Partner Events

DIGITAL DRIVE COUNTY DURHAM WEBINARS 2022

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

All Masterclasses can be viewed here.

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Friday, 19th August (Online event) - Tik Tok & Instagram for Business.  Presented by Bradley Jenson.  This session will give an intensive crash course on how to improve your organic social media channels and implement a strategy that increases results rather than costs.  Click here to register.

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Thursday, 25th August (9:30-16:30) - Getting To Grips With Google Analytics 4.  Venue: Durham Cricket Club, Chester-le-Street, DH3 3SH.  One of the biggest shake-ups in the history of Google Analytics is happening right now.  The current version we have all built up our reporting systems on will disappear on the 1st July 2023 to be replaced by its successor, GA4.

About the Event

One of the biggest shake-ups in the history of Google Analytics is happening right now.  The current version we have all built up our reporting systems on will disappear on the 1st July 2023 to be replaced by its successor, GA4.

There is a seismic shift in the data collection methods and as a consequence, you need to be prepared to make those changes in your business.

This session is a hands-on workshop where we will be setting up an account from scratch, exploring the reports.  Even if you think you know Google Analytics, this is a completely new way of doing things so this workshop is for you.

Key points covered, and takeaways included:

  • Exploring the differences between Google Universal Analytics and GA4
  • Discover the new features and innovations in GA4 that your business can benefit from
  • Navigating the new interface and reports
  • Configuring a new account for accurate data collection
  • Leave with a plan of what you need to do and when based on the current timeline

Register here.

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Friday, 9th September - Introduction To The World Of Wix.  There is a wide selection of self-serve DIY website platforms to choose from. In this entry-level session, we will take time to have an introductory demo of one of the most popular platforms.  Register here.

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Thursday, 15th September (9:30-16:30) - Smartphone Video and Video Strategy Workshop.  Venue: Radisson Blu Hotel, Frankland Lane, Durham DH1 5TA.

In this collaborative and creative workshop, you will learn how you can bring a winning video strategy to your business.  You will leave the event with the knowledge of how to capture and edit video content that will resonate with your target audience.

About the Event

Smartphone Video and Video Strategy Workshop.  Presented by Ryan Mulhern

What is it?  A full-day masterclass on how to use your smartphone to create engaging video content. In this collaborative and creative workshop, you will learn how you can bring a winning video strategy to your business.  You will leave the event with the knowledge of how to capture and edit video content that will resonate with your target audience.
Who is it for?  Those in the business who are responsible for content creation and marketing, whether that is the owner, team leader or marketing professional.
Why should you attend?  To raise your profile online - From advertising a product or service, boosting engagement with customers, or expanding their reach on social media, video content marketing is adaptable, accessible, and can give you a powerful lead over your competition when done right.

To make things easier - being strategic and learning how to use the most practical smartphone apps to capture, edit and post content will enable you to make video content an enjoyable part of your marketing toolkit.

Register now.

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Wednesday, 21st September - Email Marketing - Turning Contacts Into Sales (online event).  This webinar is aimed at giving you the best practices and turning your contacts into sales, this workshop will focus more on the strategy and tips that make your emails land in inboxes, get opened, and more so get clicked!  Presented by Jonny Ross.  Book here.

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Thursday, 29th September - How To Raise Your Game On LinkedIn and Win New Business.  Venue: Enterprise House.  A really great LinkedIn profile can make all the difference between winning that sale or not and so we’ve created this workshop for you to achieve that.  Register here.

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Digital Drive County Durham, UMi Commercial Limited, Spectrum 6, Spectrum Business Park, Seaham, County Durham, SR7 7TT

Telephone: 0191 716 0960

If you have any questions about these events, you can also contact us at digitaldrivedurham@weareumi.co.uk.

DURHAM AMBITIOUS BUSINESS START-UPS (DABS) - ONLINE & FACE-TO-FACE EVENTS TO BOOST YOUR START-UP'S SUCCESS

Please keeping checking back to this page as new events are released throughout 2022.

Register for the DABS Programme here.

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Thursday, 28th July (9:30-13:30) & Friday, 29th July (9:30-13:30) & Monday, 22nd August  (9:30-13:30) & Tuesday, 23rd August (9:30-13:30) - DABS Sprint
These sessions will help you define and refine your business model, communicate your business pitch, work through your value proposition, design your customer experience and customer persona and look at customer pains and gains.  It will help you to explore and communicate your business proposition and value to your customers to aid planning your marketing, operations and finance strategies.

The DABS Sprint includes modules from both DABS Labs and DABS Pioneers.

A really useful and beneficial session to those people in the planning stages of launching their business and those who are early stages of trading.

This workshop takes place over four half-day sessions.  The first on Thursday 28th July, second on Friday 29th July, third on Monday 22nd August, and final session on August 23rd Aug.  All sessions run from 9:30am to 13:30 and are held online using Zoom.

To participate in these workshops you must be eligible for the DABS programme.  Please register here.

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Tuesday, 2nd August through to Tuesday, 6th September - DABS Business Builder Programme
The most dynamic programme in the DABS Series to date, we bring you DABS Business Builder with the latest Expert on the team, Alan Dodsworth.

Do what?  Meet Alan at the 1st of 6 weekly online sessions on Tuesday, 2nd August.  From 16:00-18:00 with Q&A and creating live connections afterwards.
What next?  For the following 5 weeks, dedicate your Tuesday tea break to joining us online.  You’ll listen and learn (or refresh your thoughts) as Alan shares his impressive business building knowledge bank.  He knows how to build your business.  Network with your peers too.
What’s in it for me?  Each session is packed full of answers to issues that new business owners need RIGHT NOW.  Also, you won’t catch Alan anywhere else!
Why 6 weeks?  You can choose to do the complete DABS Business Builder programme (it fits snugly around topics we’ve covered to take you to a new level) or you can pick and choose which ones to attend, using them as one-off knowledge builders on your journey.
Why now?  The DABS Programme comes to a close in just over 4 months.  This is your one chance.

Tell me the topics!

  • The Impact of Leadership on a Start-up Business - Tuesday, 2nd August
  • Being Truly Customer-centric - Tuesday, 9th August
  • Adopting Winning Ways of Working - Tuesday, 16th August
  • Strategies for Growth! - Tuesday, 23rd August
  • Being Business Pitch Ready - Tuesday, 30th August
  • Future Proofing the Proactive Way - Tuesday, 6th September

Alan Dodsworth has just joined the team and we’re lucky to have him on board!  We know you’ll think so too.  It took a while to crystallise his credentials into just ONE sentence…

Alan is a results driven Multi Channel Retail / Commercial Operator with 20+ years Senior Leadership experience, growing turnover and profitability across Retail Stores, Wholesale, E Commerce, Export, National Accounts, Travel Retail as well as Franchisee and Distributor Partnerships on the international stage.

Phew!  Wait till you see the list of brands he’s worked for!

To join any of the Building Business sessions you must be registered with the DABS Programme.  Register here.

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Tuesday, 2nd August (16:00-18:00) - Business Builder: The Impact of Leadership on a Start-up Business

Alan Dodsworth’s guide to key takeaways from this session:
You impact everyone!  Leadership in a startup world impacts everything you do and everyone you interact with.  Not just present and future employees, but also your network, partners, stakeholders, and ultimately your customers.
It’s all about you.  (Did you just sing that?  Thanks McFly!) It IS YOU who plays all the roles in your new business.  Whether or not you are surrounded by a team, you are still the Leader of your brand and vision.
Who ARE you?  To build your business, it’s important to understand who you are.  How can the REAL YOU positively impact your future growth plans?  When you know, you’ll be able to make the right decisions along the way.
Using your uniqueness.  Let’s explore how you can use your individual style and traits to influence and negotiate with partners and customers; something that’s absolutely vital to stay ahead of the game just now.

By the end of this Business Builder session, you’ll have a good idea about how to use the impact of your leadership and self-motivation to manifest the results you want for your business start-up.

Find out more about DABS Business Builder Programme.

To join this session you must be registered with the DABS Programme. If you’re already registered, email us to book your place.

Register for the DBS Programme here.

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Tuesday, 9th August (16:00-18:00) - Business Builder: Being Truly Customer-centric

Alan Dodsworth’s guide to key takeaways from this session:
“Customer is King”.  In today’s competitive and digital world, the customer not only is King but also has all the power!  Across all touchpoints they require a flawless experience during the whole customer journey.
Commit yourself.  Whether it be the research stage, the initial interaction, the purchase or as part of the lasting experience, your commitment to your brand vision and customer service strategy is paramount.
Shape your credibility.  Keeping the customer at the centre of your thoughts will help you build your business.  It will shape your credibility, your future reputation and ultimately, decide your success or failure.
Will your customer focus lead to customer acquisition and loyalty?  By the end of this Business Builder session, you’ll have reflected on what a truly customer-centric business looks like and how it behaves, and why the successful organisations stand out from the rest!

Find out more about DABS Business Builder Programme.

To join this session you must be registered with the DABS Programme. If you’re already registered, email us to book your place.

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Wednesday, 10th August (15:00-18:00) - Business Planning Surgery
This will be a shorter session aimed at being a safe space where you can talk about your business plans and seek out our help and support.  If you want us to review your business plan and support with where it can be improved upon then please come along.  You may not have started a formal business plan and want to know where to start then this could be for you.  We can provide a range of templates if you need them as well.

This event is delivered online using Zoom.

To participate in this workshop you must be eligible for the DABS programme.  Please register here.

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Tuesday, 16th August (16:00-18:00) - Business Builder: Adopting Winning Ways of Working

Alan Dodsworth’s guide to key takeaways from this session:

Tried & Tested.  Have you ever wanted to understand how the successful brands work internally to ensure they have the best chance of success?  We’ll look at the tried and tested working practices that support the delivery of growth.
How top CEOs do it.  An insight into the key planning, goal setting and business review processes that are used by the top CEOs to achieve their business goals.  Whether you’re launching, building or growing your business, I’ll share my insights and experiences.
Adopt the winning way.  Finally, we’ll look at how you can adapt the CEOs ways of working to suit your start up business.  Once done, they will become the foundation of your vision.

By the end of the session, you’ll have an understanding of a CEOs thought processes and internal practices and will have a plan for how you’ll adopt them.

Find out more about DABS Business Builder Programme.

To join this session you must be registered with the DABS Programme.  If you’re already registered, email us to book your place.

Register for the DABS Programme here.

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Tuesday, 23rd August (17:00-19:00) - August DABS Live and Learn Networking Event
Join us on Tuesday, 23rd August from 17:00 at Durham City Rugby Football Club for our next live DABS Live and Learn Networking Event.

We are looking forward to seeing you all and enjoying some drinks and nibbles while we hear from business owners and entrepreneurs about their journey starting up their own business, what mistakes they have made and what they have learnt along the way.

If you have a story to tell, then please email us and be part of the evening.

Register for this event here.

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Tuesday, 23rd August (16:00-18:00) - Business Builder: Strategies for Growth!

Alan Dodsworth’s guide to key takeaways from this session:

Execution.  On the journey from developing your start up vision to writing your business plan, it will be the execution of your strategy that will be paramount to your success.
Articulate.  You will need to be prepared to understand how you articulate and demonstrate your own strengths by analysing the market and developing a plan to succeed as you grow.
Action.  In this session, I’ll help you move your business plan and vision, towards your Go to Market strategy. You’ll find out how to recognize the growth lifecycle stages of a business start-up and learn the different strategies that will support scaling up.

By the end of this session, you’ll be able to focus on the priorities and the tactics you can employ to ensure successful business growth.

Find out more about DABS Business Builder Programme.

To join this session you must be registered with the DABS Programme. If you’re already registered, email us to book your place.

Register here now.

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Wednesday, 24th August (15:00-18:00) - Financial Planning
An overview on sales forecasting, cashflow planning and what you need to think about to help plan your financials.  Templates can be provided and this is a safe space where you can talk about your finances, sales forecasting and more importantly how this will impact your cash-flow.

If you want us to review your forecasts and support with where it can be improved, then please come along.  You may not have started this yet, again no problem we would be delighted to provide a template and offer guidance on how to get started or answer any questions if you are part way through your financial planning.

This event is delivered online using Zoom.

To participate in this workshop you must be eligible for the DABS programme. Please register here.

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Thursday, 25th August (15:00-18:00) - Introduction to Employing Staff
If you would like to employ staff in the future, then we have a short session which will act as an introduction to hiring your first staff member.  We will guide you through some of the dos and don’ts to ensure you have a much broader and better understanding of what is involved, covering what a job role entails, the application process, interview, legalities and more.  We can also share with you information about the DABS JOBS GRANT OF £2500.

This event is delivered online using Zoom.

To participate in this workshop you must be eligible for the DABS programme.  Please register here.

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Tuesday, 30th August (16:00-18:00) - Business Builder: Being Business Pitch Ready

Alan Dodsworth’s guide to key takeaways from this session:

Going to Market.  Understanding the key elements of your Go to Market strategy is essential when you’re ready to take your brand to market.  You’ll be selling in and presenting your product, service or brand.
Ready to pitch?  Sometimes you get only one chance to sell your wares, so how do you know when you’re ready? In this session I’ll share the essential elements you’ll need to factor into any business pitch.
Which tools?  Have you thought about how you will approach the different channels and with what tools? We’ll look at why ‘one size fits all’ is not the strategy to employ.
Pitching Top Tips.  How do you communicate, and what are the top tips to any presentation?

By the end of the session, you’ll be in a better place to go for your next pitch.

Find out more about DABS Business Builder Programme.

To join this session you must be registered with the DABS Programme. If you’re already registered, email us to book your place.

Register now!

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Tuesday, 6th September (16:00-18:00) - Business Builder: Future Proofing the Proactive Way

Alan Dodsworth’s take on preparing for the future of your business:

“The financial crisis, Brexit, the Pandemic and now the cost-of-living crisis have dramatically changed the business landscape.  Many companies have survived by learning to adapt, pivot or change their business model.

Some have some amazing stories to tell, but many had to be reactive on the journey, many had to use their profits to deploy a plan, but there are sadly learnings from those who did not make it and who did not think about adapting or the importance of staying relevant, did not make it.

Now, any start-up needs to factor future-proofing their business from the outset, and there are so many success stories to learn from, including local relevant small businesses that employed successful recovery plans that not only enabled survival but also have found new incremental revenue streams.”

By the end of this session, you’ll be focused on your business proposition.  You’ll also understand the need to be creative and proactive from the outset to ensure you are better prepared for whatever comes next.

Find out more about DABS Business Builder Programme.

To join this session you must be registered with the DABS Programme. If you’re already registered, email us to book your place.

Register for the DABS Programme here!

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Wednesday, 7th September (15:00-18:00) - Introduction to Marketing
Marketing can be a daunting place for some, for others it feels easy and natural.  In either case we are here to help and support you.  If you want to look at your strategy for how to get the most out of your marketing budget, then come along to find out more.  This session will help you identify the right medium for your business and the most effective ways to use it.

This event is delivered online using Zoom.

To participate in this workshop you must be eligible for the DABS programme.  Please register here.

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Wednesday, 14th September (15:00-18:00)
Tik-Tok, Instagram, Clubhouse, Snapchat, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter . . . so many to choose from but . . . which is best?  Which is right for you?  Confused with where to start???  DABS, that’s where.  Come along and explore the good the bad and the ugly of the socials.  We will help you explore your business options and put a plan in place for which medium you should focus on and why.

This event is delivered online using Zoom.

To participate in this event you must be eligible for the DABS programme.  Please register here.

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Monday, 26th September (9:30-13:30) & Tuesday, 27th September (9:30-13:30) - Innovative Pricing for Growth and Scale
Join us for two half day sessions where we will help you to execute strategic pricing so your business excels in an increasingly dynamic and digitised business environment.  We will give you the tools and techniques you need to develop deep relationships with customers, suppliers and contractors.

DABS will work with you to implement innovative price models that help you monetise the business model and its value offering, making the organisation and its partnerships sustainable.

Successful businesses have mastered the art of innovative price models that create value for customers and enable sustainable growth and scale, if you want to remain competitive in the future then you need an agile approach to pricing and this session will help you achieve this.

Please note that this is a series of two half-day workshops with the first session taking place on 26th September and the second on 27th September (9:30-13:30).  All events are held online using Zoom.

To participate in these workshops you must be eligible for the DABS programme.  Please register your application online.

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Wednesday, 28th September (15:00-18:00) - Data Protection & GDPR
The last thing you want to do during start up is fall foul of the law.  Data Protection and GDPR can seem a daunting place but with our help we can keep you on the right track to avoid headaches and hot water.  This session is aimed at improving your knowledge and understanding, we will share best practice and answer any questions on what you can and cannot do, always better to be safe than sorry when it comes to your new business.  Do not get caught out!

This event is delivered online using Zoom.

To participate in this workshop you must be eligible for the DABS programme.  Please register here.

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Thursday, 13th October 2022 - The DABS Festival of Enterprise
The DABS Festival of Enterprise is a free, annual event to support ambitious entrepreneurs in the County Durham region take the next steps on their business journey.

At each festival, more than 150 aspiring and new entrepreneurs to learn, be inspired, make new connections and discover all the support that makes County Durham the perfect place to develop a business.

Register your free place for this year's Festival of Enterprise on 13th October 2022.

2021 Festival of Enterprise Speaker Interviews
The second DABS Festival of Enterprise took place on 21st October at the Xcel Centre, Newton Aycliffe.  Our speakers inspired the audience and gave them their top tips on how to run and grow a successful business.  Watch the interviews here.

Enjoy the best of the 2020 Festival of Enterprise
Missed the inspirational talks from Teri Ellington, Stefan Thomas, Jimmy Cregan and Jake Newport from the 2020 event?  Fear not!  You can hear all about their business journey with our online recordings.  Watch the talks here.

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Monday, 17th October (9:30-13:30) & Tuesday, 18th October (9:30-13:30) - Customer Analytics for Growth
This highly interactive workshop will help you to steal a march on your competitors.  We will help you create an understanding of the power of data, analytics and artificial intelligence and how this can really drive growth in your business.  This will give you the foundations for cultivating an analytics-based mind-set and help you to explore ways to embed this across your organisation.

Please note that this is a series of two half-day workshops with the first session taking place on 17th October and the second on 18th October (9.30am – 1.30pm).  All events are held online using Zoom.

To participate in these workshops you must be eligible for the DABS programme.  Please register here.

UMi - MAKE BETTER BUSINESS DECISIONS, MORE QUICKLY

DIGITAL DRIVE COUNTY DURHAM

APPLICATIONS OPEN FOR THE UK TRADESHOW PROGRAMME

Get support from DIT to attend or exhibit at selected trade shows this year. Applications are now open for events running up until February 2023. 

Tradeshows are a great way to grow sales and develop networks.  The Department for International Trade (DIT) is supporting businesses like yours to attend or exhibit at selected tradeshows.  Help offered includes specialised training and possible grants to cover costs.

Find out more and apply here.

Application deadlines for selected shows in your industry

  • Events with support for exhibitors
    • Paris Fashion Week - Women's - 10th July 2022
    • Pitti Uomo Men's Apparel - 20th October 2022
    • Heimtextil (Interior Textiles) - 20th October 2022
    • Paris Fashion Week - Men's - 27th October 2022
    • Premiere Vision - 13th November 2022
    • Paris Fashion Week - Women's (Spring) 2023 - 7th December 2022
    • Cosmoprof 2023 - 28th December 2022
  • Events with support for attendees
    • Paris Fashion Week - Women's - 27th July 2022
    • Pitti Uomo Men's Apparel - 8th November 2022
    • Heimtextil (Interior Textiles) - 8th November 2022
    • Paris Fashion Week - Men's - 15th November 2022
    • Premiere Vision - 30th November 2022
    • Paris Fashion Week - Women's (Spring) 2023 - 28th December 2022
    • Cosmoprof 2023 - 17th January 2023

Find out more and apply here.

FREE TRADE AGREEMENTS - WE'D LIKE TO HEAR FROM YOU!

North East Traders and Free Trade Agreements

As a key part of the UK's future trade strategy, the Department for International Trade (DIT) aims to ensure that business awareness of the UK's new and upcoming Free Trade Agreements is as high as possible.  This short survey will help guide the Department's understanding and future work on Free Trade Agreements.

Eligible businesses who respond to the survey will have the opportunity to receive FREE follow up advice and support.  A member of our Free Trade Agreements team will arrange a 30 minute call to discuss how FTAs may affect your businesses exporting processes.

NEW WEBSITE: NORTH EAST BUSINESS SUPPORT FUND

An update on the North East Business Support Fund (NEBSF) extension . . . we have now made it easier and simpler to access one of the region’s most popular Grant Fund through our new NEBSF website.

Our new website for this Fund is www.nebsf.co.uk

We’re now contacting all our partners and provider network to ensure clear understanding of the support we can provide and have attached our updated logo for your use across any material that refers to the North East Business Support Fund.  Please let me know if you require anything further.

I’ve also taken the liberty of attaching a briefing note, along with social media statements that I would be grateful if you could share across your own networks to ensure we reach as many businesses as possible.

As a brief reminder of our North East Business Support Fund, please see below.

The programme will offer Grants for Business Improvement Projects that use External Expertise and the financial support will remain the same:

County Durham businesses:

Northumberland or Tyne & Wear:

The business must be an SME with:

  • fewer than 250 full time equivalent employees
  • an Annual Turnover not exceeding € 50 Million and Balance Sheet value not exceeding €43 Million
  • credible plans to grow / recover from the impact of Covid (staff or turnover)

It may be worth noting that as this is an extension to the North East Business Support Fund, we are unable to provide funding to businesses who have already accessed support from the programme - this includes:

  • Businesses who have received a full Grant from the North East Business Support Fund between February 2018 to December 2020
  • Businesses in Northumberland or Tyne and Wear who have received a Covid Response (SME restart and Recovery / Kick-starting Tourism) Grant. County Durham businesses are not impacted by this restriction

If you have any queries or questions relating to the above - please let me know and as always - thanks for your continued support,

Kind regards

Sara Williams - sara.williams@nbsl.org.uk

KARBON HOMES - SILVERTALK

Did you know that around half a million older people in the UK go at least five or six days without seeing or speaking to anyone at all?

The team at Silver Talk want to change this.  But to do it, they need your help!

They’re on the lookout for new friends on the phone volunteers to join the team and help bring companionship and a listening ear to one of their service users, through a 30-minute social telephone chat once a week.

For as little as 45 minutes a week, you could really change someone’s life.

You will be provided with a mobile phone to make the calls.

Full training is given to make sure you’re confident dealing with any situation that may arise.

Karbon will cover the cost of a DBS check which can come in useful in other areas of life.

Interested?  You can apply here, where you can also find a full volunteer role description.

Alternatively, you can reach the team either by email silvertalk@karbonhomes.co.uk or by calling 0191 223 8662.

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 Lee Wilson on 0191 716 0960 or email: lee.wilson@weareumi.co.uk.

JOIN THE WALMART MARKETPLACE FAMILY AND REACH 120 MILLION LOYAL MONTHLY SHOPPERS

DATE & TIME: Tuesday, 26th July 2022 - 14:00-15:00

Join this webinar to learn more about Walmart.com, the world’s leading omni-channel retailer trusted by millions.  Learn first-hand about Walmart Marketplace’s large customer base and the steps you need to take to join this lucrative marketplace and be successful.

Walmart is looking for trusted UK Sellers who are experienced in eCommerce, have a compelling product catalogue, and who can offer an exceptional customer experience across a wide variety of categories, including: fashion, entertainment, toys, seasonal, home, hardlines, and more.

In this webinar you will learn:

  • About the Walmart opportunity
  • The steps you need to take to join
  • Key programmes that can help grow your business like Walmart Fulfillment Services (WFS) and Walmart Connect advertising (WMC).

You will hear from:

  • Judith McElhinney - Ecommerce Consultant, Digital Exporting Programme
  • Cassiano Amaral - Director, Walmart’s International Marketplace Development
  • Grace Xu – Walmart’s Sr. Account Manager for UK Sellers.

Register here.

UK-INDIA CHEMICALS TRADE MISSION 2022

Department for International Trade (DIT), is hosting a Chemicals mission to India in September 2022.  This will be our first event to India, building on the success of virtual delegations and webinars over the last two years.  We invite the best of British chemical companies with a focus on Sustainability, Green Manufacturing and Innovation, to join our mission to India.

Last date for expressions of interest: Friday, 22 July 2022.

For more information contact: Harish.Vaidyanathan@fcdo.gov.uk

APPLY FOR A DURHAM BUSINESS RECOVERY GRANT

The Durham Business Recovery Grant is a £5million fund to help County Durham businesses to recover from the effects of Covid-19.

Who can apply for a Durham Business Recovery Grant

Eligible businesses are those businesses able to demonstrate that they:

  • have a significant operational base, but less than 250 employees in County Durham
  • were established before 11 March 2020
  • are set up for profit and registered to pay tax on profit (in any format, eg sole trader, limited company)
  • use a business bank account (separating personal and business finance)
  • can demonstrate a significant adverse impact from Covid-19
  • can demonstrate solvency
  • can outline a credible and costed recovery plan
  • can fund their share of the recovery plan

Social enterprises (for example, community interest companies) are eligible provided they meet the above and can demonstrate that they generate 51% or more of their sales from commercial activity (excluding income from donations, grants and contracts not won through a competitive process).

Who cannot apply for a Durham Business Recovery Grant

The following are not eligible to apply for a Durham Business Recovery Grant:

  • registered charities
  • organisations set up to provide:
    • local social welfare and community facilities, for example hospitals, hospices, nursing homes, fire stations, child-minding facilities, sports clubs and societies, parks, public libraries
    • housing rental as part of an investment portfolio
    • public services or activities to supplement public services, for example social housing or school age education.
  • businesses whose activities may bring the council's name or reputation into disrepute

If you're not eligible, North East Growth Hub's list of finance and funding provides a list of grants available, or see Business Durham Covid-19 business support brochure.

How to apply

Before you apply for a Durham Business Recovery Grant, please read the essential information - Durham Business Recovery Grant - essential information to help you prepare your application.  The quality of your application will reflect the decision turnaround time of the application process.

Apply for a Durham Business Recovery Grant online

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.

DIT SUPPORT FOR TRADE SHOWS - EXHIBITING OR VISITING

There is updated funding & support from DIT available for exhibiting or visiting selected Trade Shows, this is separate, and in addition to the current grant funding we have available.

Attached is a presentation for your information (DIT UK Tradeshow Programme Promotional Toolkit).

Also attached is a spreadsheet of events, these could change, so there is also an online version which can be found here (UK Tradeshow Programme supported events - July 2022 to March 2023).

To find out more, check eligibility and make an application, please visit here.

For further enquiries, the DIT trade show team can be contacted via enquiries.uktradeshowprogramme@trade.gov.uk.

DIT EXPORTING OPPORTUNITIES & SUPPORT - EVENTS, DDP, HMRC, RULES OF ORIGIN, GRANTS

B2C E-Commerce: Global Fast Track Programme (16/02/2021 - 08/04/2021).  DIT North East are offering a fully funded 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. The introductory webinar will be followed by a seven-week programme, click here for further information.

DIT North East would like your input in shaping our 2021/22 virtual events and webinar programme We’re asking North East businesses which topics they feel would be most beneficial to maximise export potential. Have your say with our short survey here.

Royal Mail are designing a “Delivered Duties Paid” (DDP) service that takes care of VAT and customs duties for EU buyers prior to delivery, this fulfilment solution means you don’t need to register in each EU country to be able to sell goods including all duties, ideal for shopify or ecommerce sellers, potentially launching Feb/March, find our more by clicking here here (this link also has a good explanation of the current VAT process and changes due in July).

HMRC are running Exporting Webinars.  The webinar explains what actions you need to take to export goods from Great Britain to the EU and move goods between Great Britain and Northern Ireland, key export processes, border controls, zero-rated VAT, customs declaration, using an intermediary as well as licences, certificates and authorisations that you’ll need.  Please click here for further details an to reserve your place.

Rules of Origin: Check your goods comply to trade tariff-free with the EU.  Many of the queries we are getting at DIT are about the new Trade and Cooperation Agreement with the EU which includes important changes for Rules of Origin.  Put simply, this is where a product was manufactured and determines the “economic nationality” of goods (think of it as a birth certificate for the goods).  You can trade with the EU without paying tariffs, but only if a product meets the relevant rules.  Check for details on how to claim preferential (zero) tariffs, and see the documentation you’ll need to complete. Also, read the full guidance on meeting Rules of Origin when trading with the EU.

DIT Internationalisation Fund – Grants up to £9k per business - Available now until early 2023 - 50% to 60% grants to be used for exporting advice from third party private sector experts /consultants to help prepare for international trade, which may include: market research, market selection and entry advice, advice on Intellectual Property Rights, cross cultural negotiation support and standards, translation and cultural advice, international trade legal advice, PR support, international social media and search engine optimisation, international marketing, routes to market/agency advice, overseas business environment, and due diligence.  Participation in Trade Fairs, Trade Missions and independent market development visits etc.  The application process is a discussion about proposed activities, then if suitable an export action plan is completed, then an online application link, it is then assessed and administered by a third party organisation on behalf of DIT.  Only one application can be submitted, but can include multiple activities.

Social Media – A big thank you to Paul for supplying us with this very useful information.  You can reach Paul on his LinkedIn page and/or his Twitter feed - he regularly post updates on DIT opportunities, exporting issues and support from other business organisations across the North East.

Further national and local DIT events can be found here.

NBSL: FUNDING AND SUPPORT TO REDUCE BUSINESS COSTS

Growth plans on hold due to spiralling business costs?

With all manner of operating costs on the rise, it’s crucial that businesses use any opportunity to maintain efficiency and ensure growth plans remain on track.

If you're investing in new processes, products or technology, take a look at just some of the ways we can support you.

North East Business Support Fund

Operating across Northumberland, Tyne & Wear and Durham, this Fund can help towards the cost of projects that help improve efficiency or growth.

We’re encouraging SMEs to apply without delay as the Fund enters its final year of operation.  Grants can be used towards the cost of a project that brings in any external expertise to help move the business forward - from marketing and web design specialists to financial or human resource consultants.

County Durham businesses can access up to 40% of Grant Funding for projects costing between £2,500 and £8,000 with Northumberland and Tyne & Wear businesses accessing up to 35% funding for projects costing between £3,000 and £8,000.

Funding will be proactively targeted at Business-to-Business organisations in the remaining months of the programme.  Due to a limit on the number of Business-to-Consumer organisations that can be assisted and the high level of recent demand, only the strongest Business-to-Consumer applications will receive support. It may be also worth noting that this is an extension to the current Fund and therefore we may be unable to provide funding if you have received a North East Business Support Fund grant since February 2018.  Visit the dedicated NBSF grant website here.

North Of Tyne Innovation Recovery Grant

With a 50% grant available, this Fund can support eligible projects costing between £10,000 and £20,000 (excluding VAT), meaning a grant of between £5,000 and £10,000 is available to eligible SMEs and social enterprises across Northumberland, Newcastle Upon Tyne and North Tyneside.

To be eligible for funding your project needs to be 'innovative' - all that means is that it’s changing something for the better in your business - it could be a new product, an improved service, or a new way of working, it just needs to be something you’ve never done before.

Perhaps you’re looking at new IT systems and software to improve efficiency or thinking about working with a marketing consultant to launch a new product?  Maybe you're buying new equipment to automate a manual process, move into a new market or manufacture a new product.  These and hundreds of other projects could be eligible for funding.

If you’re a business that regularly evaluates the value you deliver and are thinking of a project that will improve what you do - then you’re being innovative and we may be able to help with this grant.  Visit the Innovation Funding website here.

Control costs through your carbon footprint

How do we reduce costs, save money and protect the environment is the first question posed at our most recent skills programme now available: ToNetZero.

Funded through the North of Tyne Combined Authority, this jargon-busting programme is a new skills programme helping you recognise the impact you could have on your carbon emissions and how you can develop your skills to spot ways of making changes with the potential to save costs.

Providing you with skills to design and implement your own plans, we’ve also lined up specialist speakers to inspire and encourage your ideas.

The programme is a flexible, fully funded skills programme supporting micro/SMEs and key staff over the age of 19 living in the North of Tyne and aims to develop your understanding, knowledge and skills through interactive, online workshops with each participant receiving eight hours of 1-2-1 support to help implement their own development plan for the business.  Find out more about ToNetZero here.

Building resilience thanks to NEBSF grant

With 2022 starting strongly, business resilience and operational efficiencies have become business critical to most businesses at the moment.

Thanks to the support of the North East Business Support Fund, NECS have been able to bring in external expert, Absolute Quality Consultancy & Training Ltd (AQCT) to support the development of a Business Resilience Strategy.

With AQCT’s support, Gary accessed grant support from business support agency NBSL via the North East Business Support Fund - which is part financed by the European Regional Development Fund and the Northern Powerhouse. “It was stress-free to apply for the grant,” says Gary.  “NBSL led me through the simple application process, it was very straight forward and the team came back with a decision to approve the grant within days.”

“The support received from the North East Business Support Fund and NBSL has been excellent and the grant has empowered our team to turn adversity into opportunity - identifying and unlocking new possibilities and would recommend any business use this Fund to help build company resilience.”

Read the full NECS grant journey here and see if we could help your business build resilience for the future.

The North East Business Support Fund (NEBSF) is part financed by the European Regional Development Fund and Northern Powerhouse as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020.

The project is delivered by NBSL.

IMPORT EXPORT VAT CHANGES FROM 1st JULY & IOSS DDP SERVICES

Please see the guide from Royal Mail explaining the new “IOSS” (Import One Stop Shop) for any sales into EU which has come into effect this week (from 1st July).

  • Removal of current VAT exception on low value parcels under 22EUR (now zero exceptions)
  • Introduction of Delivered Duty Paid (DDP) services
  • New rules regarding VAT from 1st July
  • See attached pdf for much more in depth information.  If you use couriers such as UPS or DPD check directly with them to see if they offer a suitable DDP service.

Also, see this link to watch on demand webinar on IOSS and VAT from Avalara.

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.

IMPORTANT TRADE UPDATE- UKCA DELAY / ASIA SUPPORT / IMPORT CHANGES

UKCA MARKING DELAYED - Requirement to adopt UKCA mark (rather than CE Mark) postponed by a year following industry pressure.  Click here to read more.

IMPORT CHANGES - Importing from the EU is changing, there are various stages between now and March, please read more here.

ASIA - With many supply chain issues and shipping issues related to Asia, as well as many new opportunities, we have arranged a free online event provided by “Crayfish.io” (one of DIT’s partners in Asia) looking at what to expect from the rest of 2021. Please register, taking place at 9am UK time on 9th Sept - please click here.

We haven’t reinstated in person meetings, and don’t expect to any time soon.  If you would like to discuss anything related to exporting then please continue to contact Paul Sparks, many thanks.

DEPARTMENT FOR INTERNATIONAL TRADE (DIT) - BE MORE DIGITAL

Join the Department for International Trade North East for a six-week online training programme, designed to give you the knowledge and skills to transform your business’s international digital strategy.

This is a free self-service programme with mentor support throughout from a digital specialist, who will tailor the advice and support provided to your business needs and discuss how to move your business forward.

What’s involved?

  • Introductory one-to-one appointment with a digital specialist.
  • Three weeks to complete the first three online training modules and handouts.
  • Follow up one-to-one appointment with the specialist.
  • Three weeks to complete the final three online modules and handouts.
  • Final one-to-one appointment with the specialist.

The modules:

  • Introduction to the Programme
  • Strategy and How to Create a Digital Footprint
  • International Website Optimisation for B2B Companies
  • Capturing International Audience with Social Content
  • LinkedIn – Creating International Business Opportunities
  • Pitching and Negotiating Online

Contact Details: Department for International Trade North East - northeast@mobile.trade.gov.uk

Website URL here.

Social Media URL's:
Twitter: @tradegovuk_NE
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/groups/3965484/

DEPARTMENT FOR INTERNATIONAL TRADE (DIT) - NORTH EAST'S GLOBAL FAST TRACK PROGRAMME

Join the Department for International Trade (DIT) North East’s Global Fast Track programme for a six-week online training programme developed specialists.  This programme aims to help you assess each area of your business performance to create an action plan.

This is a free self-service programme with mentor support throughout from an e-Commerce specialist to discuss advice and support available provided for your business needs and how to implement them going forward.

What’s involved?

  • Introductory one-to-one appointment with an e-Commerce specialist.
  • Three weeks to complete the first three online training modules and handouts.
  • Follow up one-to-one appointment with the e-Commerce specialist.
  • Three weeks to complete the final three online training modules and handouts.
  • Final one-to-one appointment with the e-Commerce specialist.

The modules:

  • Introduction to the Programme
  • Re-defining your e-Commerce Strategy in 2021 and Beyond
  • Optimising your Site for International Audiences
  • Generating Leads: Social Media Marketing
  • Logistics and Fulfilment
  • Pricing Strategy

Contact Details - Department for International Trade North East - northeast@mobile.trade.gov.uk

Website link here.

Social Media URL's:
Twitter: @tradegovuk_NE
LinkedIn link here.

DEPARTMENT FOR INTERNATIONAL TRADE (DIT) - WHAT IS THE EXPORT ACADEMY?

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 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 looking to grow internationally and located in the Midlands, North, South West, or East of England.

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

Contact Details - Department for International Trade North East - northeast@tradene.org

Website URL here.

Social Media URL's
Twitter: @tradegovuk_NE
LinkedIn link here.

DEPARTMENT FOR INTERNATIONAL TRADE (DIT) - NEW TRADING OPPORTUNITIES IN THE IRISH MARKET

The Department for International Trade and British Irish Chamber of Commerce are inviting businesses to join an interactive webinar, exploring new trading opportunities in the Irish Market.

Geographical proximity, common language, close cultural and economic links, and numerous transport connections by sea and air, make Ireland an ideal target market for first time UK exporters.  This webinar will highlight the attractiveness of the Irish market for new exporters and discuss the post-Brexit dynamics for doing business with Irish customers.

Why Join?

  • Discover opportunities in the market
  • Find out how to formulate a successful market entry strategy
  • Learn about the barriers and common pitfalls facing new exporters
  • Hear advice from experienced exporters

Who’s it for?  Ireland is a good place for businesses to start exporting for the first time.  This webinar is designed for Northern Powerhouse businesses, who are new to exporting, and are looking to hear about the in-market opportunities.

Contact Details - Department for International Trade North East - northeast@mobile.trade.gov.uk

Website URL here.

Social Media URL's:
Twitter: @tradegovuk_NE
LinkedIn link here.

SUSTAINABLE INFRASTRUCTURE OPPORTUNITIES IN LATAC FOR NPH COMPANIES

On Demand - Recorded September 2021

Infrastructure is a key sector for economic recovery in Latin America and the Caribbean (LATAC) and water in particular is an area where major investment is required.  This region is a key part of the world that will be affected by climate change and the UK has demonstrated strengths in sustainable infrastructure critical to meeting global climate net zero and resilience goals.
 
Infrastructure is a key driver of economic development, competitiveness and inclusive growth.  The opportunity and demand for infrastructure in this region is significant: the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) stated in 2020 that LATAC suffers from large infrastructure gaps (the difference between the infrastructure investment needed and the resources made available to address that need) and invests much less in infrastructure than other developing regions.  Over the past decade, the region invested 2.8 percent of its GDP in infrastructure, half the level of emerging Asia.
 
A number of economies across the region are now betting on sustainable infrastructure investment to drive economic growth amidst the dual challenges of recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic and dealing with the effects of climate change.  UK companies are well positioned to partner with Latin American governments and companies to realise this vision, with UK expertise in delivering major projects and innovation in digital and sustainable infrastructure in high demand.
 
The webinar will cover the following countries and regions:

  • Mexico
  • Brazil
  • Chile
  • Argentina
  • Colombia
  • Peru
  • Central America
  • Caribbean

Opportunities for NPH Companies

Opportunities have been identified in the following areas:

  • Project, programme and cost management
  • Financing schemes (PPPs, BOT)
  • Architectural design
  • Digital Construction
  • Master planning/engineering services
  • Consultancy services
  • Flood prevention & mitigation
  • Rolling stock
  • Signalling Bridges 

If you are a Northern Powerhouse company working in infrastructure, join us to find out what opportunities are available to your business in the LATAC region.

PODCAST DIT & PwC DISCUSS THE LATEST OPPORTUNITIES FOR UK TRADE

Join Sam Myers, Her Majesty's Trade Commissioner for Asia Pacific, Matt Alabaster, PwC’s International Trade Lead Partner and host Emily Khan in this episode of PwC’s ‘Business in Focus’ podcast series to discover the growing trade opportunities between the UK and Asia Pacific, from clean growth to digital technology.

Listen to the podcast here.

MARKET BRIEFING WEBINAR: EDUCATION LANDSCAPE & OPPORTUNITIES IN LATAC

Webinar: Exploiting Education Opportunities Overseas (including EdTech) - Intellectual Property and Contractual Considerations

For companies involved in the EdTech sector this introductory webinar focuses on entering new markets, protecting your technology, and contractual considerations.  This introductory session, with the opportunity for questions, will be looking at some of the key intellectual property and contractual considerations when trading in tech abroad such as:

  • Routes into international markets from direct selling, incorporation, franchising, agency and distribution
  • Internationalising terms and conditions
  • Navigating local regulatory compliance
  • The categories of IP
  • Myths and reality
  • Cost and risk

View recording here.

NEW DIT EVENTS

The DIT send on an updated version every few months, but for up to date information you can also use the following links:

For All DIT Events and Trade Missions - https://bit.ly/3BPJyrU

For North East Events - https://bit.ly/2Yh1cam

For Northern Powerhouse Events and Trade Missions - https://bit.ly/3k8kFC0

NEWS FROM THE DIT

New Helpline for EU Exports - DIT now have a national helpline to help with paperwork and regulations for exporting to EU. Please see here.

Free Trade Agreement (FTA’s) Support - We have signed FTA’s with a number of countries and more will be signed next year.  This changes the export opportunities and can raise a number of questions for exporters.  So at DIT North East we have contracted out this support to “The Funding Forum” see here.  They have been issued with new internal email addresses and be part of our team.  Please send enquiries to Paul Sparks initially, then if relevant I’ll connect you with the correct person to continue FTA support.

If you export to FRANCE - Starting 1st January, VAT on imports in France will no longer be collected by the customs authorities but rather will be automatically reverse-charged on the importer’s French VAT returns.  This means it will not be possible to import goods into France without a France VAT number as all companies acting as importers of record in France will need to have a valid French VAT number and file VAT declarations.  Foreign companies can register for VAT in France even if they are not established in France or elsewhere in the EU. DIT France will be partnering with RM Boulanger, a company specialised in cross-border formalities and tax matters, if you need any support with this please let me know.

Paul Sparks International Trade Adviser, Department for International Trade.

EVENTS & HIGHLIGHTS FROM AROUND THE NETWORK

Europe Trade Month: November 2021

New Export Support Service
The Export Support Service is a new government helpline and online service where all UK businesses can get answers to practical questions about exporting to Europe.  Access the Export Support Service at GOV.UK/ask-export-support-team or by calling 0300 303 8955 where you will be put in touch with a member of our dedicated export support team.

EXPORT ACADEMY V2 - SELLING SERVICES OVERSEAS

DATE & TIME: Wednesday, 9th February 2022 - 10:00 - 12:00

What is the UK Export Academy?

The UK Export Academy from the Department for International Trade (DIT) gives businesses the know-how to sell to customers around the world by learning from experts in international trade.
 The UK Export Academy has been designed to accommodate different levels of exporting experience, whether your business is interested in starting to sell internationally or looking to grow your international sales further.  The academy will you to overcome common challenges that businesses can face.

What will your business get from the UK Export Academy?

  1. Foundation course: Build your knowledge and confidence if you’re relatively new to selling internationally or interested in learning about how to start.  You will leave the foundation course with an export action plan tailored to your business.
  2. Sector faculties: Sector specific webinars, masterclasses and virtual missions.  More experienced exporters can join sector faculties to provide your business with specific information to allow you to operate effectively in particular foreign markets or sectors.
  3. Market access events: Learn about the benefits of new market opportunities, including the benefits of new free trade agreements.

Who is the UK Export Academy for?

The UK Export Academy is open to any business in the UK who has a product or service that can be sold internationally. It is for businesses who know that they want to reach international customers and contracts in the future, as well as those who might already be selling beyond the UK and want to expand into new markets.

Register here now.

GOV.UK - NEW EXPORT STRATEGY

The new Export Support Service (ESS) - New phone and online support for exporting to EU can be found here.

New UK Tradeshow Programme providing funding of £2k to £4k per tradeshow - more information here.

Launch of the ‘Made in the UK, Sold to the World’ campaign - further information here.

EXPORT OPPORTUNITIES - LATAC: PLASTIC WASTE RECYCLING & TECHNOLOGIES FOR SOLID WASTE MANAGEMENT MAPPING EXERCISE

The DIT Brazil Infrastructure team are currently in touch with a Brazilian company in the solid waste management and recycling sector that has a project related to plastic waste recycling.  Currently the company is looking for technologies to expand the capability of plastic recycling; improve the quality of PCR and other final processed materials; and perform mechanical recycling.  Click on the links below for more information on the opportunities available:

PODCAST: DIT & PwC DISCUSS THE LATEST OPPORTUNITIES FOR UK TRADE

Join Sam Myers, Her Majesty's Trade Commissioner for Asia Pacific, Matt Alabaster, PwC’s International Trade Lead Partner and host Emily Khan in this episode of PwC’s ‘Business in Focus’ podcast series to discover the growing trade opportunities between the UK and Asia Pacific, from clean growth to digital technology.

Listen here.

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.

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.

DEPARTMENT FOR INTERNATIONAL TRADE

The Department for International Trade has added many new events, both recorded and future events, including trade missions, webinars, etc. some are region specific and others available to businesses across whole of UK, please see https://www.events.great.gov.uk/ehome/trade-events-calendar/all-events/index.php and keep checking this as new events added all the time.

DEPARTMENT FOR INTERNATIONAL TRADE - OVERSEAS BUSINESS TRAVEL

Please see on the left the PDF which provides updated guidance on overseas business travel following Brexit, such as new visa systems, work permits etc and also updated guidance on Recognition of Professional Qualifications which you might need to get officially recognised in order to continue to provide services in EU or EFTA countries.

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.

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.

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 the 1st 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.

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.

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.

HM GOVERNMENT: BUSINESS READINESS BULLETIN - BREXIT: NEW RULES ARE HERE

The UK has left the EU, and the Brexit transition period has ended.  There are new rules for businesses doing business with the EU from 1st January, and you need to take action now.  All information on Brexit can be found at here.  This bulletin is issued by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and provides the latest information for businesses.

NEW £20 million SME Brexit Support Fund

The new £20 million SME Brexit Support Fund offers support to help small businesses adjust to new customs procedures, rules of origin, and VAT rules when trading with the EU. 

SMEs who trade only with the EU, and are therefore new to importing and exporting processes, can apply for grants of up to £2,000, to pay for practical support including training and professional advice to ensure they can continue trading effectively with the EU. 

You can use the grant for training on:

  • how to complete customs declarations
  • how to manage customs processes and use customs software and systems
  • specific import and export related aspects including VAT, excise and rules of origin 

It can be used to help you get professional advice so your business can meet its customs, excise, import VAT or safety and security declaration requirements. 

Your business may be eligible if you have up to 500 employees, and no more than £100 million annual turnover. 

Applications for the SME Brexit Support Fund will open soon.  For more information on how you can use the grant, who can apply and how to apply, click here.

Importing and Exporting

NEW: Step-by-Step guides to importing and exporting goods between Great Britain and the EU: There are new rules for importing and exporting goods between Great Britain and countries in the EU.  Whether you’re completing customs declarations yourself or have an intermediary to do it for you, these guides will take you through each step and set out your options.

NEW: DEFRA’s Trader showcase sites for the latest information on exporting and moving goods from GB to the EU and NI: DEFRA's Showcase sites are a one-stop-shop of useful information and documents for traders who export live animals or animal products.

UPDATED: Importing from and re-exporting union goods to the EU Resources such as trader support packs and flowcharts, have been updated to include a new ‘Importing and re-exporting union goods to the EU – Flowchart'. For more information, click here.

UPDATED: Report goods arriving at a UK port on a commercial vessel:  Guidance for the ship’s master or ship’s agent of commercial vessels on reporting goods arriving in at a UK port, has been updated with information about ‘an account of stores held on board’. For more information, click here.  

UPDATED: List of customs agents and fast parcel operators: The list of agents and operators who can help submit customs declarations has been updated. For more information, click here.

Marketing goods

UPDATED: Using the UKCA marking: Guidance has been updated to include further instructions regarding the height of the UKCA marking.  For more information, click here.  

UPDATED: Using the UKNI marking: Guidance has been updated to include further instructions regarding the height of the UKNI marking.  For more information, click here.

Trade

UPDATED: UK trade agreements with non-EU countries: The list of trade agreements has been updated to reflect the fully ratified UK-Egypt and UK-Singapore agreements.  For more information, click here.

Business Support Helplines

NEW: Brexit transition helplines: A list of government helplines organised by theme and key actions for businesses has been published.  To view this, click here.

There are new rules for businesses doing business with the EU from 1st January, and you need to take action now.  To help you, a helpline has been set up.  For English businesses, the Business Support Helpline can help you identify the actions you need to take.  Similar helplines are available for Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales.

For more information for:

  • businesses in England, call 0800 998 1098
  • businesses in Scotland, call 0300 303 0660
  • businesses in Wales, call 0300 060 3000
  • businesses in Northern Ireland, call 0800 181 4422.

For more information, including opening hours, click here.

Webinars and Podcasts

  • NEW: The National Cyber Security Centre is running a series of free cyber security webinars and talks aimed at UK businesses of all sizes, educational institutions and charities. For more information, click here.
  • NEW: Exporting goods from Great Britain to the EU via the short straits: A webinar and Q&A session on the issues arising from goods moving from GB to the EU, via the short straits, has been published.  To view these, click here.
  • Video content to keep your business moving: short on-demand videos covering the new rules on exports, imports, tariffs, data and hiring are available to view here.
  • DEFRA are hosting a series of webinars covering importing food and drink, including composite food and fishery products from the EU to Great Britain (GB) from 1 April 2021.  For more information and to register for relevant webinars, click here.
  • Webinars for businesses that trade with the EU: Click here to view a list of webinars you can sign up to watch live or on demand. 

Sector-specific guidance

Emissions Trading

UPDATED: Participating in the UK Emissions Trading Scheme (UK ETS): Guidance explaining who the UK ETS applies to, and what is required of businesses that are covered, has been updated.  Information on auctioning has been updated to include information on the Auction Reserve Price, the Cost Containment Mechanism and the Auctioning Regulations. For more information, click here.  

Fishing & Fisheries

NEW: Scottish seafood taskforce to solve ongoing problems with exports: A new seafood taskforce has been established, drawing together senior political figures, industry representatives and UK Government officials, all working to solve ongoing problems with exports.  For more information, click here.  

UPDATED: How to export wild caught marine fishery products to the EU from 1 January 2021: The latest edition of the ‘One-stop-shop' guidance is now available. For more information, click here.

HM GOVERNMENT'S BUSINESS SUPPORT WEBINARS

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

NEW EXPORT SUPPORT SERVICE

The Export Support Service is a new government helpline and online service where all UK businesses can get answers to practical questions about exporting to Europe.  It gives access to cross government information and support all in one place.  If you are a UK business you can use this free service, no matter the size of your business or which part of the UK you are based.  DIT will continue to work with businesses and business representative groups from all sectors, in all parts of the UK, to help make the service as useful as possible for businesses.  You can access the Export Support Service here or by calling 0300 303 8955 where you will be put in touch with a member of our dedicated export support team.  You can also ask a question online.  The export support team will reply within 3 working days.  They might ask for more information.

INSTITUTE OF EXPORT & INTERNATIONAL TRADE: NEW SME BREXIT SUPPORT FUND

Claim up to £2,000 towards training and advisory services

To help you adapt to new rules for trade with the EU, the IOE&IT has launched a SME Brexit Support Package of training and support, fundable by new government grants.

The government this week announced an additional £20 million available through the SME Brexit Support Fund.  Provided you meet certain eligibility criteria, you can get £2000 funding towards the costs of training and/or professional advice, to help you with changes to trade rules with the EU.

To help you adapt to new rules for trade with the EU, our SME Brexit Support Package is a good place to start.

One of our experts will provide a day's in-house training for your business (via virtual classroom), looking at the specific impacts new rules and regulations could have on your business.  They will create a one-page action plan with you to help ensure you're ready to continue EU trade.

The one-day training will cover the following core topics to help you, as an SME, continue trading:

  • EU:UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA)
  • Exporting to the EU
  • Importing from the EU
  • Rules of Origin for duty free trade
  • Incoterms for EU trade
  • Commodity codes
  • Trade and customs documentation
  • Customs procedures
  • Product regulatory compliance
  • Summary and wrap up

Book your support package today.  Our team will help you through the grant application process.

  • £1950 inc. VAT for non-members
  • £1750 inc. VAT for IOE&IT members

The SME Brexit Support Fund can also be used against several of the Institute's one day training courses to ensure key members in your team have the knowledge they need to be able to continue to trade with the EU:

Due to COVID-19, courses are currently being offered through a virtual classroom.  You can view all the courses here.

DURHAM FUTURE INNOVATION BUILDING PROJECT

Aims of the programme

The programme is designed to support innovation in the Construction, Health and Elec-Tech sectors.  It runs from 1 January 2021 until 30 June 2023. It is designed to support innovation to transform products, processes and services for the future, and create possibilities to extend, transform, replace and develop entirely new products and markets, growing their supply chains, feeding into improved productivity, employment and wider economic and other benefits for County Durham.  These sectors have been identified as they are areas of strength in County Durham.

Innovation areas have been further identified as strategically important in the LEP Economic Plan for the North East, to grow productivity, employment and new markets.  At government level, AI, The Data Economy, The Future of Mobility, Clean Growth, Ageing Society, and more recently The Green Economy, Net Zero and the Eight Great Enabling Technologies are very important innovation considerations for the future. Innovation may be disruptive, life enhancing and transition society to adapt, in order to meet our future needs in County Durham, and globally.

For further details on this project, please click here.

E-COMMERCE: GLOBAL FAST TRACK ONLINE PROGRAMME

Join the Department for International Trade (DIT) North East’s Global Fast Track programme.  A free online 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 programme is designed for e-Commerce businesses who:

  • Are experienced exporters, and want to enhance their knowledge to expand their international sales
  • Have been trading successfully B2C and can demonstrate success; or
  • Are established B2B businesses and are considering transitioning into B2C

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?

The programme began with an interactive introductory session on Wednesday, 16th July, which provided an overview of the programme, the opportunity to have any queries answered and network with fellow delegates.

After attending the introductory webinar, you will be provided with access to the online learning programme containing pre-recorded sessions.  You will be given action plans upon complete of each module, providing you with the opportunity to analyse where your business is now and where it needs to be.

The benefits:

  • Share your experiences and challenges with like-minded business
  • Provide and access peer-to-peer support which can be utilised throughout the programme
  • Self-service delivery, allowing you to tailor the programme to accommodate your workload
  • Option for one-to-one support with an e-Commerce expert at the middle and end of the programme
  • Option for further DIT support upon completion if needed

About the modules

There are five online modules in total, covering the following topics:

  • Re-defining your e-Commerce Strategy in 2021 and Beyond
  • Optimising your Site to Attract International Audiences
  • Generating Leads: Social Media Marketing
  • Logistics and Fulfilment
  • Pricing Strategy

This is a great opportunity to develop the skills to strengthen your e-Commerce Strategy and reach more international customers online.

CE MARK, 6 MONTH COUNTDOWN TO UKCA & UKNI

From the 31st December 2021 it will be mandatory to use the new UKCA marking (UKNI for Ireland) for products that currently require CE Marking, new guidance has been produced by UK Government.  Please see detailed step by step guidance and one page guides for both UKCA and UKNI as well as a FAQ document.

Work is currently being done to translate guidance into other languages so that businesses can make their overseas clients aware of the changes, as there is currently little awareness within the EU of these planned changes.

ROYAL MAIL - NEW REQUIREMENTS WHEN SENDING INTERNATIONAL ITEMS

Electronic customs data is now required when sending items abroad

Electronic customs data is now mandatory when you send items/goods abroad (excluding personal correspondence).  You are required to provide customs data to us electronically in addition to the physical customs declaration (CN22 or CN23).  This has been effective since 1 January 2020.  Failure to comply is likely to result in delays, having items returned or even destroyed.

As of 1 June 2021, all Royal Mail shipping systems will require mandatory electronic customs data, to ship items internationally.

How to make it easy

Depending on how you are posting your items internationally, this will dictate on how you provide electronic customs data.

One of the ways to provide the required data is to use a shipping platform which meets the compliance requirements.

Royal Mail has shipping platforms such as Click & Drop* and Pro Shipping* or you can integrate you system with API Shipping.  These platforms capture and generate customs data files plus automatically create the required labels to send items abroad.

* Other competitor shipping systems also available

For Online postage, please ensure you complete the electronic customs form fully and completely.  This will pre-advise customs data to the receiving overseas postal authority and generate a physical customs form to attach to your item. 

Franking customers must include a self-adhesive S10 barcode on all untracked items (International Standard & International Economy) containing goods plus a clearly completed customs form (CN22/CN23).  Barcodes are available from www.royalmail.com/mailsupplies.  For tracked items an additional barcode is not required but clear and legible customs declarations must be completed.  Royal Mail will take care of customs pre-advice to the overseas postal authority.  See more on our International Services on account and franking page

If you are sending gifts/goods via a Post Office fully complete the relevant customs form (CN22 or CN23) clearly and legibly and attach it to your item. The Post Office will advise you of the correct customs form. Untracked items (International Standard and International Economy) should use the customs form that carries a barcode. If sending using one of our tracked and signature services an unbarcoded CN22/CN23 should be used. Royal Mail will take care of customs pre-advice to the overseas postal authority.

For further information, please visit the Royal Mail website.

BUSINESS DURHAM - LFD POSTCARD

I wanted to let you know about some information that our Public Health team have produced regarding lateral flow device testing that I thought might be useful for your business networks and contacts.

I’ve attached images of a postcard for those who are accessing lateral flow device COVID-19 tests - either through an employer programme, community/pharmacy collect or by directly ordering them from NHS Test and Trace.  It reminds people of their duties should they test positive (i.e. self-isolate and book PCR test) as well as signposting to sources of advice and support.

Andrea McGuigan, Business Durham

WE WANT YOUR FEEDBACK!

DIT North East would like your input in shaping our 2021/22 virtual events and webinar programme.

Ahead of the new programme release, we’re asking North East businesses which topics they feel would be most beneficial to maximise export potential.

To ensure the 2021/22 virtual events and webinar programme is beneficial to businesses in our region we would be grateful if you could spare a few minutes to complete our short survey.

Responses can be anonymous and any feedback you can provide will help influence the practical knowledge and support we can offer North East businesses.