FOB Weekly News for 11th January 2021

Dear All,

Detailed below is the Weekly News for 12th January.

Have a good week and stay safe.

Gordon Polson

Chief Executive – Federation of Bakers Ltd

 UK Manufacturing PMI Increased to 57.5 in Dec’20

According to data published by HIS Markit/CIPS, seasonally adjusted UK manufacturing purchasing managers’ index (pmi) increased to 57.5 in dec’20 from 55.6 in nov’20.

The report indicated growth across all of the consumer, intermediate and investment goods sectors. intermediate goods producers reported a significant increase in production output in dec’20. Meanwhile, the consumer goods sector returned to growth following a decline in the previous months.

in dec’20, manufacturing in the UK reported an increase in inflows of new orders and output growth. The demand was supported by forward purchases from European union clients before the end of the Brexit transition period and re-opening of the global economy.

Input stocks and purchasing activity increased in dec’20. However, port delays and other logistical disruptions put additional pressure on supply-chains.


Eurozone Manufacturing PMI Increased to 55.2 in Dec’20

According to data published by HIS MARKIT/CIPS, seasonally adjusted eurozone manufacturing pmi increased to 55.2 in dec’20 from 53.8 in nov’20.

The report indicated an increase in new export orders in dec’20, while production was affected by delays in the delivery of inputs. Further, supply side shortages led to delivery delays and an increase in prices.

All three broad market groups reported an improvement in operating conditions. Investment and intermediate goods sectors registered continued growth in output, while consumer goods producers recorded modest improvement in operating conditions.

In terms of regional output, all countries in the eurozone reported relatively improved manufacturing pmis in dec’20 except Greece. Germany registered the highest manufacturing pmi in dec’20 at 58.3, followed by the Netherlands at 58.2, Ireland at 57.2, Austria at 53.5, Italy at 52.8 and France at 51.1.


 Covid-19 is Expected to Have Opened UK Manufacturing to Innovation

According to research by Digital Catapult and the Made Smarter Technology Accelerator, 77% of the UK manufacturers who responded to the survey stated that covid-19 has made their businesses more open to innovation. They implemented advanced technologies like artificial intelligence, blockchain, the internet of things and 5g during the ongoing pandemic.

The research indicated that deployment of these technologies would improve performance of manufacturing processes for 71% of the respondents, design and engineering processes performance for 60% of the respondents and supply chain performance for 49% of respondents. Meanwhile, 32% of the senior manufacturers believe that international competitors are ahead of the UK in terms of advanced technologies deployment.

The key factors identified as barriers for efficient technology adoption were budget constraints, cyber security concerns and lack of skilled labour amongst others. Out of those surveyed, 40% have highlighted budget constraints as a barrier to technology adoption, with 32% sighting cyber security concerns and 30% sighting lack of skilled labour.

Research Showed that Majority of Brits are not Likely to Follow Plant-Based Diet in 2021

According to a survey conducted by YouGov for British Nutrition Foundation (BNF) research, 61% of British respondents revealed that they are unlikely to follow a plant-based diet in 2021. The survey was carried out between 20th nov’20 and 22 nov’20 by 2,018 adults, aged 18+, from across Britain.

The research indicated that respondents in the age group between 45 to 54 years are most unlikely to opt for a plant based diet, with 66% of respondents in this age bracket revealing their preference against it.

However, age groups, between 25 to 35 years and above 55 years, appeared to be the most likely group in favour of a plant based diet, with 22% responding in favour. 53% of respondents stated that they don’t agree with eating meat. Meanwhile, 52% stated environmental sustainability as a reason to follow a plant-based diet.

Groceries Code Adjudicator: The GCA annual survey will open on Monday 11 January 2021.

This is an opportunity for you to tell GCA about current retailer practices and changes over the past 12 months. Once open, please take the time to complete the survey before it closes on 21 February 2021. This is the first year for the GCA and he is keen to receive information early about how the sector is operating in such challenging times. The GCA finds the survey immensely valuable, as do retailers, in identifying the issues the groceries sector is facing and guiding future work.

Defra consults on gene editing & possible wider GMO reform

The Defra Secretary, George Eustice, has launched a consultation on gene editing, which he suggested could unlock substantial benefits to the environment and help farmers produce crops resistant to pests or disease and to produce more nutritious food.  Gene editing differs from genetic modification – where DNA from one species is introduced to a different one. Gene edited organisms instead only produce changes that could be made slowly using traditional breeding methods.  At the moment, gene editing in the UK is regulated in the same way as genetic modification following a 2018 European Court of Justice ruling.  The consultation proposes to change this so long as the gene edited organisms could have been produced naturally or through traditional breeding. This approach has already been adopted by countries such as Japan, Australia and Argentina. The consultation also seeks views on the wider regulatory framework governing genetically modified organisms (GMOs). These responses will be used to inform policy development and stakeholder engagement plans on any potential wider GMO reform. The deadline for responses to the consultation is 17 March 2020.

Rules of Origin: UK and EU businesses will now need to start complying with the Rules of Origin set out in the Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA) as part of the customs declaration when importing and exporting to and from the UK and EU. HMRC have published guidance on proving origin and wider guidance on Rules of Origin within the TCA.

The UK Office of Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) Trade Assurance

Defra have announced the name of the UK Office of Sanitary and Phytosanitary Trade Assurance, which will co-ordinate SPS trade assurance in the UK to ensure trading partners meet import conditions for food and feed safety and standards and for animal health and welfare. See further detail on the UK’s biosecurity and SPS regimes on

Reminder of paperwork required for animal and POAO exports:

Ensure correct paperwork for live animal and animal product health checks at the EU border

Traders must ensure that UK hauliers have the correct paperwork to comply with new animal and animal product checks at the EU border. Traders should take the following steps to obtain the necessary paperwork before exporting goods to EU member states.
Check if you need an Export Health Certificate

Exports of live animals and products of animal origin to the EU require an Export Health Certificate (EHC) signed by an Official Vet (OV) or Food Competent Certifying Officer (FCCO). The original signed EHC must travel with the consignment.
You can check which EHC you need via Defra’s Form Finder and apply online. Full guidance on the EHC process is available on You should ensure that you have found an OV or FCCO who can certify your consignment before you start the application process.
If you cannot find an EHC, you’ll need to contact the competent authority in the EU country you’re exporting to, in advance, to find out what paperwork you’ll need. If the competent authority says that you need an EHC, you’ll need to get their import conditions. Email the conditions to APHA at who’ll arrange an EHC for you.
 Find the correct Border Control Post for your goods

You must get your animals and animal products checked at an EU BCP. There are more than 400 BCPs in the EU and they’re usually at EU ports and airports. The most frequently used are:

You can check the full list of EU BCPs.
Your goods may be refused entry, seized, destroyed or returned to GB if they arrive at:

  • a port in the EU without a BCP or where checks cannot be carried out
  • an EU BCP that cannot check your type of animal
  • an EU BCP without the correct documentation

Give advance notice to the EU Border Control Post (pre-notification)

You’ll need to give EU BCPs advance notice of goods arriving (pre-notify). Check with the BCP you’re planning to use for how much notice is needed.
Contact your import agent in the EU to make sure they notify the BCP through the Trade Control and Expert System (TRACES) of the arrival of the consignment. They must do this within the time limits set out by the BCP or point of entry.
Comply with new customs requirements

Comply with wider HMRC guidance on customs requirements for exporting to the EU, follow HMRC guidance for moving goods from GB and follow rules on identifying animals, if you want to export them to the EU.

COVID-19 testing for HGV drivers using the Port of Dover or Eurotunnel

The sites are at motorway service stations and truck stops across the country – they’ve been set up at the Information Advice Sites originally established to provide advice about the requirements for travelling to the continent after leaving the EU. Read more here.
HGV drivers using Dover and Eurotunnel will get fast-tracked past queues if they get tested before arriving in Kent.
HGV drivers must have correct documentation, including Kent Access Permits, before arriving in Kent to ensure they can cross the Channel.
You can find out the locations of these sites and follow updates here: Haulier advice site locations – GOV.UK (
These sites are in addition to the support being offered by the Government to help firms establish their own testing centres at depots – which is still encouraged.

Nutrition legislation information website

In order to help UK food businesses comply with relevant nutrition legislation from 1 January 2021 onwards, the Government has published a nutrition legislation information website which hosts guidance on key issues, such as general food labelling on food and drinks; food supplements; fortified foods; nutrition and health claims; and food for specific groups.

GB Register for vitamins & minerals added to foods
The Government has also established a Great Britain Register for vitamins and minerals added to food (the “GB VMS Register”) and published guidance which specifies which vitamins and minerals may be added to foods, and any substances that are banned or restricted, in Great Britain.  It includes a list of the sources of vitamins and minerals that may be added to foods; the maximum and minimum amounts of vitamins and minerals that may be added to foods; information about vitamins and minerals that must be added to certain foods; and certain other substances that are prohibited or restricted for use in foods. The Government says that the register should be used in line with the guidance on nutrition-related labelling, composition and standards.

GB Register of nutrition & health claims
A Great Britain Register of nutrition and health claims that may be made in commercial communications in Great Britain from 1 January 2021 has also been established. The “GB NHC Register” sets out all authorised and rejected nutrition and health claims that may be used in Great Britain. The annex to this register lists health claims authorised on the basis of proprietary (privately owned) data.  Again the Government says that this register should be used in line with the guidance on nutrition-related labelling, composition and standards.

“On hold” health claims on foods which may be used in GB
The Government has also published a spreadsheet listing the  “on hold” Article 13 (1) health claims which may continue to be used in Great Britain from 1 January 2021 which are still under consideration in the EU. It says these should be used in line with the guidance on nutrition-related labelling, composition and standards and the Article 13 (1) Guidance Bulletin on these health claims published by the Department of Health in April 2014.  [Source: DHSC website 31 & 18 Dec. 2020]

EFRA Committee reports on UK food supply chain

The House of Commons Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Select Committee has published its inquiry report on the impact of the UK’s post-Brexit immigration policy on our food supply chain.  It warns that the Government must be ready to make changes to its new immigration policy or risk increased food prices because its plans to restrict UK food producers’ access to workers from the EU risks undermining their competitiveness.  The Committee highlights the fact that non-UK EEA (European Economic Area) nationals have accounted for the majority of workers in key sectors of the food industry, including meat processing and crop picking.  It recognises that the new restrictions on EU workers provides more opportunities for British workers and it makes a number of recommendations to ease the labour market transition process.  In the meantime, it recommends that the Government should monitor the impact of the immigration changes on food prices and imports and be willing to adapt policy quickly if it becomes clear that it is undermining British business’ competitiveness or the UK’s food security.
HMRC Update:



Transition Update

Dear customer,

The Brexit transition period has now ended

Changes have now come into effect for businesses that trade goods with Europe or represent businesses who do. Register on our webinars to find out what you need to do now to keep trading with the EU.

The free trade agreement announced on 24 December is the first that the EU has ever reached based on zero tariffs and zero quotas. We have always been clear that this means there will be new customs processes on goods moving between GB and the EU.

By registering for our webinars below, or watching our videos on HMRC’s YouTube channel you can familiarise yourself with the new customs processes and what you need to do before you trade goods with the EU.

The trader checklist is also still available on GOV‌‌‌‌.UK to help you ensure you’re familiar with the new rules that affect you.

Webinars to register for now:

Exporting: Actions you need to take now: 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 – staged border controls, zero-rated VAT, customs declaration, using an intermediary as well as licences, certificates, and authorisations.

Please register to take part if you’re planning to export.

Trader responsibilities when using an intermediary: You now need to complete import or export declarations to trade goods with the EU. These are complex and a lot of businesses choose to use an intermediary to do these for them.

This webinar explains your responsibilities as a trader if you choose to use an intermediary.

Please register to take part if you’re planning to import or export.

What are customs import declarations?: If you import goods, you now need to make customs import declarations on controlled goods and all goods by the end of June. This webinar will help you understand what they are in more detail. This includes what is needed for simplified declarations, supplementary declarations, how to make them, and delayed import declarations.

Please register to take part if you’re planning to import.

Importing: Staged controls and how to prepare to use them: This webinar will walk 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.

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 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.