, visit 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.

Freeports Consultation:
The UK Government has launched a public consultation on Freeports policy. 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.

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 business can undertake now, all transition period information and the opportunity for you to sign up to email alerts about the transition period.

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