Coronavirus chemicals update, 19th March 2021

Dear Friend,

Happy Friday! It’s Day 361 of Lockdown, and today we have another email on trade issues from Heather Thomas of BEIS, probably one of her last as a Chemicals specialist, but of course we also have other news items including the weekend recipe, and our last Reasons to be Cheerful of the week.

Chemical and trade issues – email from BEIS

Heather Thomas writes:

A few updates below, and details of a consultation and an ETS call for evidence.

Brexit & UK regs

  1. The BPDG bulletin for week ending 12 March is attached: 2021-03-12 BPDG Weekly Stakeholder Bulletin .pdf. It includes details of the revised timetable for the introduction of import controls (you may also be interested in the Written Ministerial Statement on this).
  2. Business travel – mindful that over the coming months travel restrictions should start easing, if you are planning to travel to the EU the attached step-by-step summary guide may be useful: Business Travel One-Pager v.2.pdf. Or if you will be travelling to the EU, EEA or Switzerland for work or business purposes, this site is also useful to check whether you need to apply for a visa, work permit or other documentation.
  3. Consultation – the government is inviting views on the long-term approach to product safety and how to ensure that the regulatory framework is fit for the future – see here. Vies are sought from individuals, businesses and organisations that interact with all aspects of product safety, including manufacturers, trade associations, consumers and consumer organisations, specifically relating to the following areas:

· product design, manufacture and placing on the market;

· new models of supply;

· new products and product lifecycles;

· enforcement considerations;

· a diverse and inclusive product safety framework.

4. HMRC and the Department for International Trade are continuing to take practical measures to address some of the main difficulties (both in the UK and the EU) that have arisen with cross-border trade; thank you for all the feedback you have shared so far, please do keep feeding in areas where you’re experiencing particular difficulties where Gov action could help. As I will be leaving the team on Thursday 25 March, please send any feedback after then to and

Net zero

  1. UK ETS – a call for evidence has been published on a UK Emissions Trading Scheme free allocation review. The consultation is open until 23 April 2021. See here for more details.
  2. Net zero – REMINDER – in conjunction with the NP11 group of Northern Local Enterprise Partnerships, BEIS are hosting a series of regionally focused “Your business journey to Net Zero” events targeting SMEs to provide insights from other businesses and suggest practical tips to help achieve low-carbon goals. The next event is taking place on Friday 19 March from 9:40am-4:20pm and will have a Northern focus, featuring speakers and businesses from across the region as well as some National speakers. More information about the event and how to register here. N.B. due to the variety and breadth of the day’s content, all sessions will be recorded so that delegates will be able to access presentations that they were unable to attend live on the day. If you have any questions please do get in touch with the team via their general mailbox
  3. The Industrial decarbonisation strategy that was published yesterday – please see here.


  1. Business travel – since 8 March 2021, passengers travelling internationally need to carry a new form that sets out their trip is permitted under the stay at home restrictions. The simple form must be downloaded, signed before travel, and carried or downloaded onto a mobile phone. N.B. some people are exempt from completing the declaration form because of the job they do – see here.
  2. Update on tests for HGV or van driver: Guidance has been updated with information on test timeframes for round-trips between the UK and France, and the time-stamped document drivers will receive to help verify how much time they have spent in the UK.
  3. Financial support mechanisms are available:
  • Recovery Loan Scheme: The Recovery Loan Scheme ensures businesses of any size can continue to access loans and other kinds of finance up to £10 million per business once the existing COVID-19 loan schemes close, providing support as businesses recover and grow following the disruption of the pandemic and the end of the transition period. The scheme launches on 6 April and is open until 31 December. See here for more information.
  • Local Restrictions Support Grant (for open businesses): Guidance has been updated with information on the closing date and details of new subsidy allowance.

4. Deferred VAT Payments – find out how to pay VAT payments deferred between 20 March and 30 June 2020. You can pay now or join the VAT deferral new payment scheme. If you’re on the VAT Annual Accounting Scheme or the VAT Payment on Account Scheme, you can join the scheme from 10 March 2021. Further information is available here.

5. Kickstart Gateways – see the Guidance for information about the programme for getting young people into job placements, and updated information about the funding schedule (employers will get an initial payment of £1,860, which includes £360 per job placement for admin costs), and more detail added to the steps in.

Many thanks as usual to Heather, we will miss you! As usual, this email will be open-access on our website, so you can share this information with anyone who may find it useful, see: .

Remembering Darrell Nash, formerly of Albion Dyestuffs Ltd

As our readers who are members of the Chemical Regulations Self Help Group already know, we lost our founder, Darrell Nash a few weeks ago, and yesterday was his funeral. He was a visionary in many ways, foreseeing the adverse impact of REACH on the chemical industry, and he will be missed by his many friends in the group and in the dyestuff industry. I wasn’t able to get the livestream link, but if anyone has it, please let me know.

Weekend Recipe

At last! After we replaced it last Friday with a Simnel Cake recipe for Mothering Sunday, here’s Aaron Turrall’s vegan chocolate cupcake recipe (also great for those of us who bake for people who are lactose or casein intolerant).

Aaron writes: Vegan chocolate cupcake recipe below, these are amazing as the apple caramelises in the middle and they’re almost like brownies! I reckon with a bit of working they could be made into coffee cupcakes too.


  • 190g Self raising flour
  • 42g cocoa powder
  • 100g white sugar
  • 100g brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon bicarb or baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 240ml plant milk
  • 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 80ml vegetable oil/rapeseed oil/canola oil
  • 3 tablespoons apple sauce
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

Chocolate buttercream frosting

  • 170g vegan butter
  • 360g icing sugar
  • 63g cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2-3 tablespoon plant milk


  1. Preheat oven to 350F (180C)
  2. sift flour and cocoa into a mixing bowl, add the white and brown sugar, baking powder and salt, mix.
  3. Add the plant milk, vanilla oil, apple sauce and apple cider vinegar and mix.
  4. Divide the batter between cupcake tin (bake in silicone cupcake moulds if possible)
  5. Bake for 25 minutes until cooked. use a toothpick or fork to check.
  6. Make frosting by mixing ingredients until smooth
  7. spoon or pipe frosting on the cooled cakes.

Plant milk can be any plant-based milk, I believe we’ve tried both oat milk and almond milk and worked with both.

Bonus recipe

And a second unusual chocolate cake recipe suitable for people with milk intolerances, this time made with mayonnaise – many thanks to Kathryn Tearle of OHES for sending this through. It’s a bundt cake recipe, although Kathryn says you can make it in an ordinary cake tin, just give it a bit longer to make sure it’s cooked through.

The recipe is here:

There’s a useful video as well from the recipe author:

Kathryn recommends The Hummingbird Bakery book, called Life is Sweet, you can buy it here (not an affiliate link):

Reasons to be cheerful

To end the week, our final Great British Bake Off – Matt Lucas addresses the nation

And, as it’s Friday the bonus Mind blowing Celeb Bake Off creations

Many thanks to everyone who has contributed to the newsletter today and throughout the week. As usual, if you have anything you’d like to share, please email me and I’ll do my best to include it in the next newsletter.

I hope you have a lovely weekend, and that you, your family, friends and colleagues all stay safe and well, because that really is the most important thing.

​​Kind regards,


Janet Greenwood

TT Environmental Ltd