Coronavirus chemicals update, 30th December 2020

Dear Friend,

The snow came yesterday, so we have a very happy pair of cocker spaniels. Even Meg, our old girl, is playing in the snow like a puppy.

It’s Day 282 of Lockdown, and today We will also find out about whether Lockdown will effectively be re-imposed by an increase to Tier 4 for the whole of England. It is also an important day for the confirmation vote on No Deal Brexit.

BEIS information – Link to UK/EU Agreement and Rules of Origin information to avoid paying tariffs – 29 Dec 2020

Heather Thomas of BEIS writes: I hope you all had (or are still having) a lovely Christmas break.

You will all have seen that on 24 December, the UK and the EU signed the “TRADE AND COOPERATION AGREEMENT” – a link to the agreement and explainer document (PDF and HTML versions) can be found here .

With the signing of the Agreement, the vast majority of traders moving goods between the UK and EU will avoid paying tariffs on that trade. In order to avoid paying tariffs, all traders must – from 1 January – ‘claim preference’ by way of meeting the relevant rules of origin (RoO) for their products and making a declaration to that effect.

Businesses should ensure that the following actions are carried out as soon as possible so that they are ready to use the Agreement:

• Check the rules that are applicable to their products to ensure that the products are originating in either the UK or EU and can therefore be traded on preferential terms. The general rules are found in Chapter 2 of the Trade and Cooperation Agreement and the ‘Product Specific Rules of Origin’ are contained in Annex ORIG-2; • Consult accompanying GOV.UK guidance [link below]; • Make sure they and their EU suppliers/customers have agreed whether a claim will be based on an exporter’s declaration or on the importer’s knowledge, informing customs agents as appropriate; • Get ready to make the appropriate statement on the commercial and customs documentation for all consignments being traded on and after 1 January.

The relevant GOV.UK guidance on claiming preference, including links to the Agreement itself and information about customs codes etc., can be found here: This will be supplemented – hopefully later today or tomorrow – with longer-form guidance on RoO in the agreement. This should be linked to from the same webpage as soon as it is published but we will also send it to you in pdf format.

Every business should consult the Agreement itself and the official guidance linked to above before acting.

To benefit from preferential tariffs when importing into the UK from the EU (or importing into the EU from the UK), the importer will be required to declare they hold proof that the goods comply with the rules of origin.

You’ll be entitled to claim the preferential rate of duty if you have either: • a statement on origin that the product is originating made out by the exporter • the importer’s knowledge that the product is originating

If you’re delaying your declarations for goods imported into the UK from the EU you only need to include the ‘declare a proof of origin’ when you make your supplementary declaration.

A claim for preferential tariff treatment and the basis for that claim shall be included in the customs import declaration in accordance with the laws and regulations of the importing Party.

If using an exporter’s statement, that statement shall be made out using one of the language versions set out in ANNEX ORIG-4 of the Agreement, in an invoice or on any other commercial document that describes the originating product in sufficient detail to enable the identification of that product. The English language version is below.

The exporter shall be responsible for providing sufficient detail to allow the identification of the originating product. A statement on origin shall be valid for 12 months from the date it was made out or for such longer period as provided by the Party of import up to a maximum of 24 months. A statement on origin may apply to: a) a single shipment of one or more products imported into a Party; or b) multiple shipments of identical products imported into a Party within the period specified in the statement on origin, which shall not exceed 12 months.

(Period: from_____ to ____ )

The exporter of the products covered by this document (Exporter Reference No … ) declares that, except where otherwise clearly indicated, these products are of UK/EU [please choose] preferential origin.

…………………………………………………………………………………………………… (Place and date)

…………………………………………………………………………………………………… (Name of the exporter)

[In the EU the Exporter Reference Number will be the exporters Registered Exporter (REX) number. These are allocated if the exporter is exports consignments with a total value exceeding €6000. In the UK, the Exporter Reference Number will be the Economic Operator Registration and Identification (EORI) number. If the statement on origin is completed for multiple shipments of identical originating products within the meaning of point (b) of Article ORIG.19(4) [Statement on Origin] of the Agreement, indicate the period for which the statement on origin is to apply. That period shall not exceed 12 months. Importations of the product must occur within the period indicated. If a period is not applicable, the field may be left blank.]

My notes – Heather also writes that she will share the further guidance as soon as BEIS can.

If you have any questions after reviewing the Treaty text or existing guidance, please feel free to contact me, and I will forward to Heather.

Breaking news – Heather writes that the guidance has now been released

The longer-format GOV.UK guidance on rules of origin in the UK-EU deal has now been published – you should consult this alongside the Agreement text –

Also, in case you haven’t signed up to receive Business Readiness Bulletins direct, attached is the Bulletin that went out today: Business Readiness Bulletin – The UK Transition – 29 December 2020.pdf .

Breaking news – Heather writes that the guidance has now been released

The longer-format GOV.UK guidance on rules of origin in the UK-EU deal has now been published – you should consult this alongside the Agreement text –

Also, in case you haven’t signed up to receive Business Readiness Bulletins direct, attached is the Bulletin that went out today: Business Readiness Bulletin – The UK Transition – 29 December 2020.pdf .

More restrictions in the pipeline under EU-REACH

Peter Watson of Town End (Leeds) plc writes:

Lisam Systems shared a post: #ECHA is currently investigating the need to prepare a restriction proposal regarding the risks of Coal Tar Pitch, High Temperature (#CTPHT), particularly in clay targets used in sports shooting. These breakable targets contain polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (#PAH) which break down slowly in the environment and are known to be toxic and persistent (#PBT/#vPvB). They may also cause cancer. The Committees for Risk Assessment (#RAC) and for Socio-economic Analysis (#SEAC) raised substantial concerns over the use of CTPHT in clay targets in their respective opinions The Commission will take the Committees opinions into consideration when making its final decision on whether to grant or refuse the authorization. To the full article:

As Peter comments – “you would have thought there are bigger problems than Clay Pigeons!”.

Reasons to be cheerful

Today there are two Dad’s Army clips for you: Frazer the Poet

(he’s actually quoting “Scot’s Wha Hae”, see

, although it’s a very lily-livered version, and Frazer catches the spirit of the words much better).

And a second clip is Corporal Jones


Many thanks to Heather Thomas for sending through yet more important information for companies trading with the EU-27, and to Peter Watson for spotting even more under-the radar proposals for restrictions. 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 your working (or holiday) week is going well, and that you and your family are all safe and well.

​Kind regards,


Janet Greenwood

TT Environmental Ltd