Partner Events

DIGITAL DRIVE COUNTY DURHAM WEBINARS

Masterclasses, workshops and conferences to drive your business forward digitally.

All Masterclasses can be viewed here.

TOPICS FOR 2021:

  • Tuesday, 26th January (9:00-13:30) - Virtual Mentoring Day - Are you thinking of a new marketing strategy for your business, considering a complete change in your branding, wanting to introduce more digital solutions for your and your customers?  If the answer is yes, then our Mentoring Day is for you.  The Virtual Mentoring day offers access to digital marketing and technology experts on a range of many different topics: (i) Content CreationSocial Media; (ii) Marketing; (iii) SEO; (iv) Video Marketing; (v) Google Analytics; and (vi) Plus much moreThere are many benefits for attending this event including: (i) Build new relationships; (ii) Gain knowledge; (iii) Network opportunities; and (iv) Business opportunities.  The Digital Drive Durham Virtual Mentoring Day is free to attend.  We have appointments available, each lasting an hour.  On completion of the form, you will receive further instruction on submitting your preferences for which mentors you would like to have your 1 to 1 consultations with. Registration form here.
  • Friday, 29th January (10:00-12:00) - January Networking Morning.  Joined by Antonia Edwards from Horizonworks.  Book here.
  • Thursday, 11th February (10:00-12:00) - How To Create An Effective Backlink Building Strategy For SEO.  Presented by Louise Newton Green Gecko.  Outreach is a key step in the SEO process.  Gaining and sourcing quality backlinks is a vital tool that will create a strong online presence, drive leads to your site and consolidate your existing SEO strategy.  Even if you’re a beginner, backlinks are super useful to know about and are a great way to build a strong foundation for your website.  Book here.
  • Wednesday, 17th February (10:00-12:00) - Getting Started with LinkedIn.  Presented by Judy Parsons.  If you're new to LinkedIn, it can be a somewhat daunting place to be.  This webinar takes you through how to navigate the platform, how to invite people to connect so you start to grow your network, find key LinkedIn groups to join and most importantly set your profile up in the right way.  Book here.
  • Friday, 26th February (10:00-12:00) - February Networking Event.  Book here.
  • Tuesday, 9th March (10:00-12:00) - Introducing Automate Power.  Presented by Paul Graham.    Power Automate is an online workflow application that automates actions across the most internet apps and services. For example, you can create a flow that adds a form response to a list or automatically send an email reminder.  Learning objectives/Find where you create Power Automate workflows/Have a tour of the Power Automate home page/Create your first workflow/Learn about Flow Triggers/Use workflows to copy files between OneDrive and a SharePoint site/Create weekly, monthly, and any time-based recurring workflows/Share your workflows with your Team members/Add a SharePoint list as a Co-Owner to your workflows.  Book here.
  • Wednesday, 17th March (10:00-12:00) - Get Your Twitter Fitter - The Basics and Beyond.  Presented by Natalie Eminae.  Shape up your tweets, gain followers, lose the digital clutter - these easy exercises will enable you to build relevant, highly effective Twitter campaigns!  Twitter is one of the longest established social media platforms, but widely underutilised by businesses.  For those braving the 280-character limit, there are great opportunities to reach your target customers, boost your digital reputation, drive traffic to your website, and ultimately, sell your products or services.  In this webinar, Natalie Eminae will talk you through sales best practice for Twitter, covering how to network with potential customers and local businesses, how to create stand out tweets, and how to establish a successful social media sales funnel.  Whether you’re new Twitter, or already achieving good results, we’ll be looking at what you can do to drive measurable results for your organisation with no need to resort to performance enhancing substances or paying for fake followers!  Book here.

DIGITAL DRIVE COUNTY DURHAM

Digital Drive Grant Funding

Funding is up to 40% contribution.

Minimum spend is £2,500 excl VAT.

We have no maximum project cap, however the maximum grant we could award would be £9,999.

Funding can be used for the following:

  • Digital consultancy: this can be any ‘one-off’ outside expertise relating to digital technology e.g. social media strategy, internet telephony, integration of systems, automation of back office systems, search engine optimisation etc.
  • Digital Equipment: Must be new to the business and help improve your own use of digital technology e.g. for remote working, increase efficiency, entering new markets/diversifying services etc.  We cannot fund basic office kit out, or buying more of the same item (e.g. for a new member of staff).
  • Website/software/apps: Building a website for those who don’t have one, adding new functionality, e-commerce (maintenance, basic design improvements, hosting and ongoing costs are ineligible). Software must be a one-off purchase to be eligible/owned outright by the business. We are unable to pay for ongoing subscriptions or yearly licences.
  • Broadband installation and equipment/improvements (excludes monthly subscriptions, building work/street works).

Anyone wishing to make an application needs to register their interest here.

If they are already registered, they can just email or contact Helen on 0191 716 0992 or email: helen@digitaldrivedurham.co.uk.

IS YOUR BUSINESS ELIGIBLE FOR COMMUNITY LED LOCAL DEVELOPMENT (CLLD) FUNDING?

CLLD uses structural funds from Europe to provide support to projects which will increase employment and skills and social enterprise.  There are two programmes operating within specific areas of County Durham. Click the links below to find out more.

  • North Durham CLLD covers areas Chester-le-Street, Pelton Fell, Whitehills and Pelton, Sacriston, South Stanley, Craghead around the outskirts of Annfield Plain and Harelaw.  Current calls are:
    • North ESF - open call
    • North ERDF non-capital - open call (with extended delivery time to December 2022)
    • North ERDF capital - currently closed
    • South Durham CLLD covers Bishop Auckland, Coundon, Leeholme, Shildon, Spennymoor, St Helen Auckland and West Auckland
    • South ERDF non-capital call - now open and delivery time has been extended until Dec 2022
    • South ESF - currently closed.

VIRTUAL EVENTS WITH FSB

During uncertain times it's important to come together to share experiences and support each other. We may be isolated but we aren't alone.

Join us for our virtual events, including networking, business surgeries and webinars, designed to help you find advice, support and guidance for your small business during the COVID-19 pandemic.  The events are free and open to all small businesses and the self-employed across the UK.  For a list of upcoming events, please click here.

EXPORT ACADEMY: FREE SUPPORT TO HELP YOU GROW YOUR INTERNATIONAL SALES

The Export Academy from the Department for International Trade will help you grow your business by showing you how to sell to new customers around the world.

The course is free, and you’ll learn directly from experts in international trade who are on hand to provide support across a range of sectors and businesses, from selling children’s clothes to Spain, to providing PR services for clients in the US.

The programme is designed for owners and senior managers of businesses with a turnover of up to £500,000. 

What does the programme include?

You will graduate from the programme with a completed export action plan, enabling you to take your business direct to international customers.  This plan will be the culmination of everything you have learnt on the programme, from online events including:

  • Webinars
  • Round tables
  • Mentoring sessions

Registration Process: 

  • Step 1: Apply via the register button, selecting your relevant region
  • Step 2: Complete sign up questions and short questionnaire 
  • Step 3: Eligible applications will be notified, and event details will be provided via email

Click here to start the registration process.

DIT UPCOMING WEBINARS

All the webinars are free to UK companies.

You can expect to:

  • receive help and advice to sell overseas with confidence
  • gain new skills and knowledge
  • discover solutions to specific challenges to exporting
  • get your exporting questions answered by the experts

How long are the webinars?

Our experts usually present for 25 minutes and allow 35 minutes for answering your questions and helping you find solutions to any barriers you may face.

Look through the list to find the webinars you would like to attend.

Each link will connect you to a webinar registration form so you can receive your unique link to join the upcoming webinar.

CITYLIFE BUSINESS SUPPORT

Citylife Business Support is a new service for SMEs who have be adversely affected by COVID-19.  Funded though the £1.5 million Capacity Fund that was granted to Newcastle City Council by the North of Tyne Combined Authority, it is part of the city’s commitment to supporting businesses, voluntary and community organisations and unemployed residents who have been adversely impacted by COVID-19.

A package of free support has been developed that will focus on enabling businesses to develop and implement new models of delivery to help them recover and plan for their future.

Find out more here.

DELIVERED & SUPPORTED BY

FSB LOCAL SURVEY

FSB Local Survey - We are developing our plans for 2021 and need your input. Please tell us what our priorities should be locally for the issues we work on and for the events we hold.

COMPLETE SURVEY HERE

In addition please follow our local social media accounts on Facebook and Twitter.

We have many opportunities to get involved with FSB to make the most of your membership.  Interested in finding out more?   Contact Simon Hanson (07917 628 937) for more details.

COMPLETE SURVEY HERE

GOT A TAXING ISSUE? WE'VE GOT YOU COVERED

Staying on top of your tax obligations is essential.  Whether you’re filing Self-Assessment returns or paying Corporation Tax, our free downloadable guide includes everything you need to know about small business taxes, record keeping and accounts, as well as key dates to remember.  Please click here.  To join FSB, please click here.

Dates for your diary

  • 31st October 2020 - Deadline for paper self-assessment returns for 2019/20 tax year.
  • 30th December 2020 - Deadline for online submission of self-assessment tax returns for 2019/20 tax year if you want HMRC to collect tax through your tax code where you owe less than £3,000.
  • 31st January 2021 - Online self-assessment tax returns for 2019/20 tax year must be submitted by this date.
  • 6th April 2021 - Changes to the off-payroll working rules (IR35)

FSB Tax Investigation Protection

Tax investigations can be long, costly and stressful - but our comprehensive tax investigation insurance gives you peace of mind.

From tax and VAT returns, to PAYE declarations and IR35 enquiries, our team of experts can help you get paperwork right the first time with downloadable guides, fact sheets and templates.

Worried about an HMRC investigation? We’ve got you covered. Our tax investigation insurance is here to help protect your business and take away the hassle - ensuring the best possible outcome.

Got a taxing question? Speak to a tax specialist over the phone for guidance and advice when you need it.

FSB Tax Investigation Protection is one of the many benefits designed to help you do what you do best - run your business.  Visit the Legal Hub here.

FSB - HERE'S WHAT YOU MIGHT HAVE MISSED...

Catch up with our newest resources and guides designed to support you.  This month, learn how to take card payments securely, get prepared for upcoming data protection changes and find out how other small business owners are preparing for the end of the UK/EU transition period.

Don’t forget to visit our coronavirus hub for the latest news and support.

Business Basics: Taking card payments securely

Now an essential for many smaller businesses, credit card processing is a convenient choice for many consumers and one that continues to see rapid growth.  However, phishing attacks are on the rise. Download our guide and we’ll will take you through everything you need to know about credit card processing and taking payments in a secure, compliant way.  Download the FSB guide here.

Data protection and the UK transition: What you need to do

The UK has left the EU and the transition period ended on the 31st of December 2020.  This will affect the movement of goods, services and people to and from the UK, including data.  Read our blog to find out what happens to data security after this date and what can you do to prepare.

How small businesses are preparing for changes to importing and exporting

From 1 January 2021, you will need to change your procedures and complete additional paperwork if you’re a UK business who imports from, or exports to Europe.  We speak to two FSB members about the changes they are making now ahead of January 2021.  Read more here.

COVID-19 AND CASHLESS PAYMENTS - HOW SMALL BUSINESSES CAN ADAPT

This exclusive podcast, brought to you in partnership between payments specialists SumUp and First Voice, will explore COVID-19 and cashless payments and how small businesses can adapt.

In this episode, Jon Watkins is joined by special guest, Alex von Schirmeister, in charge of SumUp's international expansion and business development, who tells us how cashless payments have helped retailers and other traders cope with the restrictions.

The discussion will focus on the current situation with payment amounts and look at how this has changed during the pandemic - providing valuable advice on successful implementations that help businesses gain a competitive advantage.

Click here to listen.

Want to listen on Spotify, Apple Music or another Podcast platform?

We're available on . . .

YOU'RE NOT ALONE THIS WINTER!

Feeling the Winter Blues?

Looking after our mental health and wellbeing is important all year round, but shorter days and darker nights after the festive period can be challenging, leaving many of us feeling the winter blues.

Download our free guide, written by Alison Simmons, Senior Mental Health Nurse at FSB Care, to learn practical tips for lifting your mood in the winter months, and find out what to do if you need more support.

We're here for you!

While many of us suffer from lower mood and more fatigue in the winter months, the shortage of daylight can cause significant problems for some people. Nearly a third of adults experience some symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) at this time of year, from low energy levels to anxiety.

If you feel like you’re suffering from symptoms of SAD, other mental health issues or simply want to talk to someone, we’re here to listen. Visit the FSB Care hub to find out how we can help you.

NORTH EAST CHAMBER OF COMMERCE'S "BREXIT WEEKS"

  • Brexit Support Week: a new beginning with Euro Chambers - This session will take part with the major European Chambers to highlight the importance of UK-European trade beyond Brexit, the opportunities and support available for UK business exporting to Europe.
  • Brexit Support Week: impact of Brexit on tax handling - This webinar will focus on tax changes, and how business can prepare. Value Added Tax (VAT) is a tax levied at each level of production, but as the UK will leave the “EU VAT Area”, the UK could gain more flexibility on the structure of VAT after Brexit.
  • Brexit Support Week: managing financial and currency risk - Brexit, COVID, the US Elections and other global pressures will impact the value and power of our currency- so how can we ensure we are getting a good deal when trading with clients overseas? Join this panel session with experts from the finance and currency sector, as they explore the current impact on currency, what to look out for in the coming months, and how to manage your risks through Brexit and beyond.
  • Brexit Support Week: the future of migration and business travel - Leaving the EU’s “Single Market” will mean leaving the Free Movement of People to and from Europe. The UK has already announced a plan to introduce a “point-based” migration system, and business travel may require visas in 2021.
  • Brexit Support Week: protecting intellectual property overseas - Intellectual Property (IP) is crucial when trading overseas as it fosters innovation, protects your product and helps access new markets and consumers, such as Copyright, Trademarks and Patents. Brexit will impact the protection and regulation for your business, as the UK is set to leave certain European conventions on IP protection, but there are steps business can take to be better prepare for 1st January 2021.
  • Brexit Support Week: how to manage data - This workshop will focus on the handling & management of data, as well as the implications for getting it wrong. In 2018, the UK introduced the EU GDPR rules, regulating and protecting data, the UK aims to replicate this with UKDP, but there will be added challenges to housing and moving data overseas in 2021.
  • Brexit Support Week: the future of industry standards and UK and CE / CA marking - Leaving the UK will not only change how we move goods post-Brexit, but how we monitor and regulate those goods. There has been much interest in the future of the UK’s membership of chemical regulatory authority REACH, but also cover the new UKCA marking and what you will need to do to place certain goods on market from 1st January 2021.
  • Brexit Support Week: maintaining and building relationships with European partners - Brexit will fundamentally change how we work with our customers, suppliers and partners in Europe. Communication and understanding will be crucial in ensuring a smooth transition from now into the new. This session will look at how to maintain and build relationships with those in our supply chains and overseas, calling upon the implications for getting it wrong and how to avoid complications down the line. Slides from this webinar can be found here.
  • Brexit Support Week: the view from Europe - It takes two to tango, and this session will feature your Chamber in Brussels for their on the ground insight to negotiations, the path ahead, and the view from Europe. Brussels is the heart of the EU, and with a special working group examining the UK-EU future relationship, the British Chamber there are in a great position to share what's going on, for the benefit of our members. We will also be joined by Dr. He Zhang, Senior Lecturer in Economics from Teesside University Business School.
  • Brexit Support Week: making a success of a new global environment - As a result of Brexit, the United Kingdom will be striking out as its own independent “Global Britain”, which will bring opportunities and challenges beyond our trade with Europe. This session will hear about the support, resources and opportunities at home and abroad to make your business a success through Brexit.
  • Brexit Support Week: State of Play - While we don’t yet have full answers, there are still steps business can take to mitigate against, understand and thrive through the challenges ahead. This webinar is part of the Chamber’s “Brexit Week”, teaming up with regional experts and specialists to support your Brexit preparations. The opening session for the Chamber’s Brexit week. This elite panel will provide an update on what we know about Brexit, where we are heading and what are the gaps in the current process.

For a full list of webinars, please click here.

SPENDING REVIEW 2020

At Spending Review 2020, the government [on Wednesday, 25th November] announced a number of measures to support smaller businesses, to be delivered by the British Business Bank.

Catherine Lewis La Torre, Chief Executive, British Business Bank, said: “The Chancellor has confirmed the British Business Bank’s budgets for 2021/22, as well as announcing expansion in some areas.  This package enables us to build on our work to date, including in response to Covid-19, so that we can continue to support smaller businesses in the UK and build the foundations for the recovery.”

The announcements include:

Ongoing Activities

The government has confirmed that throughout 2021/22 it will continue to provide the British Business Bank with the resources to help make finance markets work better for smaller businesses across the UK, so that they can prosper and grow.

Covid-19 Support Schemes

Since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic the British Business Bank has delivered three loan guarantee schemes, providing close to 1.5 million businesses across the UK with over £65 billion of support.  The British Business Bank has also launched the Future Fund, helping nearly 900 early stage growth businesses that otherwise would not have been able to access the finance they needed.  These programmes form an important part of the government’s economic response to the pandemic, and we welcome confirmation that funding for the appropriate people, structures, systems and processes to effectively manage the support we have deployed will continue to be in place.

Start Up Loans

We welcome the government’s announcement that it will increase funding for the British Business Bank’s Start Up Loans programme so that it can provide 1,000 more loans in 2021/22 than were originally funded in the March 2020 Budget.  Even more business owners across the UK will now be able to access the finance they need to start a business.

Record numbers of potential business owners have accessed the British Business Bank’s Start Up Loans programme during the Covid-19 pandemic, and this expanded funding will allow the programme to play an important role in the UK’s economic recovery.

Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund

Since its launch in 2017, the £400m Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund has benefited more than 700 smaller businesses across the North West, Yorkshire and the Humber and Tees Valley regions, increasing employment, skills, turnover and investment for recipient businesses.  More recently, the Fund’s activity has helped support businesses during the Covid-19 pandemic.  The government recognises the success of the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund and is providing the Fund with sufficient resources to commit an additional £100m in 2021/22.

Financing High-Growth Firms

Since the 2017 Patient Capital Review, the British Business Bank has provided substantial support for innovative, high-growth businesses seeking access to long-term growth capital.  Innovative businesses are essential to driving increased productivity across the UK, and we are pleased that the government has provided the Bank with the resources to commit an additional £100 million to innovation and growth finance in 2021/22, as well as a further £70 million for the National Security Strategic Investment Fund.

We will continue to work closely with HM Treasury, the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy and UKGI to deliver on the Spending Review announcements over the coming year.

Shaun Fooy, Senior Manager, UK Network, North East England.

WHAT THE NEW EU-UK AGREEMENT MEANS FOR SMALL BUSINESS

Now that the Brexit transition period has ended and a trade deal has finally been struck with the EU, what does it all mean for the UK’s small businesses?

Join FSB Head of International Affairs James Sibley for this exclusive First Voice podcast, in which he will set out exactly what the new deal means for small businesses, for your supply chains, for doing business with other countries and for exporting to Europe - as well as much more.

Find out all you need to know about what the Brexit deal means for you, as well as the steps you need to take to continue trading, by listening to the exclusive podcast now.

Please click here to listen.

Want to listen on Spotify, Apple Music or another Podcast platform?

We're available on. . . .

UK EXPORT FINANCE (UKEF) - GOVERNMENT BACKED FINANCE & INSURANCE

You might not be aware of “UK Export Finance” (UKEF) which can help you with funding for exporting and overseas projects (see here) and also the information below which includes a number of links.  If any of this is of interest to you please let Paul Sparks know and he will put you in contact with the North East representative for a free chat.

The “trade finance” support is exclusively for businesses with a turnover of £6m or more.  Whereas “export insurance” can be companies of any size, (it’s the buyers finances & trading history that is crucial).

UK Export Finance (UKEF) is the UK’s export credit agency and a government department, working alongside Department for International Trade.

Having finance and insurance backing from HM Government through UKEF gives you the edge you need to win and fulfil contracts and withstand risk of non-payment in international markets. UKEF supports exporters to:

  • access export finance
  • manage payment risks
  • win export contracts by offering competitive terms to buyers. UKEF works with banks and other financial institutions to support exports for any size of company and across all sectors, from capital goods to services and intangibles such as intellectual property.

Access export finance

If the terms of a contract require a bond, such as performance guarantees or advance payment guarantees, UKEF’s Bond Support Scheme can guarantee a UK exporter’s bank up to 80% of the bond’s value, significantly reducing the size of the deposit needed.

UKEF’s Export Working Capital Scheme can partially guarantee to cover the credit risks for lenders associated with export working capital facilities.  This means UK companies can export if they win a contract higher in value than usual, or win more overseas contracts than usual.

UK suppliers to exporters can now also access UKEF financing, further spreading the benefits of trade.  Becoming part of an export supply chain can help smaller companies get their products and services into new markets.

Managing payment risks

UKEF helps exporters manage the uncertainties of trading overseas.  Export insurance is readily available in most cases from the commercial sector but securing the right cover can be a challenge in some markets.

UKEF’s Export Insurance Policy extends to cover exporters who are unable to uphold the contract for reasons beyond their control, such as country risk or issues within a supply chain.

Offering competitive terms to buyers

UKEF helps exporters win contracts by providing attractive financing for overseas buyers, either in the form of guarantees on commercial loans or by lending to them directly.  This competitive, long-term financing is particularly relevant to buyers in new and emerging markets, but is also used for larger and longer-term projects that the private sector does not have the capacity to support.  UKEF can offer support in over 60 pre-approved local currencies, enabling more overseas buyers to buy from the UK and pay in their own currency.

DIT NORTH EAST DEFENCE & SECURITY SECTOR INSIGHT SURVEY

Help us shape the support available for the North East Defence & Security Sector to grow Overseas!

DIT North East are delighted to announce the newly appointed Defence & Security Lead for the region, Scott Duncan.  Scott will be leading on a project on behalf of DIT to develop a sector plan for the North East to identify the companies that operate in the Defence & Security sector, our regional capabilities and propensity to export our products and services.  All of which will inform DIT’s strategic thinking to identify international trade support that we can provide you in the future.

As part of this activity, we would like your input in shaping the support we might offer North East businesses in the Defence & Security Sector to grow overseas in the future.  Please spare no longer than five minutes to complete this short survey.  Your response, alongside the opportunity for more in-depth discussion via a follow up appointment with Scott, will be critical in informing and
shaping our sector plan.

Click here to complete the survey.

TRADER SUPPORT SERVICE

The UK has now left the EU and there are new rules for moving goods between Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

From the 1st of January 2021, all businesses need to submit digital import declarations as well as safety and security declarations for goods moving from Great Britain to Northern Ireland.  The declarations can be submitted by using the Trader Support Service, which is free-to-use, live and ready to support you with the changes to Northern Ireland trade.

It’s important that you act, joining thousands of companies that have already registered.

Your firm will also need an XI-prefixed EORI number (a unique ID code used to track and register customs information within the EU) to continue moving those goods between GB and NI, unless you already have an EU-prefixed EORI number.

The Trader Support Service is here to help you prepare, and is free.

Register now to take advantage of its benefits:

  • The TSS digital portal enables you to:
  • Access to the TSS contact centre for help with any registration queries and for support in making declarations
  • Help with obtaining an XI-prefixed EORI number
    • If you register for TSS by 14 December 2020 and enter your GB-prefixed EORI number, you will be automatically sent an XI-prefixed EORI, saving you time and effort.

Register for the Trader Support Service to ensure your firm is prepared to continue moving goods from the 1st of January 2021.

BREXIT & UK TRANSITION - IMPORTANT INFORMATION

The UK has now left the EU single market and customs union.  Whilst many aspects of Brexit are still unknown there are some things that will happen whatever the final outcome of the negotiations.  We’ve attached some guides to help you with this, every business will be affected in some way, even if it is just the way you store and process customer details etc.

The central point of information for all official government announcements and guides is https://www.gov.uk/transition

As well as DIT there are other government departments providing information to help with the transition.  The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) have produced a range of webinars, access these live and on demand, scroll down the page after opening the page.

North East England Chamber of Commerce (NEECC) – Brexit Support Week starting 16th Nov, see this and other events here.

The North East Growth Hub has some great resources here.

DIT are getting a range of questions on how the end of the transition period will affect them, if you have any specific concerns about the end of the transition period please send email us and we will try to get you an answer or point you in the right direction.

PREPARE YOUR BUSINESS FOR JANUARY 2021 WITH A NEW TARIFF LOOK-UP TOOL AND TRADE AGREEMENTS GUIDANCE

The transition period ended on the 31st of December 2020.

The rules for trading with the EU and other countries changed on the 1st of January 2021.

Find out what tariffs you will be trading under
DIT launched a new tariff look-up tool to enable traders to easily find the future tariffs that will apply from the 1st of January 2021.

Visit GOV.UK to find out what tariffs you will be trading under from January 2021.

Find a commodity code
Visit GOV.UK to find your 10-digit commodity code to classify your goods and look up duty rates, reliefs and quotas.

Trade agreements from January 2021
In under two years the UK has agreed trade deals with 58 countries that account for £198bn of UK bilateral trade.

To check if the UK has negotiated a trade agreement with the country you trade with and what this means for you, visit GOV.UK.

Trade agreements that won’t be in effect by 1 January 2021
There are some trade agreements we have signed that we do not expect to be fully in effect from the 1st of January 2021.  Visit GOV.UK to read the latest guidance and find out what arrangements are in place.

With some negotiations more time is needed before a mutually beneficial trade agreement can be reached.  Where this is the case, the UK Government has put in place the UK Global Tariff for imports, trade with other World Trade Organisation (WTO) members will take place on WTO terms, and trade with eligible developing countries will take place under the UK’s Generalised Scheme of Preferences (GSP).

Open General Export Licence
From January 2021, traders will need an export licence issued by the UK to export dual-use items from Great Britain to the EU or Channel Islands.

Read the guidance for exporting controlled goods from 1 January 2021

You can register now for an Open General Export Licence through SPIRE, the online export licensing system.

What else can I do to prepare for the end of the transition period?

If you have any questions about preparing for the end of the transition period and you can’t find answers at GOV.UK/transition, fill out the enquiry form and one of our experts will point you in the right direction.

If you do not act now you will not be able to trade with the EU and other countries from the 1st of January 2021.

ARE YOU PREPARED TO TRADE UNDER THE NEW RULES?

With the UK now an independent trading nation, DIT has online tools and resources which are the go-to source of information for all businesses who trade internationally.

They are also a great starting place for businesses looking to seize new global trading opportunities.

Exporting goods from the UK

If you export goods out of the UK, visit the Check How to Export Goods online tool to find information on UK borders, and duties and customs procedures for over 160 markets around the world.

To export dual-use controlled items from the UK you must have a licence issued by the UK, except if you are exporting from Northern Ireland to the EU or Channel Islands.  Find out if your items need a licence. 

Check which tariffs apply to imports into the UK

Use the tariff look-up tool to find the tariff information you need, including commodity codes, duty and VAT rates.

Where to find more information

If you have any questions about the new trading rules and can’t find answers online, fill out an enquiry form and one of our experts will point you in the right direction.

VIRTUAL NORTHERN POWERHOUSE CONSTRUCTION & INFRASTRUCTURE TO UAE

DATES: December 2020 - March 2021

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is the UK's largest export market in the Middle East, with £12.1 billion in UK exports during 2019.  With substantial plans for UAE infrastructure development and demand for UK expertise, this market presents rich exporting opportunities for British businesses.

In conjunction with other UK regions, and in partnership with the British Centre for Business Dubai, The Department for International Trade (DIT) welcomes you to join this NPH virtual mission to get a guided insight into the construction sector in the UAE.

The BCB is the official contracted partner of DIT to support UK companies to develop exports to the UAE and wider Middle East market.  The BCB provides market entry support from market research & assessment to business partner match-making and client identification.

Join this virtual Northern Powerhouse mission to get a guided insight into this important market, and be introduced to potential business contacts.

Final date for expressions of interest: Companies are encouraged to sign up asap to attend the full series of related webinars, but final date for registration for the overall mission is the 11th December 2020.

The mission is scheduled for early 2021 (TBC).

Please click here to register your interest.

THE END OF THE BREXIT TRANSITION PERIOD

We have now left the EU single market and customs union and new trading rules apply.

Regardless of the outcome from negotiations with the EU, there are guaranteed changes and opportunities which businesses need to prepare for - including changes to the way you import and export goods with the EU and the process for hiring people from the EU.

To help you prepare, here are 4 things you should do:

  1. Visit GOV.UK/transition to take a short survey and receive a personalised list of actions that you and your business needs to take.
  2. Sign-up to webinars hosted by DITBEISHMRC and Defra to learn more about the actions you can take to ensure your business is prepared for the 1st January 2021. There are also recordings of sector-specific webinars.
  3. If you trade internationally, find out what you need to do to continue exporting goods to the EU and/or continue importing goods from the EU from the 1st January 2021.
  4. Sign up to email alerts to stay up to date with any further changes.

If you have any questions about preparing for the end of the Brexit transition period and you can’t find answers at GOV.UK/transition, fill out the enquiry form and one of our experts will point you in the right direction.

If you trade with countries outside of the EU, information is also available on the steps you need to take when importing and exporting goods.

FSB: HERE'S WHAT YOU MIGHT HAVE MISSED . . .

From the latest coronavirus funding schemes to how you can show your support for small businesses this festive season, catch up with our newest resources designed to support you.  Learn the must-know terms for the UK transition and stay safe with tips for risk management.

Don’t forget to visit our coronavirus hub for the latest news and support.

The UK transition: key terms - The UK transition brings new ways of doing business as well as a new set of terminology to master.  Check out our blog to review the terms you need to know.

Funding sources for businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic - Check out our updated guide to the national grants and schemes available to small businesses and the self-employed during the COVID-19 pandemic.

10 ways you can improve risk management - Find out how to minimise the top 10 risks that small businesses face, from slips and trips to fires and burglary.

Shop small and make a big difference - Celebrate your local, independent businesses this festive season and show your support through our #ilovesmallbusiness campaign.

THE UK TRANSITION

The UK has now left the EU, and the Brexit transition period has come to an end.  Take action to get ready for new rules from the 1st of January 2021.  This bulletin is issued by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and provides the latest information for businesses.   All information on the UK Transition can be found at www.gov.uk/transition.

PROVIDING SERVICES & TRAVELLING FOR BUSINESS TO THE EU, SWITZERLAND, NORWAY, ICELAND & LICHTENSTEIN

Country specific guidance on providing services and travelling for businesses from the 1st of January 2021 has been updated for the following countries:

Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Lichtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Switzerland (an overview of the UK-Switzerland Services Mobility Agreement can be viewed here), Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, The Netherlands, Germany, Greece, Finland, France, Austria & Denmark.

TRADE AGREEMENTS

The UK has signed the UK-North Macedonia agreement, for information on this and existing UK trade agreements with non-EU countries, click here.

IMPORTING & EXPORTING

  • New - EU businesses: taxes and tariffs: Guidance has been issued covering what taxes and tariffs EU businesses might need to pay when trading with the UK from the 1st of January 2021.  For more information, click here.
  • New - EU businesses exporting to the UK: Guidance has been issued for EU businesses to find out what they need to do to export to the UK from the 1st of January 2021.  For more information, click here.
  • New - EU businesses importing from the UK: Guidance has been issued for EU businesses to inform them of what they need to do to import from the UK from the 1st of January 2021.  For more information, click here.
  • Updated - The Trader Support Service (TSS): You can continue to sign up to TSS if you move goods between Great Britain and Northern Ireland. For more information, and to sign up, click here.
  • Updated - Check when you can account for import VAT on your VAT return: Guidance for VAT registered business has been updated with information on Non-established taxable persons and guidance on how to complete your declaration if you are accounting for import VAT on your VAT return. For more information, click here.
  • Updated - Kent traffic management on M20 motorway to Dover and Eurotunnel: Guidance has been updated to include further detail about Operation Brock - the traffic management system designed to keep Kent’s roads open in the event of disruption at the Port of Dover and Eurotunnel.  For more information, click here.
  • Updated - Importing and exporting live fish and shellfish from January 2021: Guidance for importers and exporters of live fish, molluscs and crustaceans for farming, ornamental, or any other purpose except direct human consumption, has been updated, including updates on movements to Northern Ireland.  For more information, click here.
  • Updated - Exporting or Importing objects of cultural interest from the 1st of January 2021: Guidance has been updated to include exporting objects of cultural interest from Northern Ireland from the 1st of January 2021.  For more information, click here.
  • New - UK-Japan CEPA: Data protection: Information about data protection in the UK-Japan CEPA is available here.

SECTOR SPECIFIC GUIDANCE

  • Business Services
    • New - EU businesses providing services to the UK: Guidance has been issued for EU businesses to find out what they need to know about providing services in the UK from the 1st of January 2021.  For more information, click here.
    • Updated - Guidance for UK businesses providing services to Ireland from the 1st January 2021: Guidance has been updated for UK businesses on rules for trading in services with Ireland from the 1st of January 2021 to include information on the recognition of professional qualifications.  For more information, click here.
    • Updated - Selling services to the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland and Lichtenstein from the 1st of January 2021: Guidance for UK businesses offering services from the1st of January 2021 has been updated with guidance for social security payments for employees.  For more information, click here.
  • Date & Intellectual Property
    • New - Data protection and copyright for EU businesses: Guidance has been issued for EU businesses to inform them of what they need to do with data protection, intellectual property and copyright in the UK from the 1st of January 2021.  For more information, click here.
    • Updated - EU trademark protection and comparable UK trade marks from the 1st of January 2021: Guidance for businesses and organisations holding EU trade marks at the end of the Transition Period has been updated to replace the section on pending cancellation actions.  For more information, click here.
  • Designated Standards
    • New - Designated standards: Information has been issued for businesses about designated standards at the end of the Transition Period.  For more information, click here.
  • Chemicals
    • Updated - Letter to the chemical’s sector: The Business Secretary’s letter to the chemicals sector has been updated to reflect that chemicals regulatory obligations affect both new chemicals and existing chemicals already on the market. To view this in full, click here.
    • Updated – Manufacturing and marketing fertilisers from the 1st of January 2021: Guidance on how manufacturers and importers of fertilisers should prepare for changes from the 1st of January 2021 has been updated with further information.  For more information, click here.
  • Life Sciences
    • Guidance - Veterinary Medicines Regulations from the 1st of January 2021: Guidance has been issued on the UK Veterinary Medicines Regulations from the 1st of January 2021.  For more information, click here.
    • Updated - Guidance on pharmacovigilance procedures from 1 January 2021: Guidance has been updated to provide further information about country codes and worldwide case IDs which should be used when submitting and receiving ICSRs.  For more information, click here.
    • Updated – Guidance on converting Centrally Authorised Products (CAPs) to UK Marketing Authorisations (MAs) from the 1st of January 2021: Guidance on ‘grandfathering’ and managing the lifecycle of medicinal products has been updated to include additional potential scenarios and clarify possible options available to applicants in relation to the processing and determination by the MHRA of pending Type IB and II variations at the time of the baseline submission.  For more information, click here.
  • Waste
    • Updated – Importing and exporting waste from the 1st of January 2021: Guidance about what UK waste importers and exporters must do to notify about waste shipments from the 1st of January 2021 has been updated.  Changes include new details on waste shipments from GB to Northern Ireland with Northern Ireland protocol context.  For more information about the updates, click here
  • Food & Drink
    • New - Poultrymeat Importing after the 31st of December 2020: A notice has been published to detail information regarding poultrymeat import quotas and information on licenses after the 31st of December 2020.  For more information, click here.
    • New - Pigmeat Importing after the 31st December of 2020: A notice has been published to detail information regarding pigmeat import quotas and information on licenses after the 31st of December 2020.  For more information, click here.
    • Updated - Exporting wild caught marine fishery products to the EU from the 1st of January 2021: The ‘One Stop Shop’ guidance document for fishing and seafood businesses has ben updated. To view this, click here.
    • Updated - Hops and hops products marketing standards from the 1st of January 2021: Guidance for hops producers, manufacturers, retailer and distributors has been updated in respect of blends of hops and hops products, and exporting hops and hop products from Great Britain to the EU.  For more information, click here.
    • Updated - Beef and veal marketing standards from the 1st of January 2021: Guidance has been added on moving between Great Britain, Northern Ireland and the EU.  Guidance on Exporting beef and veal from Great Britain (GB) to the EU, importing beef and veal from the EU to GB and moving beef and veal from GB to NI has also been updated.  For more information, click here.
    • Updated - Poultry meat marketing standards from the 1st of January 2021: Guidance has been updated with respect of exporting poultry meat from GB to the EU, moving poultry meat from GB to NI, getting poultry meat optional indication certificates, importing poultry meat from EU to GB and importing poultry meat from non-EI countries to GB.  For more information, click here.
    • Updated - Egg marketing standards from the 1st of January 2021: Guidance on hatching eggs and chicks marketing standards from the 1st of January 2021 has been updated along with guidance on Egg marketing standards from the 1st of January 2021.
    • Updated - Import of products, animals, food and feed system (IPAFFS): Guidance on IPAFFS has been updated to show when importers can use IPAFFS to import their type of goods.  For more information, click here.

WEBINARS & PODCASTS

With just a few days to go until the end of the transition period, you can keep up to date by attending live webinars to help prepare your business.  You can also access sector-specific webinars about how to prepare your business here.

  • HMRC customs declarations webinars: HMRC have launched multiple editions of this live webinar covering how to complete customs import declarations and explaining how to make import declarations when importing goods between the EU and Great Britain.  Find a date and to register, click here.
  • UK Transition Period: HSE and the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) will be hosting two webinars on Wednesday, 16th December and Wednesday, 20th December, both at 10am. These events cover actions businesses need to take in preparation for the end UK Transition on the 1st of January 2021 when independent GB chemical regimes will be in place.  To register, and for more information, click here.
  • Department for International Trade webinars: DIT are hosting a series of webinars primarily aimed at businesses which are UK based who importing and exporting goods.  The next webinar is on Thursday, 17th December.  To register, click here.

Trading with the EU: A video series has been released that explains what businesses need to do to be ready for the 1st of January 2021.  These videos cover what businesses need to know about exports and imports, customs, commodity codes and controlled goods. To view the videos, click here.

Visit the GOV.UK transition webinar page to find out more and register here.

Podcast: Business and the Future of Immigration in 2021 - The Home Office has created a podcast episode in partnership with Intelligence Squared to help you prepare for the points-based immigration system.  Listen now to Business and the Future of Immigration in 2021.  Also available on Spotify and Apple.

BREXIT EU VAT & CUSTOMS OPTIONS FOR UK ECOMMERCE SELLERS

Since 1st January, if you are based in the UK and VAT registered you should not charge any UK VAT to overseas clients.  They can’t now claim it back in their own country and the agreement we had for cross border VAT has ended.  If you use shopify you should adjust the setting that automatically add VAT to orders.  This will then start to show UK buyers the cost without VAT, the VAT rate and the total including VAT, and EU and rest of the world will see without the VAT.  This is the most basic change, there are other options detailed below.

The UK/EU deal has left a difficult situation for online sellers.  Part of the deal doesn’t start until July, so we are in a temporary phase for selling to the EU.  From 1st July 2021, this is set to be simplified with a new UK E-Commerce Directive and for goods up to 150 Euro the EU are introducing a “One Stop Shop” (OSS) which allows companies to register in 1 country and account for all their EU VAT in that one country.

There is an excellent guide from “Avalara”:

Four choices for your EU VAT and customs

Below are four options for sellers.  Remember, any marketplace you are using may restrict these choices to secure their own customers’ best experience - see option 4.  A further issue is where to clear the goods into the EU if you chose importer of record in the below options.  This is covered after this Options section.

1. Make your EU customer the importer of the record

  • Options after Brexit - Your EU customers will have to pay the freight delivery company the import VAT.
  • Pros and cons - This is the easy option for you, the seller. But means an awful seller experience and probably no repeat business. You may have to accept the goods back at extra costs and lost income. Many EU customers will spot that you are intending to do this and just shop elsewhere.

2. You clear the goods into the EU at sale

  • Options after Brexit - You will have to VAT register in the EU country of your customer. Remember - there are no more distance selling thresholds after Brexit.  You then pay the import VAT to clear the goods into the country (see comments below on country choice).  You then sell the goods to your customer at the local VAT rate.  You then offset the import VAT and sales VAT in the foreign VAT return.  You’ll also have to make a customs declaration and pay any tariffs. But your freight forwarder can help with that.
  • Pros and cons - This is a much better and seamless customer experience. This effectively reinstates the uninterrupted flow of goods that existed before Brexit. However, you will have customs and VAT compliance costs to worry about. But the good news is most EU countries have good deferred import VAT schemes, called Postponed Accounting. These let you avoid the cash payment of EU import VAT.

3. EU customer clears but you pay import VAT any tariffs

  • Options after Brexit - A mix of 1. and 2.  Legally, you make your customer the importer of record.  But you pay any  and import VAT via the freight forwarder.  This is sometimes called 'DDP with agent' or 'Buyers Agent'.
  • Pros and cons - This brings the good experience of 2 - your customer doesn’t have to worry about settling VAT.  Plus, like 1., you don’t have to bother getting VAT registered and doing filings.  But you will need to obtain a Power of Attorney from your seller, which adds to the checkout process time.  If you don’t want to lose the VAT you’ve paid, you’ll need to manage the VAT recovery process - which is now paper-based and very unreliable.  Also, the EU is reforming ecommerce in July 2021, and may limit this option in some EU states.

4. Hold cleared goods somewhere in EU

  • Options after Brexit - You ship and clear some of your popular goods into the EU, and hold in rented warehouse space as a fulfilment centre for your EU sales.
    If you are using a marketplace, they will likely insist you do this anyway to avoid being blocked.
  • Pros and cons - This involves an immediate inconvenience and cost of having to ship large quantities of stocks, and holding them in the EU. But, after that, it’s all very much as today in terms of VAT - and you don’t have to complete customs declarations (as you would in 2.) each time you make a sale.  You will still need foreign VAT registrations – certainly in the country where you hold the stocks.  And then in the other countries but only when you pass the distance selling thresholds.  But you can avoid the cashflow hassle of import VAT via Postponed Accounting (see above).
    Again, the EU will make this simpler from July 2021 with a single EU OSS VAT return.

Which EU country to clear the goods - avoid the import VAT cash trap!

If you chose 3. or 4. above, and you will clear the goods into the EU, you will face a further decision on where to clear the goods.

Countries like the Netherlands and Belgium offer very good VAT schemes - in addition to excellent transport links - if you clear your EU goods there.  You don’t have to pay import VAT.  Many freight forwarders will offer a good package around this.

Instead, you may decide to import into France (Dover ferry; Eurotunnel) but chose to move the goods to another EU country before you clear them for import VAT and customs.  Whilst an option, this creates more paperwork and means the VAT treatment is less favourable.  For example you may have lots of German customers, but it does not offer a Postponed Accounting regime.  So you will have to may import VAT.

See the full article here.

The option you choose will be dependent on the size of your business, products you sell etc. so review options carefully, if you are a small business you might be fine with the first option as long as you inform your overseas buyers upfront that they need to pay import VAT (but not UK sales VAT) if you simply ship the goods without telling them you are likely to get issues.

UK sellers used to trade under “Distance Selling Thresholds” your buyers will likely be aware of these which included selling to the EU and account for VAT in UK, until sales reached a certain limit (it varied country by country but was between 35,000 and 100,000 Euro.  When sales reached that level they had to register for taxes in the country of sale) Those rules no longer apply and now customs declaration and import Vat will apply.

For further information on VAT, please see "Businesses selling goods in the UK using online marketplaces - Find out your VAT obligations if you use an online marketplace to sell goods in the UK".

HOME OFFICE PODCASTS: BUSINESS & THE FUTURE OF IMMIGRATION IN 2021

To help employers prepare for the points-based immigration system, the Home Office has created a podcast episode in partnership with Intelligence Squared.  The discussion covers what you need to know if you are thinking of hiring anyone from outside the UK from 1 January 2021.

Listen now to Business and the Future of Immigration in 2021.

Also available on Spotify and Apple.

UPDATE FROM THE NORTH EAST GROWTH HUB

COVID-19 funding support

The new lockdown in England means that many more businesses are facing restrictions on trade in addition to those affected by the previous Tier 4 and Tier 3 measures that were in place.

To support businesses through the new national lockdown, additional funding support has been made available:

  • Businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors will receive a one-off grant worth up to £9,000 per property
  • A £594 million discretionary fund will provide additional support to businesses not eligible for the new one-off grant.  If this is you, you can apply to the fund via your Local Authority.

There is a range of financial support packages available for businesses impacted by the pandemic. To find out what support is available for your business, visit  Government's business support finder.

EU Exit Update

The transition period has ended and the UK has left the EU customs union and single market and has now moved to a zero tariffs, zero quotas relationship with the EU as an independent trading nation. 

Following the signing of the UK-EU Free Trade Agreement, there are new rules for businesses which came into force on the 1st of January 2021 which require immediate action.  Your business needs to act now to comply with these new rules. 

You should visit gov.uk/transition where you can use the checker tool to quickly identify the actions that your business needs to take.  The checker tool will ask you questions about your business and provide all the information you need to be aware of such as new rules on:

You can help your businesses adjust to the new rules by using a number of support mechanisms provided by the government:

  • Sign up to receive updates on the specific actions you need to take once you've used the checker tool at gov.uk/transition
  • Sign up to receive the regular Business Readiness Transition Bulletin - an email newsletter providing information on major announcements and recently published guidance

BEIS webinars across a range of topics will be available on gov.uk this month. They will provide specific advice on how businesses can ensure they comply with the new rules.

High Potential Startups cohort five now open

Despite the challenging times, we've seen some fantastic new business ventures and we are continuing to support founders help turn their ideas into reality.

If you have an idea for a high growth business that could reach a turnover of £1m in the next three years and create more and better jobs in the North East - we want to hear from you.

Expressions of Interest are now being invited for the fifth round of the North East Growth Hub's popular High Potential Startups programme.

High Potential Startups helps entrepreneurs bring their business idea to life - bigger and better than they can alone.

If you're accepted onto the programme you'll receive a comprehensive and holistic package of support, including one to one coaching, access to a series of immersive workshops, and guidance on accessing finance and finding co-founders.

If you have the drive and ambition to start and grow your own business in the North East, complete the Expression of Interest form today.  Find out more and apply here.

Digital Boost

Now, more than ever, we are relying on digital to stay connected and manage new ways of working, as many businesses around the country continue to work from home.

Digital Boost is a non-profit online platform that brings together those who work in small businesses and charities with a community of digital expert volunteers drawn from larger businesses who have had years of training in digital techniques.

Digital Boost are here to help charities and small businesses get the essential digital skills they need.  This is done by matching organisations in need with digital experts to offer one to one conversations and practical webinars for free.  They provide three Digital Boost services to help equip your organisation with essential skills:

  • Mentoring Calls - speak one on one with a digital expert, who’ll provide you with practical help and advice in only 60 minutes.
  • Webinars and Workshops - there are many interactive masterclasses on SEO, Facebook Ads, payment systems and more to help your business.
  • Resource Library - learn at your own pace with access to their comprehensive library of learning content from articles to online courses.

Co-founded by Founders4Schools and BCG Digital Ventures and supported by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport and Google, Digital Boost aims to help rebuild our economy by helping those who work for small businesses and charities access digital expertise so they get through the COVID-19 crisis, and stay competitive in today's digital world.  Learn more here.

Customs Grant Schemes

New rules now apply to business moving goods between the EU and UK, including import controls on EU goods at the border.  As a result, HMRC is investing funding to find employee training and IT improvements for customs intermediaries, traders and hauliers that make customs declarations.  Click here for further information.

Business Continuity and Resilience

Newcastle City Council's Resilience Planning team can offer your organisation support and advice on how to make your business more resilient and help you be prepared against the impact of disruption, ensuring continuity of critical functions and effective recovery.  Click here for further information.

Upcoming Events

  • DATE & TIME: Free online Zoom meeting - Wednesday, 10th February 2021 - 9:30-10:30 - North East Ambassadors Apprenticeship Event.  Come along to this webinar hosted by the North East Apprentice Ambassador Network and see if an apprentice could help your company improve its bottom line.  Learn more here.

Customs Grant Schemes - New rules now apply to businesses moving goods between the EU and UK, including import controls on EU goods at the border.  As a result, HMRC is investing funding to find employee training and IT improvements for customs intermediaries, traders and hauliers that make customs declarations.  Read more here.

Business Continuity and Business Resilience - Newcastle City Council's Resilience Planning team can offer organisations support and advice on how to make their business more resilient and help them be prepared against the impact of disruption, ensuring continuity of critical functions and effective recovery.  Read more here.

IMPORTING GOODS FROM JANUARY 2021: THE UK GLOBAL TARIFF

The UK has left the EU.  The transition period ended on the 31st December this year and the UK left the single market and customs union.  Businesses should take action now.

Here’s what you need to know if your business imports goods from overseas.

What is the UK Global Tariff (UKGT)?

The UKGT is the UK’s independent ‘Most Favoured Nation’ tariff.  This is a schedule of taxes to be paid on goods imported into the UK from January 2021.  The UKGT will replace the EU’s Common External Tariff.

The UKGT will not apply to goods imported from a country that the UK has a trade deal witha country that is part of the Generalised Scheme of Preferences or where an exception applies.

What should I do next?

  1. Learn more about the UK Global Tarif

  2. Plan ahead by looking up the tariffs you will need to pay using the tariff look up tool.

  3. If you import goods from the EU, learn more about the import process and border controls with the EU from January 2021.

  4. Visit GOV.UK/transition for more information about what you need to do to prepare for the changes coming into effect from January 2021.

You can also find information and advice about trading internationally (outside the EU) here.

IS YOUR BUSINESS PREPARED? USEFUL GUIDES AND ADVICE FROM THE FSB

For many businesses, the festive season will be a crucial opportunity to build back sales amid uncertainty.  We’re here to support your business to prepare safely, from hiring temporary staff and taking payment online to managing your working capital when buying stock.

How to hire temporary employees and seasonal staff - Find out what you need to know when hiring a temporary employee in your small business, including fixed-term contracts, employee rights and notice periods.  Read the FSB's guide here.

How to effectively manage working capital - Discover how you can keep track of your small business’ cash flow with our tips for effectively managing your finances.  Find our more from the FSB here.

How to protect your business against cyber-attacks - Cyber-attacks pose a significant risk for even the smallest of businesses. Learn how you can protect your business with effective cyber security.  Read more from the FSB here.

What are the benefits of online payments? - As more people get used to browsing from the comfort of their home, learn the benefits of taking online payments securely and efficiently.  Read more here.

HM GOVERNMENT'S BUSINESS SUPPORT WEBINARS

Government departments are hosting a series of webinars to help businesses understand the support available:

NORTH EAST EXPORT ACADEMY

DATE & TIME OF THIS FREE ONLINE EVENT: Tuesday, 19th January 2021 - 11:00-12:00

Do you want to export, but don’t know where to start?
Do you already export, but want to improve your knowledge and skills?

Join the Department for International Trade North East for a free in-depth virtual training programme, worth over £3,000, delivered by international trade specialists, to learn everything you need to know about trading overseas successfully.

This Export Academy is a comprehensive step by step programme ideal for anyone:

  • New to exporting
  • Exporting, but needing to upskill staff
  • Exporting, but wanting to refresh their knowledge or fill gaps

Join an introductory webinar on Tuesday, 19th January between 11:00 and 12:00, which will provide an overview of the programme, providing you with an opportunity to assess whether it’s right for you, and to answer any queries.

The introductory webinar will be followed by 10 one-hour step by step sessions, including:

  1. Understanding the benefits of, and barriers to, export - Understand the basics of exporting, the positive impact trading overseas can have on your business and the risks you need to consider.  Discover how to avoid wasting time, resource and costly mistakes.  We'll walk you through the first steps to making informed decisions about internationalisation and how to lay the foundations of an achievable export plan.
  2. Steps to export - In this session we’ll discuss some of the key export procedures including customs and legal documentation, tariffs and classifications, contracts, Incoterms® and international payments.  Discover how to avoid risking delays in your supply chain and possible financial penalties.
  3. International market research - Where do you start when trying to find an international market for your product or service?  This session will take you step by step through the research models you can implement to find the right markets to start selling internationally.  You’ll learn how to find good sources of information and we’ll also discuss how to find and prioritise new opportunities.
  4. Pricing strategy and route to market - In this session we will help you get to grips with how to price your products or services and how to get products to market.  We’ll talk about researching markets, pricing strategies, export costings and more.  We’ll also touch on routes to market; will you sell directly to consumer or will you use an agent or distributer?  Don’t worry, we will cover the pros and cons of each.
  5. Understanding customs - Tariff classification, valuation and origin are core customs procedures and the main pillars for establishing customs duty liability.  In this session you will learn about the Harmonized System (HS) tariff, classifying your goods, origin rules and proving origin and finally valuation for customs.  We’ll also discuss where you can go for help on each of these elements.
  6. Selling services overseas 1 - Exporting can be very beneficial for companies in the service sector.  This two-part session is specifically for services businesses to help you understand the different considerations involved in selling services internationally.  We will cover driving interest and finding opportunities, researching new markets, how you’ll deliver, making your business stand out and other key factors to consider.
  7. International commercial (INCO) terms - The Incoterms® rules are the world's essential terms of trade for the sale of goods.  When you are exporting it’s important to have a good knowledge of these terms.  We will cover why we need them, what they do, what they don’t do and other essentials.
  8. Selling services overseas 2 - Exporting can be very beneficial for companies in the service sector.  This two-part session is specifically for services businesses to help you understand the different considerations involved in selling services internationally.  We will cover driving interest and finding opportunities, researching new markets, how you’ll deliver, making your business stand out and other key factors to consider.
  9. Export controls - There are several reasons why governments aim to control the export of goods, depending on the nature and destinations of the proposed export.  This session will give you an overview of the export licencing process, why governments control exports and which goods are subject to them.  We will also cover military and dual use goods and you’ll find out if your products are affected.
  10. Movement of money - Whether exporting or not, it is important to ensure that you get paid in full and on time.  We will give you an overview of international payment methods, exchange management and using export credit insurance.

Please note this event is only open to registered businesses based in the North East, North West, Yorkshire, the Humber, South West, East Midlands and West Midlands who have a product or service that they are interested in selling internationally.  You may be contacted prior to the event to assess eligibility.

Please click here to register.

DON'T MISS OUT! UPCOMING FREE WEBINARS FROM FSB

Join us for our virtual events, including networking, business surgeries and webinars, designed to help you find advice, support and guidance for your small business during the COVID-19 pandemic.  The events are free and open to all small businesses and the self-employed across the UK.

DATE & TIME: Monday, 25th January 2021 - 09:30-13:00 - Business Bootcamp: Re-boot 2021.  This webinar provides you with the opportunity to hear from inspirational speakers to help you develop, grow and re-boot your business in 2021, as well as network on a national level with fellow small business owners.  Register now.

DATE & TIME: Wednesday, 27th January - 10:30-12:00 - The Seven Secrets to Increasing Profitability.  FSB has partnered with UK Business Mentoring to bring you this engaging, thought provoking, action based webinar to help businesses maximise their profits.  Register now.

DATE & TIME: Thursday, 28th January - 11:15-12:30 - The UK has left the EU.  Join our panel of experts who will be answering your questions regarding import, export and customs for businesses.  Register now.

Find out what's on near you!  Further details here.

FSB DURHAM - VIRTUAL NETWORKING

DATE & TIME: Tuesday, 26 January 2021 - 11:00-12:00

WHERE: Online via Zoom

COST: Free for FSB members and non-members

Start 2021 in the best possible way, this is your opportunity to network to develop and grow your business.  FREE to attend online networking for all small businesses and the self-employed.
We will meet virtually for about an hour and cover the following:

  • FSB Download - A brief summary of what the FSB are doing to support you, hosted by Howard Little, FSB Membership Advisor
  • Speedy Introductions - Your chance to introduce yourself, your business and what you are looking for, plus be ready for Howard's question of the week!!
  • Open Q&A - Your chance to bring up topical matters for discussion with all registrants.  An opportunity to connect with all registrants via LinkedIn or other forms of social media.
  • Join us for this new virtual concept of networking from the comfort of your own home via Zoom.

Your Zoom joining link will be sent in your confirmation email so do not discard this.  The link can also be found in the 'My Events' section on the FSB website.  If you have any queries, please contact Harry Harrison.

Non-members are very welcome to attend too, so do forward this email on to anyone in the small business community who would benefit from attending at this crucial time.

This is one of many FSB events run across the UK. And be sure to follow @FSBYHNE & @FSBNorthEast on Twitter plus @FSBNorthEast on Facebook for regular information to support your business.

Click here to book your place.  We look forward to seeing you there.

ONLINE EVENT - TRADING WITH THE EU AND REST OF WORLD - NEW RULES APPLY

DATE & TIME: Wednesday, 27th January 2021 - 16:00-17:00

The UK has left the EU customs union and single market.

There are new rules for businesses that came into force on 1 January 2021 which require immediate action.  Your business needs to act now to comply with these new rules.  If you do not take action, there is a risk your business operations will be interrupted.

The Department for International Trade (DIT) has organised a series of webinars to help UK businesses understand the new trading rules.

Please note that our webinars are aimed at companies importing and exporting goods.  This webinar will provide an update on the policies that DIT leads on including:

  • The UK’s Global Tariff for imports
  • Trade Agreements
  • UK’s Generalised Scheme of Preferences
  • Exports of dual use items from GB to EU
  • Trade Remedies

We will also share sources of transition guidance and support, including signposting to webinars run by other Departments.

Speakers include:

  • Graham Zebedee, Director, Continuity Negotiations and Development
  • Martin Cook, Deputy Director, UK Regions

This session includes time for a moderated Q&A.

Please click here to book your place.

FSB NORTH EAST - WOMEN IN BUSINESS - VIRTUAL SUPPORT

DATE & TIME: Thursday, 28th January - 10:00-12:00

WHERE: Online via Zoom

COST: Free for FSB members and non-members

Welcome to FSB North East Women in Business Virtual Networking Support session.  This session will take place using Zoom on Thursday, 28th January from 10am until noon and will be hosted by FSB Membership Advisor, Jenny Stewart.

We will meet virtually from 10am and cover the following: 

  • FSB Download - A brief summary of what the FSB are doing to support you and your business. 
  • Hear from Brady Last, Managing Director and Associate Partner at EY Breakthrough Incentives.  Listen to Brady's inspirational journey from being a temp to being an MD in less than 5 years.
  • Speedy Introductions - Your chance to introduce yourself, your business and what you are looking for, plus be ready for Howard's question of the week!!
  • Open Q&A - Your chance to bring up topical matters for discussion with all registrants.  An opportunity to connect with all registrants via LinkedIn or other forms of social media. 
  • Join us for this new virtual concept of networking from the comfort of your own home via Zoom.

Please note: Your Zoom joining link will be sent in your confirmation email so do not discard this.  The link can also be found in the 'My Events' section on the FSB website.  If you have any queries, please contact Harry Harrison.

Non-members are very welcome to attend too, so do forward this email on to anyone in the small business community who would benefit from attending at this crucial time.

This is one of many FSB events run across the UK. And be sure to follow @FSBYHNE & @FSBNorthEast on Twitter plus @FSBNorthEast on Facebook for regular information to support your business.

Book now.

DIT NORTH EAST'S DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION PROGRAMME

Join the Department for International Trade North East for a free in-depth virtual training programme, delivered by digital specialists, to learn everything you need to know about transforming your business’s international digital strategy.

Who’s it for?

The comprehensive step by step programme is ideal for any business selling B2B, who is:

  • New to exporting
  • Exporting, but wanting to enhance their knowledge or fill gaps

To be eligible, SME’s must be based in the North East and have been trading for 12 months or more, with the capacity and resource to expand internationally.

What’s involved?

The programme will begin with a FREE one-to-one consultation with Norma Foster from No Fuss Group Ltd, where you will receive:

  • A detailed review of where you are as a business on your digital journey
  • A benchmark of how your website and digital marketing is working for you
  • A written website effectiveness review
  • Help to set smart goals and an action plan to support you during the coming weeks

Then join an introductory webinar on Tuesday 2nd February between 13:00 and 15:00, which will provide an overview of the programme, providing you with an opportunity to assess whether it’s right for you, and to answer any queries.

The introductory webinar will be followed by an eight-week programme, covering such topics as:

  • Planning an effective international digital marketing strategy for my business
  • Building your brand - web optimisation, social media and other tools
  • Digitising your sales process - using appropriate social platforms and other online methods to reach customers and drive leads
  • How to pitch, negotiate and sell online

At the end of the programme delegates will receive another complimentary one-to-one with Norma Foster, to help you finalise your action plan and start the process of putting all your learning into practice. In order to benefit from the free, follow up appointment, delegates must attend a minimum of three sessions.

Please note: This programme is for companies who sell B2B. For companies who sell B2C, check out our e-Commerce Programme!

We would like to be able to invite as many as possible to register for the first introductory webinar on Tuesday, 2nd February between 13:00 and 15:00.

Please click here to register.

DEVELOPING YOUR INTERNATIONAL BRAND - FREE ONE TO ONE ADVICE

DATES

  • Monday, 1st February through to Tuesday, 12th February 2021
  • Monday, 22nd February through to Friday, 5th March 2021

Looking to grow your brand awareness overseas?

The Department for International Trade North East, in collaboration with Cowell+George are offering eligible SMEs in the North East a free one-hour troubleshooting session to review how your branding can help you succeed overseas.

Who is it for?

The one to one tailored review is ideal for anyone:

  • New to export
  • Exporting, but wanting to strengthen their existing branding and advertising strategy
  • Exporting, but wanting to refresh their branding and advertising strategy to access new opportunities

To be eligible, SME’s need to be based in either the North East LEP or Tees Valley Combined Authority areas, with the capacity and resource to expand internationally.

How will it benefit your business?

Specialists in marketing, advertising and branding, Cowell+George will review your business strategies and help you grow your brand awareness internationally by conducting a brief audit of the businesses existing communications, such as brand identity, social platforms, website presence and marketing collateral.

Providing you with expert advice, specific to the business with recommendations on how to enhance and optimise the performance of your brand strategies with your existing exporting strategies.

When will it take place?

One hour one to one appointments are available between Monday, 1st February and Friday, 12th February, with more sessions available from Monday, 22nd February until Friday, 5th March.  Various timeslots are available throughout each day.

Please click here to book you appointment.

BACK BY POPULAR DEMAND! DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION PROGRAMME

DATES: Monday, 1st February - Wednesday, 31st March 2021

Join the Department for International Trade North East for a free in-depth virtual training programme, delivered by digital specialists, to learn everything you need to know about transforming your business’s international digital strategy.

Who’s it for?

The comprehensive step by step programme is ideal for any business selling B2B, who is:

  • New to exporting
  • Exporting, but wanting to enhance their knowledge or fill gaps

To be eligible, SME’s must be based in the North East and have been trading for 12 months or more, with the capacity and resource to expand internationally.

What’s involved?

The programme will begin with a FREE one-to-one consultation with Norma Foster from No Fuss Group Ltd, where you will receive:

  • A detailed review of where you are as a business on your digital journey
  • A benchmark of how your website and digital marketing is working for you
  • A written website effectiveness review
  • Help to set smart goals and an action plan to support you during the coming weeks.

Then join an introductory webinar on Tuesday 2nd February between 13:00 and 14:00, which will provide an overview of the programme, providing you with an opportunity to assess whether it’s right for you, and to answer any queries.

The introductory webinar will be followed by an eight-week programme, covering such topics as:

  • Planning an effective international digital marketing strategy for my business
  • Building your brand - web optimisation, social media and other tools
  • Digitising your sales process - using appropriate social platforms and other online methods to reach customers and drive leads
  • How to pitch, negotiate and sell online

At the end of the programme delegates will receive another complimentary one-to-one with Norma Foster, to help you finalise your action plan and start the process of putting all your learning into practice.  In order to benefit from the free, follow up appointment, delegates must attend a minimum of three sessions.

Please note: This programme is for companies who sell B2B. For companies who sell B2C, check out our newsletter next week when our e-Commerce Programme which will be announced! 

Please click here to register.

FSB TEES VALLEY - VIRTUAL NETWORKING

DATE & TIME: Thursday, 11th February - 11:00-12:00

WHERE: Online via Zoom

COST: Free for FSB members and non-members

TO BOOK: Please click here

Your opportunity to network and effectively develop and grow your business.  FREE to attend online networking for all small businesses and the self-employed.

We will meet virtually for about an hour and cover the following:

  • FSB Download - A brief summary of what the FSB are doing to support you, hosted by Michael Janes, FSB North East Area Leader
  • Speedy Introductions - Your chance to introduce yourself, your business and what you are looking for.
  • Guest Speaker - TBA
  • Open Q&A - Your chance to bring up topical matters for discussion with all registrants.  An opportunity to connect with all registrants via LinkedIn or other forms of social media.
  • Join us for this new virtual concept of networking from the comfort of your own home via Zoom.

Please note: Your Zoom joining link will be sent in your confirmation email so do not discard this. The link can also be found in the 'My Events' section on the FSB website.  If you have any queries, please contact Harry Harrison.

Non-members are very welcome to attend too, so do forward this email on to anyone in the small business community who would benefit from attending at this crucial time.

This is one of many FSB events run across the UK. And be sure to follow @FSBYHN@FSBNorthEast & @FSBTeesValley on Twitter plus @FSBNorthEast on Facebook for regular information to support your business.

E-COMMERCE: GLOBAL FAST TRACK PROGRAMME

DATE & TIME: Tuesday, 16th February 2021 - 14:00-16:00

Do you want to future proof your e-Commerce business and grow it successfully?

Join the Department for International Trade (DIT) North East’s NEW Global Fast Track programme.  A free in-depth virtual training programme, delivered by e-Commerce and digital specialists, and designed to help you fast track your international growth.  This programme aims to help you assess each area of your business performance and create an action plan for 2021 and beyond.

Who’s it for?

The comprehensive step by step programme is ideal for e-Commerce businesses who:

  • Have been trading successfully B2C and can demonstrate success
  • Are established B2B businesses and considering pivoting into B2C
  • Exporting, but wanting to enhance their knowledge and expand their international sales

To be eligible, SME’s must be based in the North East and have been trading for 18 months or more and can demonstrate they have the capacity and resource to expand internationally.

What’s involved?

Join an introductory webinar on Tuesday, 16th February between 14:00 and 16:00, which will provide an overview of the programme, providing you with an opportunity to assess whether it’s right for you, and to answer any queries.

The introductory webinar will be followed by a seven-week programme, covering such topics as:

  • Optimising your Site to Attract International Audiences
  • Evaluating other Routes to Market: Expanding on e-Marketplaces
  • Maximising your Sales on Amazon
  • Generating Leads: Social Media Marketing
  • Getting Leads: Paid Advertising
  • Measuring your Business: Analytical Tools
  • Logistics, Fulfilment, Customs and Duties
  • Pricing Strategy

Please click here to register.

Please note: Places are limited, and strict selection criteria apply, register on the link below to apply for your place today!

SWDISH TECH SECTOR UPDATE: OPPORTUNITIES FOR THE NORTHERN POWERHOUSE

DATE & TIME: Wednesday, 17th February 2021 - 10:00-11:00

Businesses from across the Northern Powerhouse are invited to join the Department for International Trade (DIT) and the British Embassy in Stockholm, for an interactive seminar on the future for the tech sector in Swedish marketplace.

Hear from the Swedish based Tech team, who will share their insights on collaboration and business opportunities in this vibrant market for businesses in 2021.

DIT Sweden’s Trade Policy Adviser will also provide an update on what the end of the transition period will mean for your businesses.

Sweden is one of the most technologically advanced countries in the world, and a great space for innovation, with its tech savvy population and many prominent unicorns.  But what does the landscape look like for FinTech, 5G, Cyber, Gaming, Datacentres and more?

As new rules come into place, it is important that UK businesses do not miss a step.

The webinar is a great opportunity to gain better insight into the current developments and opportunities for the Northern technology sector in Sweden and to hear about opportunities for your business.

Please click here to register.

NORTHERN POWERHOUSE MISSION TO UAE

MISSION TO GULFOOD EXHIBITION: 21st - 25th February 2021

The Department for International Trade (DIT) is inviting food and drink companies from across the Northern Powerhouse region to participate in this trade mission to Gulfood 2021 in Dubai, the world’s largest food event.

Gulfood is the premier trade event in the global food and hospitality business calendar and could be your gateway to win new business in established, evolving and emerging markets.  The tradeshow is an unmissable event with over 5,000 exhibitors from five continents. 

The trade mission is ideal for businesses wanting to grow their sales and operate in categories such as private label, premium grocery, innovative functional foods and products focused on health and wellbeing. Working with the Great British Food Platform, this innovative two-part mission programme includes:

Part 2: Seal the Deal Mission to UAE*

  • Market update in the UK
  • Mission reception in Dubai
  • Meet the buyer event in Dubai
  • Support to participate in Gulfood 2021
  • Retail store visits*

* Due to current uncertainties arising from the impact of COVID-19 on international travel and exhibitions, part 2 of the mission programme may be subject to changes.

Join this trade mission to benefit from the great programme of activities and build your brand’s reputation.  For more information, please click here.

BACK BY POPULAR DEMAND! NORTH EAST EXPORT ACADEMY

DATE & TIME: Tuesday, 23 February 2021 - 11:00-12:00 

Join us for a free in-depth virtual training programme, delivered by international trade specialists, to learn everything you need to know about trading overseas successfully.

The Export Academy is a comprehensive step by step programme ideal for anyone:

  • New to exporting
  • Exporting, but needing to upskill staff
  • Exporting, but wanting to refresh their knowledge or fill gaps 

On Tuesday 23rd February, we will be hosting an introductory webinar which will provide an overview of the programme, providing you with an opportunity to assess whether it’s right for you, and to answer any queries.

The introductory webinar will be followed by 10 one hour step by step sessions, including:

  • Understanding the Benefits and Barriers of Export 
  • Basic Export Procedures
  • International Market Research
  • Routes to Market and Pricing strategy
  • Customs Procedures and Tariffs
  • Understanding International Commercial Terms
  • Selling Services Overseas - Part 1
  • Export Controls
  • Selling Services Overseas - Part 2
  • Getting Paid

Please click here to register.

VIRTUAL NORTHERN POWERHOUSE LIFE SCIENCES & HEALTHCARE MISSION - USA

DATES: Monday, 15th - Friday, 19 March 2021

  • Boston: Monday, 15th & Tuesday, 16th March
  • Washington DC: Wednesday, 17th to Friday, 19th March
  • One to one’s with DIT USA will take place throughout February & March

Cost: £99 per delegate (includes VAT)
Final date for expressions of interest: 31st January 2021

Click here to register your interest.

The Department for International Trade invites businesses from across the Northern Powerhouse, who are established and experienced exporters in the Life Sciences sector to join a virtual mission to Boston, Massachusetts and Washington DC.  The programme provides a unique opportunity to benefit from a bespoke one-to-one package of support to explore the Biotechnology and Pharmaceutical sector to develop your international strategy for the USA.

Why Boston?
Massachusetts as a state is committed to growing the life sciences industry through workforce development programs and funding for drug research & development.  Supporting biopharma is also the goal of the region’s incubators and accelerators.  The region consistently ranks in the top tier of USA life sciences clusters.  All major global pharmaceutical companies have outposts in the regions, ranging from Novartis to GSK.  In the Greater Boston area alone, there are more than 730 companies within the life sciences industry.

Why Washington?
Washington DC is known as BioCapital with its biopharma leaders committed to growing their BioHealth Capital Region cluster into one of the top three in the USA by 2023.

The US Capital region (DC, Maryland and Virginia) is home to the US Federal Government and industry that supports the largest employer in the US and a thriving BioHealth and Life Science Industry.  The region is home to the National Institute of Health, Food and Drug Administration, National Institute of Standards and Technology and industry leaders like GSK, AstraZeneca and Inova.  There are over 800 Biotech companies, 2,500 Life Science firms, 70 federal labs and the Capital Health region has numerous elite academic, medical and research institutions.

Express your interest to join the virtual mission now and discover how this exciting market opportunity could help your business grow overseas.