Coronavirus chemicals update, 8th March 2021

Dear Friend,

Happy Monday! I hope you had a good weekend, and are looking forward to whatever challenges the week ahead may hold.

It’s Day 350 of Lockdown, and some good news, the ECHA systems seem to be up and running after their changes over the weekend, as far as I can tell (IUCLID Cloud is definitely working, for example).

The rest of this newsletter is about Brexit trade issues (normal service will be resumed tomorrow), but don’t worry, we’ve a new Reasons to be Cheerful funny video clip as well.

More information from BEIS

Heather Thomas of BEIS writes:

Please see below some updates and details of Q&A sessions and webinars:

1. REMINDER – Rules of Origin Q&A sessions – quick reminder that Q&A sessions on rules of origin in the UK-EU Trade and Cooperation Agreement will be taking place next week, and apologies for the misleading ‘sign-up here’ reference in my email last week. You don’t need to sign up. If you’re planning to attend, please add the details to your calendar and then click the link to join the Teams call at the relevant date and time. For the session on Tuesday 9 March @ 1600-1700 Teams joining link here and for the Friday 12 March @ 1200-1300 Teams joining link here. As before, no need to attend both sessions, they will cover very similar ground. Reminder that we will not be able to provide definitive judgements on whether a particular company’s products qualify as originating or not – only the company involved can do that – but the aim is rather for us to help people navigate the relevant rules so they can come to their own conclusions.

2. Feedback – do you have any feedback you can share on the following areas please?:

i. Have you seen improvements to the speed and/or reductions in cost of Transit documentation for exports to the EU in the last month?

ii. Has finding EU haulier capacity become easier in the last month?

iii. Are there still problems with delays and high freight costs to the Republic of Ireland?

iv. Are there still problems with delays and high freight costs to Northern Ireland?

v. Have you struggled to find customs agents with capacity and expertise you require? Is this situation improving?

3. Feedback on Covid guidance – businesses are invited to provide feedback on “the COVID-Secure guidance alongside your reflections on how the roadmap may impact your workplace settings…….We are keen to understand how well the guidance has been working in practice when it comes to business operations, workplace safety, disproportionate impacts, and any wider lessons learned to date.” The letter inviting feedback is hereI know some of you have some strong views on this so do please submit your feedback. The deadline for responses is 12 March.

4. 3 March Budget – – I’m sure you will have all looked through the Budget. Some highlights:

(1) An extension of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (furlough scheme) until the end of September;

(2) A £375 million successor to the Future Fund will invest in highly innovative companies, and a new UK-wide Recovery Loan scheme to help businesses of all sizes through the next stage of recovery;

(3) £4.8 million for the Holyhead Hydrogen Hub, to pilot the creation of hydrogen from renewable energy and its use as a zero- emission fuel in HGVs, supporting up to 500 jobs;

(4) A corporation tax “super-deduction” that will cut companies’ tax bill by up to 25p for every pound they invest in new equipment;

(5) An extension of the apprenticeship hiring incentive in England to September 2021 and an increased payment of up to £3,000;

(6) £7 million for a new “flexi-job” apprenticeship programme in England, that will enable apprentices to work with a number of employers in one sector;

(7) Additional £126 million for 40,000 more traineeships in England, funding high quality work placements and training for 16-24 year olds in 2021/22 academic year;

(8) Reforms to the immigration system to help ambitious UK businesses attract the brightest and best international talent.

(9) Launching a review of Research & Development tax reliefs to make sure the UK remains a competitive location for cutting-edge research.

(10) A new UK-wide Recovery Loan Scheme to make available loans between £25,001 and £10 million, and asset and invoice finance between £1,000 and £10 million, to help businesses of all sizes through the next stage of recovery.

(11) Eight new English Freeports will be based in East Midlands Airport, Felixstowe & Harwich, Humber, Liverpool City Region, Plymouth, Solent, Thames and Teesside.

(12) A series of tax changes, including a scaled increase to the Corporation Tax rate to 25% from 2023, maintaining the lowest rate in the G7 and ensuring businesses with smaller profits are only taxed at the current rate of 19%;

(13) The treasury also published a headline high-level economic vision, Building Back Better: our plan for growth.

  1. SMEs – an SME focused Toolkit has been published to support SMEs trading with the EU and Northern Ireland – please find attached: SME Pack.pdf
  2. Business Bulletins – attached as usual is the BEIS Brexit Business Bulletin for anyone who doesn’t receive direct – I won’t repeat the contents here: Business Bulletin – Brexit_ New rules are here – 1 March 2021.pdf. The latest HMRC trader bulletin is also attached: HMRC TRADER EMAIL 7_.pdf. I usually have the BPDG bulletin to share too but haven’t received that yet.
  3. Short Straits – short notice, apologies – on Monday 8th March a joint webinar between the UK Government and Region Hauts-de-France will take place on the Short Straits Channel Crossing with a specific focus on what companies can do to keep their operations smooth in light of new controls. For more information or to register for this event please click here.
  4. Borders – discharging Transit movements: We have received information from various EU member states of a significant increase in Transit movements not being discharged at the Office of Destination or by the authorised consignee. When your goods arrive at the destination country, it’s important that the TAD (Transit Accompanying Document) is presented to customs at the office of destination (a customs office) or at the premises of an authorised consignee (your own or an agent’s premises), so they can inform the NCTS that the goods have arrived. Even if your goods have been presented to an office of transit at the border in the country of destination, the haulier must still go to an office of destination or premises of an authorised consignee to end the Transit movement. If you do not discharge your transit movement, the guarantee cannot be released which means that some traders are approaching their limit on guarantees. If this limit is reached, then new transit movements cannot be started which will cause significant disruption to your supply chain. If the office of destination is closed:

· Arrange for the transfer of work to the nearest operational office of destination.

· Arrange for the redirection of mail to that office.

· Display notices referring economic operators to the nearest office of destination.

Instruct such offices to issue proof of the end of the procedure (i.e., a stamped copy of the TAD or business continuity document) on request, to prevent the need to resort to the inquiry procedure.

There are more technical videos on trade with key markets and how to avoid common problems with customs (including Irish road freight):

  1. Ireland “Customs RoRo” system – for UK exporters/forwarders and customs agents moving goods GB-IE: [UPDATE] The new Irish Customs RoRo service systems should now be used, i.e. Automated Import System (AIS) instead of AEP. Whilst Irish officials can accept AEP declarations for RoRo movements, they are more prone to issues especially when the declared journey of the goods does not replicate the actual journey of the goods. This can cause the AEP declaration to ‘lapse’ and therefore, it cannot be used for the purposes of the Pre-Boarding Notification (PBN). AEP will be shut down by the end of March so trade will need to move to AIS in any event.

Irish Revenue has identified occasional degradation in performance during times of peak processing in its AIS system resulting in delayed responses to declarations and other messages lodged by trade. While filing patterns vary depending on a variety of factors, it is clear that the highest number of transactions occur in the late afternoon and evening. Revenue is actively working with their software provider to increase capacity at peak processing times.

Traders are reminded that they can pre-lodge their customs declarations by as much as 30 days – this facilitates those who are in possession of all necessary information to file their declarations well in advance of the arrival of their goods and ensures they will be unaffected by peak load processing.

For those using Ro-Ro ferry services, the Master Reference Number (MRN) of all import declarations must be entered into their Pre-Boarding Notification (PBN).

The message we’re being asked to share with traders is – complete your declarations as early as possible to give the relevant state agencies time to process documentation in advance of arrival to ensure smooth progress through our ports and airports.

Many thanks to Heather, and, as usual, this email has been set as open access at, so please share this link with anyone who may find BEIS’s information useful.

Reasons to be cheerful

Sarah writes: Our funny clips this week, as suggested by Tracey Ferry of Boud Minerals, are from The Big Bang Theory. For those of you who haven’t heard of this, it is an American sitcom featuring our favourite type of people…Nerds! The below clip is one of Tracey’s favourite and I must admit it got me laughing out loud too!

So to start the week off in high spirits “Amy gets a tiara” 

Many thanks to Heather, Tracey and Sarah for their contributions to the newsletter today. 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 really good week this week,

​​Kind regards,


Janet Greenwood

TT Environmental Ltd