Barclays Economic Update: UK Flash Composite Output Index Increased to 60.0 in Apr’21
According to data published by IHS Markit⁄CIPS, UK flash composite output index increased to 60.0 in apr’21 from 56.4 in mar’21. The upturn was led by an increase in output in the UK private sector in apr’21.
The seasonally adjusted UK flash manufacturing purchasing managers’ index (PMI) increased to 60.7 in apr’21 from 58.9 in mar’21, the highest since jul’94. The increase was led by positive contributions to output, new orders and employment indices.
The report also indicated an increase in production volumes to the highest amount since aug’20. A significant increase was reported by food & drink manufacturers due to the reopening of the hospitality sector. Manufacturers also reported the highest increase in new work from abroad since the end of the Brexit transition period on 31st dec’20.
The seasonally adjusted flash UK services business activity index increased to 60.1 in apr’21 from 56.3 in mar’21, the highest since aug’14. Significant growth was reported among consumer services, driven by the reopening of some client facing services of the economy.
Industry Leaders Collaborate With 14 Tech Start-Ups
Digital Catapult, the UK authority in advanced digital technology, launched the made smarter technology accelerator programme to improve productivity and boost the post covid recovery of the manufacturing sector.
Under the programme, 14 technology startups have been selected that will be paired with industry leaders to develop solutions that address UK manufacturing sector challenges. The industry leaders include Babcock international group and Sainsbury’s amongst others.
The start-ups and scale-ups will each reive up to £20,000 from the programme funding to build their prototypes. They can also apply for £100,000 of programme funding to develop minimum viable products after building the prototype that could be applied for commercial use.
Preferred candidate for FSA Chair named
Professor Susan Jebb has been named as the Government’s preferred candidate for the post of Chair of the Food Standards Agency (FSA).
Before the appointment is confirmed, Matt Hancock, the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, has on behalf of all the appointing authorities invited the Health and Social Care Committee (Opens in a new window)to hold a public pre-appointment scrutiny hearing in line with parliamentary procedures which is expected in early May.
Updated AHR and composite products FAQs
For those of you who attended Defra’s recent webinars on the Animal Health Regulation (AHR) and new rules on composite products we are regularly updating the FAQs.
Composite product private attestation process map
This private attestation process map will help you when using a private attestation to move your goods to Northern Ireland or exporting them to the EU.
Exporting composite products from GB to Ireland
The Department of Agriculture Food and Marine (DAFM) has issued guidance that clarifies the rules on exporting composite products from GB to Ireland that are exempt from BCP checks. It has also issued guidance on completing private attestations for shelf-stable composite products that don’t contain meat.
Exporting to Spain – guidance and declaration form
The Spanish Ministry of Health has recently published guidance and a declaration form to help businesses in Great Britain exporting goods of animal origin and composite products to Spain. There are specific Spanish requirements that are needed along with EU Export Health Certification. These requirements are divided by product type along with the general health documentation to be submitted with all consignments and information on this is provided in this guidance. These include listing the percentage of ingredients and additives used in the manufacturing of the food. Completing this declaration form with the required information is optional however it should help improve the process of exporting food from GB to Spain.
Pre-notification at French borders
The French authorities have confirmed all Border Control Posts (BCPs) in France will accept 4-hour pre-notification for all chilled consignments.
EHC Online changes: Language requirements
Export Health Certificates (EHCs) must be drawn up in one or more of the official languages of the European Union, understood by the certifying officer and by the BCP. This means you only need to provide EHCs in English and the language of the member state of entry into the EU. You are not required to provide a translation for the member state of destination, if different from the member state of entry. Changes will be made to EHC online in mid-May to reflect this, removing the third language of the certificate altogether. Until then, the third language version can be discarded.
Links and reminders
Digital assets for food and drink businesses
We publish digital assets on our Food and Drink Dropbox Paper page. These include a webinar talking through guidance on Rules of Origin for agri-food businesses and FAQs covering key information on Rules of Origin and food labelling. There will be further updates to the products hosted on the Dropbox Paper page over the next few weeks, so please do return to the page to ensure you are viewing the latest content.
Moving Goods Trader Showcase migration
The online Trader Showcase site that you’ve been using to find out about the new rules for moving goods to Northern Ireland and exporting to the EU has been migrated to two new locations, which you can access by using the links below:
The new Trader Showcase has been developed using Dropbox Paper, which usually requires users to have an account to access content. We recommend opening a free account – which involves a basic registration process – if you don’t already have one.
The new Trader Showcase site works with most modern browsers, but is best viewed using Chrome, Firefox, Safari and the latest two versions of Edge.
Links to Defra’s Exporter Journey GB to EU Webinars
Links to our recorded webinars on the GB to EU Exporter Journey are now available on YouTube. Please share with anyone who may find this information useful. The topics are:
EU Settlement Scheme
Free movement ended at 23:00 on 31 December 2020. To remain in the UK after 31 December 2020, non-EU and EU citizens will need to have a UK immigration status.
EU citizens, and relevant family members, resident here before the end of 2020, will be eligible for the EU Settlement Scheme. We encourage EU citizens in the UK to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme if they have not already done so, there’s still plenty of time. The deadline for applications to the EU Settlement Scheme, for those resident here before the end of 2020, is 30 June 2021. Please visit the gov.uk page for more information: https://www.gov.uk/settled-status-eu-citizens-families.
A leaflet on EU, EEA and Swiss citizens’ right to work in the UK is also available on gov.uk.
For those arriving from January 2021, they can apply under the new arrangements of the UK’s points-based immigration system.
Points-based Immigration system
On 1 January 2021 the government introduced the new points-based immigration system, under which EU and non-EU citizens are treated equally.
Phase 2 of the Home Office’s communication campaign, to ensure businesses are ready for the new points-based immigration system, is now underway and will run until the end of March 2021. The nationwide marketing campaign will continue to use a wide range of channels to reach employers, including radio, social media, digital, and outdoor advertising.
Phase 2 will build on activity to date, continuing to raise awareness and understanding that there is a new immigration system. The key messages to communicate to businesses are that free movement has now ended and there are new requirements with which audiences must comply. The way UK businesses hire from the EU is changing, and to recruit from outside the UK they will need to be a licensed sponsor.
Please visit the campaign page for more information: GOV.UK/HiringFromTheEU.
Translated information for EU nationals is available here – https://www.gov.uk/guidance/the-uks-points-based-immigration-system-information-for-eu-citizens
The Home Office has also launched a podcast for businesses which explains the new immigration system and how employers can prepare. The podcast is available to listen via:
Acast , Apple or Spotify
Sugar Reduction and Wider Reformulation Stakeholder Engagement Report Published – UK PHE published on 12 April 2021 the sugar reduction and wider reformulation stakeholder engagement report for the period from July 2020 to February 2021. This report provides information on stakeholder engagement conducted by PHE as part of the food and drink reformulation programme.
The FDF Virtual Convention is on 20th May. We are delighted that DEFRA Secretary of State George Eustice will be our keynote speaker and taking part in a Q&A session. Other key speakers will include Shadow DEFRA Secretary Luke Pollard and Food Standards Agency Chief Executive Emily Miles.
Sessions during the day will include panels on international trade; exploring challenges for small food and drink businesses and helping them to grow; food innovation and how to get it right; the road to Net Zero – all with plenty of opportunity for Q&A. Attendees can join for as much or little of the day as this wish. With all of the major challenges that the food and drink supply chain is facing, it’s a great line up of speakers and a chance to hear more about the big issues and plans for the future.
To book your free please contact email@example.com and state your name, company name and the trade association that you belong to. Further information is here https://www.fdf.org.uk/fdf/events-and-meetings/events/events/2021/fdf-convention-may-2021/ but please do not book through the website.
COVID-19 at Work Study by Institute of Occupational Medicine and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine
With an aim of reducing COVID-19 infections and keeping businesses open and people at work, the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) and Institute of Occupational Medicine (IOM) are doing research as part of a set of government-funded National Core Studies. The COVID-19 at Work Study will evaluate the number of COVID-19 infections among workers in the food and drink sector and help understand the potential for transmission of infection, and inform options for risk reduction.
The Federation of Bakers support this project. The research team is inviting individual companies to complete a survey online.
The research team have prepared a short (10 minute) survey to evaluate how many cases of COVID-19 have occurred across a wide range of workplaces. Companies will then be invited to take part in some more in-depth case studies and research with their facilities, but this is optional. The results will only be used for research purposes, and neither individuals nor any workplace will be publicly identified in any reporting of results. When complete, you will receive a report summarising the findings.
Please follow the link below to learn more about this survey, and to complete the survey.
The link is open now at: https://lshtm.onlinesurveys.ac.uk/covid-at-work-survey-2021-2
Please complete the survey by Friday 14th May.
For enquiries on this project you can get in touch with IOM investigator Dr Miranda Loh (email: CovidatWorkStudy@iom-world.org; telephone: 0131 449 8052). For information on the whole research programme there is a website https://sites.manchester.ac.uk/covid19-national-project/
With thanks from Miranda Loh (IOM) and Tony Fletcher (LSHTM)
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If you move goods between the UK and countries in the EU, you need to follow new customs and tax rules.
Your business will be affected by the new rules if you:
- buy goods from an EU seller and bring them into the UK
- send goods you’ve sold to a buyer in an EU country
- haven’t exchanged money but need to move equipment that you use for your business, between the UK and the EU.
We understand this means a lot of changes are needed, and HMRC is here to help you in several ways.
You 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 attend our webinars to help adjust to the new rules and keep your business moving.
Exporting: what you need to do to keep your goods moving: An overview of the actions you need to take now before you export goods from Great Britain to the EU and move goods between Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
Key processes include – zero-rated VAT, customs declarations, using an intermediary as well as licences, certificates, and authorisations.
Please register to take part if you’re planning to export.
Importing: staged introduction of customs controls: This webinar takes you through the three stages of the new border controls introduced on 1 January 2021, and what actions you need to take for each stage.
Please register to take part if you’re planning to import.
Customs Import Declarations: an overview: If your business or a business you represent, needs to make customs import declarations on goods you’ve imported since 1 January, our webinar helps you to understand what’s needed for simplified declarations, supplementary declarations, and delayed import declarations.
Please register to take part if you’re planning to import.
Trader responsibilities when using an intermediary: This webinar explains your responsibilities as a trader, if you choose to use an intermediary to complete import or export declarations for your business. These are complex and an intermediary can save you a lot of time.
Please register to take part if you’re planning to import or export.
You can also:
- watch our videos on HMRC’s YouTube channel to familiarise yourself with the new customs processes and what you need to do before you trade goods with the EU
- use the trader checklist to make sure you’re familiar with the new rules that affect you
- use our updated guides to understand the new customs and VAT requirements when moving goods between the UK and EU countries
- sign-up to the Trader Support Service if your client’s business is moving goods between GB and Northern Ireland and use their suite of educational products – including online training modules and webinars for support with the Northern Ireland Protocol
- ask and get answers to specific questions about HMRC processes for importing or exporting, by visiting our customer forums
- watch webinars and videos from other government departments to support you
- sign up to our weekly email updates on news and information about importing and exporting with the EU, providing hints and tips for businesses like yours, getting used to the new rules for importing and exporting.
Call our Customs & International Trade helpline on 0300 322 9434, for more help with importing, exporting or customs reliefs. The helpline is open from 8am to 10pm Monday to Friday and from 8am to 4pm at weekends. You can also send us your questions or webchat.
Protect yourself from scams
Stay vigilant about scams, which may mimic government messages as a way of appearing authentic. Search ‘scams’ on GOV.UK for information on how to recognise genuine HMRC contact. You can also forward suspicious emails claiming to be from HMRC to firstname.lastname@example.org and texts to 60599.
Access the National Cyber Security Centre’s new guide on how to stay secure online and protect yourself or your business against cyber crime by searching ‘Cyber Aware’ on GOV.UK.
Katherine Green and Sophie Dean – Directors General, Borders and Trade, HMRC