Coronavirus chemicals update, 8th November 2021

Dear Friend,

Happy Monday!

It’s Day 595 of Semi-Lockdown, and I’m running a bit late today, so apologies for a more brief email than usual.

Brexit and Northern Ireland trade

A very interesting article in yesterday’s Daily Telegraph (behind a paywall) indicating that the UK Government is considering triggering Article 16 of the Brexit treaty, and changing laws to ditch customs checks required by the Northern Ireland Protocol before Christmas:… .

Chemical trade problems – is 1st January 2021 the perfect storm?

I had a chat with Mark Rowbotham of Portcullis ISC on Friday, who is very concerned about the ending of the Transitional Provisions for Import from the EU, which end on 31st December 2021, may cause serious problems for any company who is unprepared. One of the issues is that HMRC will require procedures to be in place, which have to be audited internally or externally.

Mark has very kindly provided us with a summary of the 1st January changes (7 pages): Changes to Import Customs Controls and Procedures 1st January 2022.pdf

Mark has also started to develop a set of standardised procedures for chemical companies who are importing and exporting, and asks whether these would be of interest to any of our readers. Please contact Mark to discuss on

In the meantime, there continue to be significant logistical problems even before we get to the end of the year. Karen McAvoy of Amox Chemicals reports that she has been waiting for a couple of weeks just to get an empty reusable specialist chemical container onto a ferry for return to Germany.

So it does look like the logistics difficulties are likely to continue going forward, and that’s before we get to winter weather affecting ferry sailings.

Chemistry Corner

A fascinating look at asbestos under the microscope – .

And mitochondria changes before a cell splits in two: .

Beautiful images can be found in the most unlikely places.

Reasons to be cheerful

Our clips this week are some more cigar adverts, as the Hamlet ads became so famous that other companies had spin-offs referencing them. Today’s Hamlet ad is Sidecar:

; and a similar Panama Cigars ad is “Six appeal”: 

 . Not an ad you could make these days….

Many thanks to everyone who has contributed 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 and your family and friends are all safe and well, and looking forward to whatever challenges the week ahead may hold, and I’ll write to you again on Wednesday.

Kind regards,


Janet Greenwood

TT Environmental Ltd