By Yasmine Lingmann

Business closures. Curfews. Social gatherings controlled. Face masks. Zoom fatigue. These are just a few of the consequences we are all having to accept in this never-ending Corona driven mess. But students are arguably one of the worst affected groups for two main reasons: they are the least likely to experience anything but mild symptoms, and these measures are therefore sacrificial; and the crucial opportunities and experiences needed for students to thrive and pave their way in the competitive world we live in are being snatched beneath our eyes- deteriorating the nations’ future workforce and economy.

I started working for the British Chamber of Commerce in July, right in the midst of it all, in a team of 6 student interns on our Erasmus year abroad as part of our university degree. Our interviews were held online during lockdown, with hopes that things would soon resume back to normal so that we could move to Brussels for the year. It’s now our third month of working remotely, having only met our colleagues virtually. This being said, we are lucky. As a team we have managed to get on despite only meeting online, and our colleagues have been nothing but accommodating and understanding. Many of our friends at university have had their year abroad cancelled altogether, or are unable to work remotely; having to settle for online learning courses that do not in any way make up for the loss of their Erasmus plans. Not only this- many of us are unable to receive the grant we have been promised, leaving students with little money to make the most of the year. Everything we had hoped for- exploring a new city, developing our foreign language skills, networking with professionals and learning from watching colleagues at work- has been taken away from us.

British students are paying the same price this year for worse educational development, economic prospects and social progression. With freshers struggling to settle in their new environments and unable to socialise: mental and physical health are at risk. This is the cohort that has already undergone significant hardship: they missed their last few months of school or college, were unable to sit their exams, and, many of whom were allocated A-level grades that in some cases bore no resemblance to what they had been predicted. University students have already been home from university since March and lost lecture hours due to teacher strikes throughout the year. Although the physical health of students is at low risk from Covid-19, their emotional, educational and economic wellbeing have been jeopardised more than any other age group’s.

The impacts this will have on the wider society are huge. In terms of domestic students, Resolution Foundation has revealed that more than a third of 18-24 year olds have been furloughed or lost their main job since the start of the coronavirus pandemic. Employers are seeking 32% fewer entrants on apprentice or school leaver programmes than originally planned for this year, while graduate jobs have been cut by 12%. Internships and placements will also slump by 40%. There are already half a million young people unemployed and more than a million displaced from sectors most affected by Covid-19. The Institute for Employment Studies think that that in the medium term youth unemployment could exceed 2 million. A wide range of research suggests that spending more than six months unemployed at this age can have a significant long-term impact on their careers. Organisations such as Youth Employment UK are fighting to address the consequences Covid-19 will have on the wages and job prospects of ‘Corona Class of 2020’.

International students have been deeply impacted, too. This is significantly problematic given that in 2018/19 teaching of overseas students generated an estimated surplus of £1.7 billion or 43% in England and Northern Ireland combined, home student numbers have remained relatively static. China is by far the largest source of international students with just over 120,000 in 2018/19. Travel restrictions, as well as virtual lessons causing many students to defer or drop out, have caused a large fall in demand for British higher education from overseas. The short term and long term income generated by higher education to the national economy will continue to fall if changes are not made.

This being said- businesses are responding. According to a study done be LSE in July 2020, over 60% of firms adopted new digital technologies and management practices; and around a third invested in new digital capabilities. These process and product innovations are generally considered to have had a positive impact on performance, and businesses expect to maintain them post-crisis. This ‘Virtual Revolution’ offers many opportunities to technology prone students and according to most firms, will increase employee productivity rather than reduce the need for employees over time. Therefore, students can and should continue to be offered opportunities, and businesses will actually save more by doing so.

The Coronavirus Cohort will gain the strength and drive that businesses seek in their employees. This disruption will create new opportunities: a generation of students that have no choice but to adapt and innovate. Firms will need to give a helping hand to students through internships and work experience in order to get the economy back on track- but this effort is guaranteed to pay for itself for many years to come.


Here at the British Chamber of Commerce, we will continue to update you with the necessary information to help all our members to succeed. 
We are all in this together, and with the right plans in place, consumer confidence can be restored. BritCham offers support, guidance and specialised coverage for both Brexit and COVID-19, including webinars, workshops and events that will give your firm the tools it needs to navigate through this challenging period. Click here to register: https://www.britishchamber.be/upcoming-events

By Yasmine Lingemann

Belgians are big savers. According to recent figures released by the National Bank of Belgium (BNB), Belgians have reached a record high in average household savings, with figures reaching 290 billion euros in aggregate regulated savings accounts. On average, the household savings ratio in Belgium is 12.6%, which by comparison is just over double that of the UK, where households save 6.2% of their disposable income. Belgians have traditionally saved a lot, yet even in an era of zero or negative interest rates on savings, the lack of spending is beginning to become problematic and even a hinderance to the national economy.

Globally, the Coronavirus pandemic has hurt economies everywhere. With firms in the UK and Europe also having to simultaneously adapt and create contingency plans to prepare for the end of the Brexit transition, businesses face the situation where they need to use alternative methods to attract clients and re-establish confidence in their company. In Belgium, that means trying to encourage people to spend more and save less at the same time as rising unemployment, weakening job security, and people generally tightening their belts and restricting spending to the bare necessities.

Despite this, firms must not lose hope: Now is the time to seek new opportunities. Businesses are responding, many are offering their goods and services in a different way. In Belgium, where consumers have traditionally been less open to online commerce, increased time at home in front of a screen enables households to be more susceptible to e-commerce and advertising. Businesses must use this time to improve communication and dialogue with their clients to reestablish trust and retain brand loyalty. Getting active online and keeping your customer base up to date on changes will help businesses in the long run and hasten the adoption of a more digitalised economy.

Belgium government support has not been as forthcoming as in the UK. However there are a variety of loans and tax deferral schemes that have been put in place to weaken the damage felt by Belgian firms.

Click here for Belgium’s government website to see how your business can benefit from the support available: https://www.belgium.be/en

Here at the British Chamber of Commerce, we will continue to update you with the necessary information to help all our members to succeed. We are all in this together, and with the right plans in place, consumer confidence can be restored. BritCham offers support, guidance and specialised coverage for both Brexit and COVID-19, including webinars, workshops and events that will give your firm the tools it needs to navigate through this challenging period.

See our website here for more details on how we can help you: https://www.britishchamber.be/

The practical implications of Brexit on everyday UK-EU trade is becoming clearer week by week. This week, Amazon announced changes affecting Amazon sellers, customs briefings and enquiries ramped up, and the impact on product availability and businesses started to become evident. The detail is very welcome, and helps businesses prepare further. For some, the impact will be more difficult to manage and will effect consumer choice, price and availability.

The UK government’s publication of its border operating model provided traders and logistics operators with more detailed information on the requirements for UK exports and imports. While much of the overall approach was predictable, the details of the arrangements make clear the challenges that traders will have to adapt to, and the costs likely to be incurred.

This week, retail giant Amazon announced the end of Fulfilment by Amazon (FBA) for UK sellers delivering to customers in the single market (and vice-versa). Sellers will now have to divide their inventory between UK and EU-Based Fulfilment Centres to avoid losing sales in either market.

This will raise the cost of reaching customers through increased storage and transaction costs of shipping their goods to warehouses in both markets. With Amazon putting in transitional measures before 1st January 2021, sellers Christmas trade may be affected too.

As so often, it’s the detail that counts. The UK’s plan to introduce postponed VAT accounting will be a boon to the cashflow of UK importers. But some businesses are beginning to see additional unwelcome challenges. For example, fresh fruit and vegetables delivered by air from Africa to the UK and its Benelux neighbours are distributed across the region. Since these goods movements will now need phytosanitary checks at the entry point, the opening hours of phyto offices at ports and airports now become a critical factor in avoiding lengthy delays.

With the time for preparation now short, the UK government is stepping up its communications to businesses with webinars for Belgian and Irish firms this week and more to come.

With its network of expert members and the backup of its UK chambers, Britcham is there to help you. If you have questions, contact us at BusinessContinuity@britishchamber.eu

Glenn Vaughan – Senior Adviser

UK Govt – Border Operating Model: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/899991/200713_BPDG_-_Border_Operating_Model_FINAL_1320_edit.pdf

The UK Government has published its long awaited border operating model. It makes clear how the border with the EU will work – at least in most cases. But some important questions remain, and the cost to business, in customs administration work alone, will be substantial. The government has responded to some key demands from British Chambers of Commerce for measures to improve cash flow. But if there’s not a deal, the cost will be higher again – and key questions remain unanswered.

While businesses will welcome more detail on processes for trading goods overseas, some questions still remain unanswered, including on trade across the Northern Ireland border and the operation of the Goods Vehicle Management System. We will continue to look at the detail and how it affects businesses over the coming weeks.

The Border Operating Model provides clarity and certainty for the border industry and businesses, including technical detail on how the border with the EU will work after the transition period and the actions that traders, hauliers, ports and carriers need to take. It covers all of the processes and systems, across all government departments, that will be used at the border. It provides clarity on the end to end journey for moving goods across the border – with information about controlled goods and new government systems that will support trade.

To help businesses prepare for these changes and continue to trade, guides on how to import and export goods are available in the form of a ‘journey’ (see below). That’s important since so many UK based companies currently trade only with the EU. They need to clearly see every step they need to take to ensure that their goods are transported successfully.

This will cost businesses money. With full border controls in place at all ports from January 1st next year, regardless of any deal that is agreed with the EU, an estimated 200 million more customs declarations will need to be made by traders annually. At a cost of £20 to £45 per declaration the cost to business could be in the region of £4bn to £9bn.

The UK government has listened to the British Chamber network and reintroduced Postponed VAT Accounting, as well as allowing the deferment of duty and VAT on EU imports for at least 6 months from January 2020.   And many businesses will appreciate the introduction of bond-free duty deferment accounts, which will provide much needed help to cashflow for businesses and reduce import costs.

Along with the European Commission’s Communication last week on preparing for the end of the transition period, it’s clear firms that import and export across the UK-EU border should take action now including the appointment of customs intermediaries and addressing approvals and certifications.

With its network of expert members and the backup of its UK chambers, Britcham is there to help you. If you have questions, contact us at BusinessContinuity@britishchamber.eu

Glenn Vaughan – Senior Adviser

Hyperlinks also below.

UK Govt – Border Operating Model: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/899991/200713_BPDG_-_Border_Operating_Model_FINAL_1320_edit.pdf

How to import and export goods between Great Britain and the EU from 1 January 2021: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/how-to-import-and-export-goods-between-great-britain-and-the-eu-from-1-january-2021

European Commission – Getting ready for the end of the transition period: https://ec.europa.eu/info/european-union-and-united-kingdom-forging-new-partnership/future-partnership/getting-ready-end-transition-period_en

Last week’s virtual summit of EU leaders discussed the proposal for a revised long term budget and EU Recovery Plan – put together by the Commission in double quick time. Much of the discussion between member states is inevitably informed by a calculation of who gets what and who pays, so it will not be easy or very quick. But the effectiveness of the EU response will really depend on how the money is spent and avoiding the temptation to create new barriers to business.

At the end of May 2020, the European Commission presented its proposal for a comprehensive reconstruction plan. 750 billion will be mobilised for the “Next Generation EU” action. In addition, the long-term EU budget 2021-2027 will be increased to a total of EUR 1.85 trillion.

The Commission says the plans will deliver resources at the scale and speed needed and focused on green and digital as engines of growth as well as increased resilience for Europe’s ‘open strategic autonomy’ model. It also emphasises the importance of avoiding fragmentation of the single market. Good to hear.

The package focuses mainly on cohesion and recovery along with a boost to Horizon Europe and more money for the planned Just Transition Fund for decarbonisation, and a new health program.

The biggest lump of cash – a new Recovery and Resilience Facility of €560 billion – will offer financial support for investments and reforms with a grant facility of up to €310 billion, and will be able to make up to €250 billion available in loans.

The scale and effectiveness of spending will be central, but it also needs broader global coordination. As pointed out by JBCE (Japan Business Council in Europe) recently, this is not just about the EU alone. So the EU’s response needs to be timely, but also coordinated wherever possible through multilateral and bilateral action. More important for the medium term, the EU’s openness to trade, ideas, innovation and people needs to be part of the answer.

The recovery plan will be based on a model of “open strategic autonomy” and there has been much made of the need to strengthen and diversify supply chains. While that’s undoubtedly true, there’s always a risk that the need to protect its people and companies can be used to push a protectionist agenda. 

That’s why it will remain important for business to make the case, loudly and persistently that recovery will be built on international cooperation and free and fair trade, as well as a vibrant single market and that Europe remains #Open4business

Glenn Vaughan – Senior Adviser

If you have any income that you receive in the UK and are unclear how to declare this in your Belgian income tax declaration, here’s some advice from Eric Laurent. If you need more, sign up for our webinar on Wednesday 24 June, especially as the deadline for personal tax declarations is 30 June!

Eric is a Partner at ERYV – a family business working in accountancy and tax that have been operating in the Belgian market for over 30 years! Eric is a chartered accountant & tax adviser who specialises in cross-border income.

When you are working, or residing, in Belgium you have to file a Belgian tax return. The principle in international taxation is that you have to declare your worldwide income in the country you are residing in. So if you are an expat, it is likely that you have some kind of foreign income; perhaps from interest earned from a savings account or rental income.

You have to report this information in your tax return, but don’t worry you shouldn’t be charged twice! Some tax treaties in place prevent you from being charged twice but this depends on the type of income for example, or on the specific articles from the bilateral tax treaty between Belgium and the source country.

In Belgium, for individuals, you can file a resident tax return or a non-resident tax return. For a resident tax return in Belgium you must declare your worldwide income. This applies even if you are working outside of Belgium. Even if you have had your contract terminated, or you have changed jobs or maybe you have retired, you are still a Belgian resident and have to go through the same process.

For non-resident there are several sub-categories: there are those who are in Belgium under the special regime of taxation for foreign executives, a very special category; there are also those who don’t live in Belgium but do generate some income there.

In addition, there are some people who have a specific status and have to find their way into the resident or non-resident category. These are the people that either work for the Commission or another EU institution or someone working for an international or government organisation like NATO or for a foreign embassy for example.

This touches upon a few issues but greater explanation will be given during the webinar on Wednesday 24 June. The following subjects will be covered during the webinar:

  • Concept of Belgian tax residency
  • Consequence: taxation (declaration) of worldwide income
  • Tax treaty: which state has the right to tax
  • Tax treaty: how to avoid double taxation
  • How declaring UK real estate income in Belgium
  • How declaring foreign professional income in Belgium
  • How declaring foreign financial income in Belgium
  • Other items linked to foreign assets:  bank accounts, life insurance, legal structures

Need to know more? Register here

I wouldn’t say I’m an old hand at AGM’s but I’ve sat through quite a few and organised some too.  But this year was another new experience, and somewhat of a challenge – the Chamber’s first digital AGM. 

Over the last few months’ we’ve all discovered the joys of Zoom, particularly the ease of moving from one meeting to another and how good it is to be able to meet with people whatever their location.  AGM’s, however, are a very particular kind of meeting and the governance requirements impose some challenges.  They are a hybrid between a presentation and a meeting and need to allow maximum participation from all who attend.  The Chamber team did some extensive research and trialling of other platforms.  There are some fabulous webinar platforms available but the need for flexible participation pulled us back to Zoom.

So, to the Chambers 110th AGM.  We had near 100% attendance from those registered (another benefit of remote meetings) and a very interactive meeting.  It’s my observation that remote meeting platforms allow participants to contribute more, it is easier to speak and less intimidating for those who might be intimidated.  On a meeting platform there is no separation in any way between speakers and ‘audience’ and this creates a different dynamic. 

While AGM’s legally are focussed on reviewing the previous year, the current circumstances necessitate more focus on the now and the future.  Our President, Tom Parker reiterated how central the Chamber is for businesses who are active in the UK-Belgian space and after his review of the year the ‘floor’ was taken by our new CEO Dan Dalton.  Dan brings his wealth of experience as an MEP to the Chamber at exactly the right time – his stature and connections will enhance the Chamber, attract more members and give top level insight into the pivotal relationship as the UK negotiates its future trade relationship with the EU. 

We had presentations from our key committees: the EU Committee, the Future Relations Committee and the Business, Trade and Investment Committee.  There are exciting times ahead for the Chamber in all these areas and there is a key message – be involved, this is your Chamber, we represent your interests and want to understand more how we can work effectively to support your business. 

So, now the less exciting stuff – writing minutes and following up with the our new Council members.  Actually, just kidding, I love this stuff and good governance is the bedrock of effective and appropriate decision making.  It’s a privilege to be part of this and to support the Chamber and our members in these challenging times.  I hope that next year we can see each other in person and look back on a very particular time. 

Melanie Barker – Membership and Operations Manager

Our pre-COVID-19 photoshoot

The impact of Covid-19 and the subsequent lockdown measures have affected each of us in different ways. It’s caused health issues that have changed the lives of many, whilst others have been left unscathed. It’s also freed the time of thousands of people who’ve been placed under the furlough scheme, whilst the days of others have become substantially busier for a number of different reasons.  
However we’ve all had to learn what it’s like to stay at home, and for most of us, to work from home as well.

March 13th marked the last day that the BritCham team worked in the office. The original plan was to work from home and the situation would be assessed every two weeks – over two months later we are still working from home.

You’d be forgiven if at first you thought that we would not have much to do at the Chamber, as much of our business revolves around hosting events and facilitating networking between companies. But in reality we’ve been far busier than usual! We’ve continued to support our Members through council, by hosting various webinars, by offering opportunities for our Membership to join the webinars hosted by other Members to support businesses throughout these times of crises, whilst continuing to comment on the development of the negotiations about the future relationship between the UK and the EU.

There’s no doubt that the sudden change to the home-office was difficult at first. I struggled to maintain my productivity during the first week with distractions from my Mum wanting to chat, from my dog wanting to play, and from my mind wanting to wonder! But I’ve since found a routine that works for me and the days feel more productive now than they were during the time that I was working in the office.

Outside of work I’ve also found that there are now more hours in the day to do things that I didn’t have the time to do before. The commute would take 45 minutes before and after work, and having after work drinks would often result in doing nothing but cooking food, watching an episode of something on Netflix, and then falling asleep once I got home.

With less time wasted and less distractions, I’ve found myself having the time to read, write, and exercise more regularly and I feel better for it.

Though I hope for the restrictions to be lifted soon, I also hope that some of these good habits will stay!

Whilst gauging the wellbeing of the rest of the team is not as easy as it was in the pre-Covid era as the routine lunch time conversations or the daily catch-ups around the lunch table are not taking place, it seems as though our team all seem to be mastering the working-from-home routine, and all seem to be relatively content with the status quo. Every Thursday we have a quiz on Zoom that I’m yet to win (the questions are rubbish..), but it’s good to have a weekly catch-up outside of work.

It is strange to consider how things will be once all lockdown restrictions are lifted and when that eventually might be. You’d like to think that the quizzes that we’re having at present will take place in person as opposed to on Zoom. However, further questions spring to mind about how different things might be when we finally emerge from this: how will we be expected to greet one another if we’re not supposed to shake hands? Is the elbow tap going to stay?

One thing that’s apparent is that businesses have demonstrated their resilience to survive by adapting to the current circumstances and putting in place certain mechanisms to ensure that they’re able to continue to do their work.

This is illustrated by the fact that thousands of businesses have been able to implement a work from home policy for all staff when this would have been an absurd notion only a few months ago.

Whether you prefer to work from home or at the office the long term-effect is likely to be significant.

Geography may no longer matter when applying for roles. Having demonstrated the ability to work remotely for a company in Brussels from my home in Cardiff, what’s to stop others from applying for similar roles but establishing these living arrangements from the first day?

The technological leaps that have been taken on the masses have indicated to me how interconnected the general population, and the global business community has the potential to be.

The impacts of the lockdown may change the way companies hire people from here onwards, which is exciting! 

Still, the thought of working from home permanently is not necessarily something that’s appealing to me. I do miss the human interactions that working in an office with my colleagues brings.

Who knows what the long term impacts of this pandemic may be? All that I know is that I’m looking forward to returning to the office at some point, and I’m fed up of Zoom!

Tomos Ireland-Life – Communications Officer

There are many outstanding issues still to be negotiated as part of the future relationship between the EU and the UK, however one area where there shouldn’t be much disagreement is over the British government request to join the Lugano Convention.

There should be an overwhelming interest for both sides to keep the existing relations in this field. The consequences would be severe and very negative for businesses and consumers on both sides of the Channel should there be no agreement to continue enforcement of civil and commercial judgments.

The Lugano Convention covers cross border enforcement of civil and commercial legal judgements. It applies between the EU and Switzerland, Norway and Iceland and sits alongside the Brussels 1 Regulation rules for the EU member states.

Although the UK will not be an EFTA member, the Convention is also open to non-members, such as the UK. In addition, the existing ETFA members (Norway, Iceland and Switzerland) have all supported the UK’s accession.

The decision to support the UK’s application should not be overly controversial. It eliminates the need for multiple legal actions in different countries, and the risk that companies can’t get their assets that are in other countries. As a result, the system significantly reduces the risk of doing business with someone in another country. Once a judgment is reached under the system, enforcement is rarely contested.

Without this system in place businesses will need to calculate for potentially multiple actions in different countries, especially in cases related to assets that are in another country.

Without Lugano accession enforcement of judgments will no longer happen automatically and the result is likely to lead to the other business party challenging the judgment. This can open up multiple issues, such as whether the compensation that the first court awarded is acceptable or whether the original judgment is questioned by the enforcing court. All substantive laws as to how disputes are settled are different from one European country to another and the Lugano/Brussels system is the only way to smooth these differences over and ensure that a pan-Continental dispute settlement system can work.

Most businesses aim to reduce these risks by agreeing choice of court clauses. Brussels I and Lugano reduce the risk further by setting the rules under which the choice of court clauses are respected by all. As national laws differ on this point, without the overarching framework, there is still the risk of litigation surrounding whether the choice of court clause that you have negotiated and expected to be able to rely on, is in fact valid.

If a business ends up in litigation, much more expense is needed to solve what are essentially procedural issues (such as whether you are in the right court that has the power to solve issue). Litigation also lasts longer as there are more complex issues to be solved. In addition, the end result can still be questioned by another court, costing businesses even more money.

This significantly raises the cost of doing business and this will often have bigger impact on SMEs. Smaller companies, without large legal departments, would have to budget for costs that have not existed in Europe since the 1970s, when the first Brussels convention came into force creating the system which is now applied throughout Europe.

Consumers on both sides of the channel also risk losing out, as under this system the legal system used is based on where the consumer is based, allowing consumers to easily get legal remedy. Without this, consumers buying across borders will be at a serious disadvantage and will find it far harder to enforce their rights.

The damage will not just be inflicted on UK based businesses and consumers. Those based in the EU will also suffer significantly and needlessly if there is no agreement on this point.

All trade needs a secure legal system to underpin it. We have one which already exists, and which works well. This hugely benefits businesses and if the UK does not have access to it, it will significantly increase the cost and reduce the amount of trade that will take place between the EU and UK.

The British government has recognised the benefits which comes with staying in the system. Switzerland, Iceland and Norway want the UK in the system. We urge the European Union to recognise this and ensure that the UK can swiftly accede to the Lugano Convention. In doing so cross border trade, which already faces significant challenges post Brexit, will at least be underpinned by a common legal system for civil and commercial trade.

Daniel Dalton – CEO

As part of the VAT consequences of the departure of the UK from the EU, Belgian VAT authorities have officially communicated to business their position as to the need for UK established companies, that currently are VAT registered in Belgium via a direct VAT registration, to appoint an individual fiscal representative as a result of Brexit.

The letter of the Belgian VAT authorities confirms that UK established taxable persons will have to fulfil the VAT obligations which are imposed on all VAT taxable persons who are not established in the EU. The most significant VAT obligation is the requirement to appoint an individual fiscal representative for VAT in Belgium.

Because of the general nature of this obligation, UK established companies will no longer be able to operate a direct VAT registration as from the date Brexit will be effective, in principle 30 March 2019.

To discuss this, please feel free to get in touch with Peter Empsten (details below) and ensure your business meets this new administrative formality. Peter will also be able to share a letter from the Belgian VAT authorities outlining the change.

Peter Empsten – Head of Indirect Tax

Crowe VAT Representation 

E-MAIL : peter.empsten@crowe.be

Although those headlines that tell you robots are going to steal your job can be disheartening, the overarching message that came from last week’s panel was a positive one. Though the term Artificial Intelligence may seem scary, the panel reminded us that we actually already use A.I everyday – when we search Google, choose from recommendations on Netflix or Spotify or find more similar products on Amazon. Overall, the discussion made it clear that as automation advances, it will be the most human-centric skills that become the most valuable.

Expert Panel_3

On the 12th February, our Chief Executive Glenn Vaughan chaired an expert panel discussion on automation at The British School of Brussels, in collaboration with AmCham Belgium. Discussing the ‘Jobs Lost, Jobs Gained: workforce transitions in an age of automation’ McKinsey Global Institute report from 2017, the panel provided a great insight for the future workfoce – the students from BSB and other local schools – as well as the current one – parents and corporate representatives from across Brussels.

Key note speaker Jacques Bughin, Director of MGI and co-author of the report, gave the message that instead of fearing this new technology and worrying about what jobs it might take away, it is better to view these new advancements as opportunities and seize each one. Jacques’ confidence that it is not that today’s jobs will all disappear, that instead they will transition as they have done in the past and it is up to us to decide how these transitions unfold, was an aspirational takeaway for the audience.

Catherine Stewart, Senior Advisor at Interel Group, was clear that there are still ways to stay ahead of the automation trend. Though machines and A.I are advancing in cognitive tasks related to memory and learning new information, they lack our people skills and emotional intelligence. Catherine’s advice to the future workforce, and also to the current one, is “learn to be clear, constructive, creative and adaptable, learn to listen and to challenge in a positive way” in order to thrive.

‘The high-skill, high-pay jobs of the future may involve skills better measured by EQs (a measure of emotional intelligence) than IQs’

Andy Haldane, Chief Economist at the Bank of England

Angela Dong, Senior Vice President Human Resources, Research & Innovation, Solvay, is witnessing the A.I transition first hand, and advised the audience that in fact, not everyone needs to master the potentials from A.I and new technology, but to stand out you will need to understand what it is that it can help you achieve.

Melanie Warnes, Principal and CEO of The British School of Brussels, concluded the panel discussion in agreement with the other panellists that the way the future workforce interact with each other, human to human, will be crucial, and that an optimistic view on the topic remains important.

Expert Panel_4

Though automation may be on the rise, the take home message of the night was to take a positive outlook – the robots won’t beat us yet!

‘The future is not predictable, it is to be shaped’

Jacques Bughin

 

 

Saturday, the 27th January, marks the annual International Day of Commemoration in Memory of the Victims of the Holocaust, as designated by the United Nations (UN).

It’s a day to commemorate and remember the Holocaust, and reflect on the 6 million Jewish people killed, as well as the persecution and deaths of Roma, LGBT and disabled people.

World leaders and survivors speak out around the Holocaust, its aftermath and why it should never be forgotten.

Much emphasis is put on the need for future generations to learn about the Holocaust and for the world to work towards preventing genocide. This year the theme is “Holocaust Remembrance and Education: Our Shared Responsibility”.

In Britain, the 11th of November is the day most synonymous with Remembrance, however, Remembrance is something that takes place all year round.

There are many different reference points, such as the International Day of Commemoration in Memory of the Victims of the Holocaust, which give people a chance to reflect on the horrors and lessons of previous conflicts and historical events, and the importance of remembering them.

Britain as a nation has strong links to the international Jewish community and has a growing one within it too. It was also British soldiers that liberated the infamous Bergen-Belson concentration camp in Nazi Germany, in 1945.

The Royal British Legion in its role as National Custodian of Remembrance exists to ensure that the memory and sacrifice from the First World War to present day conflicts are not forgotten.

Today the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire, which is part of The Royal British Legion, will hold a Holocaust Memorial Day chapel service to mark the day.

We are proud of our partnership with a range of Jewish community organisations across England, Wales and Northern Ireland, and we remember the 41,000 British Jews who fought in World War One, and the 65,000 who fought in World War Two.

We work closely with Jewish Veteran Associations like The Association of Jewish Ex-Servicemen and Women to raise awareness that the percentage of Jewish men and women killed on active service during the two wars was the highest of any ethnic group, and of the Jewish soldiers who were recognised for their bravery, including eight Victoria Cross recipients.

Every year the Association of Jewish Ex-Servicemen and Women join 10,000 other veterans at the Legion’s March Past the Cenotaph on the 11th November, in Whitehall.

As WW2 fades from living memory, the challenge that faces Remembrance as a whole, not just the Legion, is maintaining the events in modern consciousness and making them relevant to younger audiences.  This is a challenge we cannot take on our own, however.  It is therefore that I urge business leaders to not only reflect on the Holocaust today, but to think about how you can leverage your company’s history, resources and communities to help keep the torch of Remembrance alive and ensure it is passed on to the next generation in good stead.

Just like the theme of the Annual International Day of Commemoration in Memory of the Victims of the Holocaust states – Remembrance is a shared responsibility.

We sat down with Glenn Vaughan, Chief Executive of the British Chamber of Commerce | EU & Belgium and he told us 15 interesting, historical and weird facts about the chamber.

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  1. The British Chamber has been around since 1898.
  2. The chamber was called the Anglo-American Chamber of Commerce for a while.
  3. Our oldest member, Law Square – PWC joined as the Cooper Brothers in 1920.

 

 

4. Our first Strasbourg visit was in 1986.BCCP_Strasbourg_2016_Jpeg S-200

 

5. Superdry, the company that everyone thinks is Japanese is actually a British company. Its first export market was Belgium. They opened stores in Antwerp, Brussels and Knokke. Superdry’s annual turnover between 2016-2017 was £453 million.

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6.  GSK is the single largest foreign investor in the Belgian economy.GSK_LOS_RGB

7. Members of our members employ 120,000 people in Belgium, 1.2 million people in the UK and even more in the rest of the EU.

8. Only 30% of our members are British companies.

Member Companies (1)

9. BMW is the third largest industrial employer in the UK.

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10. We have over 4,000 visitors per year at our events.

11. The UK is the fourth largest foreign investor in Belgium.

12. 1 million cars are exported to the UK from the Port of Zeebrugge.

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Image from LNG World News Staff

13. Belgium is a top 10 export market for the UK. It wasn’t until recently that Belgium was overtaken by China as an export market.

14. 70% of UK – EU trade is with just six countries. Those countries are Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Ireland and the Netherlands.

15. West Flanders is a major centre for deep frozen vegetables supplying English supermarkets.

Bonus fact:

Belgium is a major exporter of carpets to the UK. If Brexit makes you feel like “chewing the carpet,” bit might well be from Belgium.

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Image credit: Rakuten

 

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My days begin with my cat looking at me and he is not happy: he was not allowed to spend the night in my bedroom, and he wants me to know his displeasure. The fact that I drink my coffee and read the news distracts me from playing with him, and that doesn’t help.

That’s the only predictable moment in my day as an Ambassador in Belgium.

 

 

Whenever I can, I walk to the office, a 40-minute walk, a moment to consider the day ahead, a moment to put my thoughts together, a moment to plan. And yes, a moment when I’m feeling lucky because I don’t have to drive to work.

But I often have to hit the road. I’m also accredited to Luxembourg and I probably know by now all the bumps on the road between the two capitals, as I know also most of them between Brussels and Ieper, Antwerp, Namur and so many other cities. I come from a federation, like Belgium: I know that the capital is beautiful and important, I know that one needs to leave it to meet the entire country.

The geography is not the only challenge. In the same day I can deliver a demarche on a foreign policy issue, meet an artist, visit a company, be informed of a consular case, attend an official event, plan another one, complain (silently) about a bureaucratic requirement, draft or revise a note, brainstorm with colleagues, check on them. And make a speech.

I speak in public often: at business events; at commemoration ceremonies; on so many other diverse occasions. And because my 92-year old mother who lives in Montreal wants pictures of me, I send her pictures of those events. She then asks me if I’m doing something other than just speaking. “Yes mother, I’m also sending you pictures of me speaking.”

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Because this year is the 100th anniversary of the battle of Passchendaele I spend a lot of time attending commemoration ceremonies. For the last two months I didn’t need to worry about what I would do come the weekend. The small ceremonies, sometimes with Canadian families present, are the most touching: there is hesitation and lovely mistakes, the protocol is imperfect, the children who play a role look at me with pride and nervousness, the emotions run high, it’s life as its best –as we remember those many soldiers who lost their own.

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But I also have to be present on social media. Diplomacy is a very old profession and if its logic has not changed, its tools have. I was told that I have to be active on the social media. I tried to argue that I was raised in another world, a world where the printed word was everything, but the argument was dismissed. I don’t have my kids with me to help me, I’m missing them -and I miss my electric typewriter.

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There is always an occasion in my day to remind me that to work in Brussels as Canadian Ambassador for bilateral relations is a real privilege. Our countries are really close, our relations are deeply and emotionally rooted in the tragic European history, the trade relationship keeps growing, the number of active links between our various institutions is impossible to count, and there is real friendship even we don’t agree on all issues.

And then I come back home, but my day is not necessarily over. My colleagues in Ottawa seem to get a new burst of energy at the end of their day, forgetting that by then I’m well into my night. The internet knows no time zones, but my body does.

And my cat complains that I don’t let him in the bedroom.

Cecile Wright ''ethnic penalty'' Blog

The persisting ‘ethnic penalty’ encountered by British black and ethnic minority within the employment market has been reported by a plethora of bodies, namely British parliamentary committees (i.e., Department for Work and Pensions), the Equality and Human Rights Commission, leading think thanks (i.e., the Runneymede Trust), trade unions (i.e., Trade Union Council) and so forth. The ‘ethnic penalty’ concerns the barriers to opportunities and discrimination experienced by groups of people due to their race and ethnicity.

Within this context of barriers to black and ethnic minorities and employment opportunities there is the question of the plight of British black and ethnic minority young people. According to a recent report by the UK’s Parliamentary Work and Pensions Committee (1), “There are stark differences in youth unemployment by ethnic group. In the year to June 2016, the unemployment rate among 16-24 year olds was 30% for black people, 26% for people from Bangladeshi or Pakistani ethnic background, and 13% for white people. While unemployment rates fall substantially with age for all ethnicities, the relative positions of the groups largely persist (2017, 11).”

 

Cecile Wright Blog - Pull quote

Moreover, within this demographic is the ‘silent catastrophe’ or ‘moral panic’ concerning young black men, particularly of African and Caribbean background. Young black men have higher unemployment rates than all other groups of young people. The discrepancy between unemployment rates for young black men and white men has widened in recent decades. Essentially, young black men experience higher rates of unemployment notwithstanding their favourable educational attainment and regardless of their level of qualification. Moreover, black university graduates are twice as likely to be unemployed as white graduate (2).

The implications of this lamentable waste of “human capital” for the individual, families, communities and society is cataclysmic. In order to address the situation of Britain’s black youth unemployment urgent transformative measures are required which include:

  • Robust data and knowledge gathering on how the intersecting aspects of ‘race’, social class, affects young black people access to employment opportunities.
  • Government intervention which requires all employers and occupational training providers to set targets for the recruitment of vulnerable groups. Notwithstanding that all minority groups are affected by the ‘ethnic penalty’ in some form but for black young people starting out in life it is a major impediment. Thus, it is crucial that the government set the conditions for the necessary change.
  • The need for effective penalties for employers found to be discriminating against black applicants.
  • The need to give greater incentives to employers to recruit, retain and progress young black people’s careers.
  • Monitoring youth programmes and apprenticeship schemes for their achievement and success in obtaining black young people’s participation and permanent job offered on completion.
  • Promoting vocational educational pathways for young people – particularly careers advice and pursuing parity of esteem between vocational and academic qualifications.
  • Setting priorities for youth training and employment: vocational qualifications and developing a diverse workforce.

 

There is a key role for employers to play in reducing the ‘ethnic penalty’ and they could begin this process by examining their recruitment procedures.

 

References:

  1. House of Commons Work and Pensions Committee, Employment opportunities for young people 2017, Ninth Report of Session 2016-7. Published on 29th March 2017.
  2. Wright, C; Standen, P; Patel, T. (2010), Black Youth Matters: Transitions from School to Success, London and New York: Routledge.

 

Professor Cecile Wright, School of Sociology and Social Policy, University of Nottingham UK, Highfield House, University, University Park, Nottingham NG7 2RD. UK

Brexit (Voices) Blog Post

New research by the Council of British Chambers of Commerce in Europe (COBCOE) aims to give European businesses a voice. Key areas of common interest are identified, highlighting the priorities for a Brexit that secures prosperity for Europe.

Business leaders across Europe need to be listened to. They also need clear signals from the EU and UK that will allow them to plan. These are just two of the key messages to come out of COBCOE’s report, “Brexit – the Voices of European Business.”

The research, which involved around 1,000 businesses across the continent shows that uncertainty about the Brexit process and the outcome of negotiations coupled with a potentially short timeframe for change, has already impacted investment and commercial decisions. Managing the risk that this uncertainty presents is not only a drag on productivity, it means that progress on wider policy issues, such as the  development of the digital economy, could be delayed by the focus on Brexit.

Three main themes emerged during the course of the research which are highlighted in the report:

  1. Barriers to trade – maintaining a frictionless European economy;
  2. Uncertainty and disruption in the Brexit process; and
  3. The UK’s role as Europe’s global springboard. It includes many real-life examples of how firms are being impacted.

The research also uncovered concerns about the UK being partitioned off – even among European companies not directly engaged in trade with the UK. This is because many European businesses value the UK for its financial markets, regulatory infrastructure and world-class research and development.

The UK acts as a gateway for international investment and is considered to be a business-friendly force within the EU.

The 1,000 businesses which participated through round table discussions, a survey and poll, perceived a lack of engagement from governments and negotiators.

David Thomas, Executive Chairman of COBCOE pointed out “Europe’s prosperity depends on successful economic relationships between neighbouring businesses and consumers. Disregarding these engines of commerce and wealth creation will make Brexit the cliff face on which such relationships will deteriorate.

“The negotiators’ apparent ‘zero sum’ approach, whereby a loss to one side means a gain for the other, does not reflect reality. The risks and uncertainties that firms across Europe now face undermine European productivity and competitiveness. Agreement on the future framework for economic relations between the EU and agreement on a plan for a transitional period must be made without delay.

COBCOE has presented this report to the UK Government Department for Exiting the European Union and will soon be presenting it to the European Commission Taskforce on Article 50 Negotiations. Charles Brasted, Partner at Hogan Lovells, the international law firm which supports the project, said, “The voices in this report are a unique contribution to the discussion of what kind of post-Brexit Europe is needed and how we should get there. Businesses around Europe and across sectors are clear that Europe needs a strong and connected UK to continue to thrive, because it is central to access to capital, innovation and talent.

“European businesses recognise that they have to work with the process that Brexit has begun and that some change will be needed to give effect to it; but they need, as a matter of urgency, a predictable framework within which to continue to operate, plan, grow and compete during that period of change, and beyond. Agreement on a plan for the transitional period should not be delayed any longer, so that businesses have as much time and information as possible to plan and implement contingencies effectively and can avoid making costly adjustments that prove unnecessary in hindsight.”

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Gain visibility and recognition for excellence in trade and export by applying for the Golden Bridge Trade and Investment Awards.

What is the Golden Bridge Trade and Export Awards?

The 2017 Golden Bridge Trade and Investment Awards present an exciting opportunity for UK companies trading or investing in Belgium, and Belgian and Luxembourgian companies trading or investing in the UK to showcase their bilateral success to an international jury and celebrate their achievements during an exclusive ceremony hosted by the British Ambassador to Belgium, Alison Rose at the British Residence in Brussels, at the heart of Europe.

The Golden Bridge Awards is co-organised by the British Chamber of Commerce in Belgium and the Belgian-Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce in Great Britain.

Fun fact: Belgium was the 7th largest export market to the UK and the UK was the 12th largest export market to Belgium last year.

Why should you apply?

Expand your international network, gain business and political expertise, receive recognition for your achievements.

The Golden Bridge Award opens doors to an international network and the connections businesses need to succeed both at home and abroad. Our international panel of judges from the business community are also affiliated with regional trade and investment bodies as well as embassies from the UK, Belgium and Luxembourg.

Winning a Golden Bridge Award will solidify your credibility on any of the three markets and will reinforce your pivotal role  in the economic relationship between Belgium, the U.K. and Luxembourg.

Previous winners of the Best Newcomer category, Orega, shared that the recognition for their export credentials gave them even greater visibility.

“It has sent the right message to our business partners based in Belgium. The award delivers to our potential customers a strong message, as we were new comers on the market.”
-Orega, Golden Bridge Best Newcomer Winner 2016

The award made a positive impression on their business partners with their improved credibility.

Bel’Export, 2016 winner of the Golden Bridge Award for UK business to Belgium, shared that the Golden Bridge award raised their company profile internationally as well as at home.

“As company you gain visibility, in – and outside the UK. It is a recognition for doing a good job.”

-Bel’Export, Golden Bridge Winner 2016

What will you win?

The winners of the Global Bridge award will receive:

  • Visibility at the awards event itself.
  • A one-year free membership* of the British Chamber. If you qualify under our SME criteria, you receive free  membership already if you are shortlisted as a finalist.
  • Participation in our Golden Bridge Awards Winners’ Day programme in Brussels in January 2018 to celebrate your success.
  • Your company featured in the British Chamber’s annual publications and in articles on our social media channels.

Apply now! The final registration deadline is 30th September!
Do you want to be a Golden Bridge Awards partner? Check the Golden Bridge Trade & Investment Award page on our website for more information or contact Alexandra Trandafir at alexandra@britishchamber.be.

 The Gala Dinner for the Golden Bridge Awards will take place on Wednesday 22nd November 2017 at The British Ambassador’s Residence in Brussels. The applicants will be shortlisted based on their financial performance, their innovation and strategy abroad, and their motivation for entering the awards.

*regular membership

On 18 November, The British Chamber of Commerce EU & Belgium brought together a high-level group of industry experts and scientists as well as representatives from the European Commission and MEPs to discuss
how effective action on cancer prevention offers the best path for a successful Europe’s Beating Cancer Plan.

The event outlined concrete steps the EU and European stakeholders can take to tackle preventable cancers. The workshop involved a broad range of presentations from industry and scientific experts on their fields of expertise, followed by a panel discussion on the presentations and questions from the floor.

Throughout the discussion, a key theme was the role that public and private sector cooperation can play in targeting the 40% of cancer cases that are preventable.

Harm reduction policies that help tackle addiction and protect workers from carcinogens in the workplace emerged as a potentially enormously useful part of the Cancer Plan’s pillar on prevention.

Dan Dalton, CEO of the British Chamber of Commerce Belgium, said: “I am delighted that we managed to bring together such an impressive group of stakeholders, policymakers and experts from across the EU.

Clearly, there is room for an unprecedented amount of cooperation between public and private stakeholders in the fight against cancer in Europe. Innovation focused on harm reduction and prevention is paramount and will benefit the world for generations to come.

This workshop has left no doubt in my mind that if we work together and think beyond boundaries, we can take significant steps against preventable cancers to ease the burden of the disease across the
continent.”

Here at the British Chamber of Commerce, we will continue to update you with the necessary information to help all our members to succeed. 
We are all in this together, and with the right plans in place, consumer confidence can be restored. BritCham offers support, guidance and specialised coverage for both Brexit and COVID-19, including webinars, workshops and events that will give your firm the tools it needs to navigate through this challenging period. Click here to register: https://www.britishchamber.be/upcoming-events

By Yasmine Lingemann

The COVID-19 pandemic has created the largest disruption of education systems in history, and now more than ever, we are learning the ever-increasing importance of an efficient, fair, and accessible digitalised education. A study done by Deloitte found that 75% of teachers believe that digital education content will totally replace printed textbooks within the next 10 years. Now is the time to brush up on your digital skills and prepare for a new wave of education.

On the 25th of November 2020, we were delighted to be joined by Ms Antoaneta Angelova-Krasteva who is the Director for Innovation, International Cooperation and Sport at DG EAC. She gave a detailed presentation on the aims and challenges for digitalising education in the future. Yes, some of these challenges existed before the pandemic, but now that we are forced to do everything online, digital competences are about equipping every member of society with the appropriate skills to be able to take advantage of these new digital opportunities.

The good news is that 62% of respondents to the DG EAC survey reported that their digital skills had increased, and half of the respondents plan to continue to improve them after the crisis ends. Online and blended training was the most popular tool for improving these digital skills. More work still needs to be done, as digital skills become more important in the labour market. Enabling digital connectivity for schools was a top priority with high-quality digital content and user-friendly tools seen as vital for improving the digitalisation of education. It is clear that these tools should also respect privacy and ethical standards in order for people to trust in the digital evolution.

Furthermore, the enhancement of digital skills and knowledge is another priority. Fostering further knowledge on new technology, such as AI, is seen as crucial in enabling the technology further. Also stated was that public-private partnership is important in helping to advance digital skills. The Digital Education Action Plan has set ambitious visions for the next 7 years with the focus on effective use of digital technologies for teaching and learning.

Bridging the Gender Digital Divide by encouraging and facilitating women’s participation in STEM is paramount, as is narrowing the digital divide between rich and poor. We are all expected to keep up with the ever integral digital world, though many are not starting on a level playing field. In order for us all to reap the benefits and use digitalised education for the greater good, funding towards giving under-represented groups the tools, resources, and opportunities must be prioritised.

To finish, the COVID-19 crisis is a turning point for the use of technology in education (up by 95%), and in response, online training is expected to be the most popular tool for improving digital skills and competences. Digital literacy is listed as the top digital skill of the 21st century though the deepening socioeconomic inequalities and creation of new divides is to be addressed and prioritised as a main concern.

At BritCham, our recently launched Digital Working Group reflects the ever-growing importance of these issues, and will help ensure that the we continues to play an active and visible role in the digital policymaking debate which is currently taking place in Brussels, in the UK and globally, helping businesses and traders navigate this complex and rapidly evolving environment to seize the new opportunities that will arise. We look forward to continuing to take part in this important discussion, and encourage you to join us in future events on releated digital topics such as our upcoming event on: Big data: risks or opportunities for Europe? Learning the lessons from social media personal identity profiling: With Eva Kaili MEP.


BRITCHAM SUPPORT
Here at the British Chamber of Commerce, we will continue to update you with the necessary information to help all our members to succeed. We are all in this together, and with the right plans in place, consumer confidence can be restored. BritCham offers support, guidance and specialised coverage for both Brexit and COVID-19, including webinars, workshops and events that will give your firm the tools it needs to navigate through this challenging period. Click here to register:
 https://www.britishchamber.be/upcoming-events

The most up-to-date advice and FAQ’s for UK and Belgium Employer-Employee issues post-January 2021. Advice subject to these issues not being revised as part of the ongoing negotiations.

For more information, contact Daniel Dalton Chief Executive of BritCham EU & Belgium at daniel.dalton@britcham.eu or Hugues Thibaut Head of Public Affairs SD Worx at hugues.thibaut@sdworx.com

Advice before 1st January 2021:

For British citizens in Belgium

Employees that have worked in Belgium and have a residence permit: Can they continue to work and live as before?

British citizens who already lived in Belgium before 1 January 2021 still have an E or E+ card and do not have to take any steps themselves. The Office for Foreigners will call them to issue them with an M card by the end of 2021. British citizens may continue to work here without applying for a single permit.

British Citizen employees that have a family member who has lived in Belgium for a while and has an F or F+ card: Can they continue to work and live as before? 

Yes, this person may continue to live and work here. The Office for Foreigners will issue them with an M card. By the end of 2021, all family members should have this new residence document.

British employees that live in Belgium for work, and return home for weekends: What should they do?

They must request an Annex 15 from the municipality where they work. In 2021, the employee will have this converted into an N card. They may continue to work here without applying for a single permit. 

British employees that only work in Belgium, but take the Eurostar to and from the United Kingdom every day: What should they do?

They should request an Annex 15 from the municipality where they work as soon as possible- this will also be converted into an N card. They may continue to work here without applying for a single permit. 

British employees that have an Annex 15: Do they need a single permit/work permit to work in Belgium in 2021? 

No, they do not need a single permit/work permit. They did not need this in the past either.

British employees that have already been seconded during the transition period, which will continue after 31 December 2020: Will they continue to be covered by British social security?

Yes, they may continue to be covered by United Kingdom social security. As long as the situation continues without interruption, they will be covered by United Kingdom social security. Without interruption does not necessarily only refer to secondment. If simultaneous employment follows the secondment, this will also be without interruption. The British government will continue to issue A1 documents for these situations.

British employees that have been working in Belgium 3 days a week and in the United Kingdom 2 days a week for a number of years under British social security with an A1 simultaneous employment that is allocated for a year: Can they extend it?

Yes, as long as their situation continues without interruption, they may continue to be covered by British social security. The British government will continue to issue A1 documents for these situations.

Belgians in the United Kingdom

Employees that have been living and working in the United Kingdom for some time: Can they still live and work there as before? 

They have until 30 June 2021 to request a settled or pre-settled status. This status allows them to continue living and working in the United Kingdom. By requesting a settled or pre-settled status, they indemnify the following rights:

  • Access to the National Health Service.
  • The option to continue living and working in the United Kingdom.

Employees that only work in the United Kingdom, living there from Monday to Friday: What should they do?

They have until 30 June 2021 to request a settled or pre-settled status. This status allows them to live and work in the United Kingdom. 

Employees that only work in the United Kingdom, but take the Eurostar to and from Belgium every day: What should they do?
From 1 July 2021, he must have a valid frontier work permit and a valid passport to work in the United Kingdom. Until 1 July 2021, they may continue to use their passport to work in the United Kingdom. The British government is still working on a procedure to apply for this work permit. 

Employee’s secondment period ends on 31 January 2021, and will be extended for one year: Will they continue to be covered by Belgian social security?

 Yes, as long as their situation continues without interruption, they may continue to be covered by Belgian social security. The Belgian government will continue to issue A1 documents for these situations.

Employees that have been working in Belgium and in the United Kingdom for a number of years under Belgian social security, and have A1 simultaneous employment which is allocated for a year: Can they extend it?

Yes, as long as the situation continues without interruption, they may continue to be covered by Belgian social security. The Belgian government will continue to issue A1 documents for these situations.

Advice from the 1st January 2021

For British citizens to Belgium

Does a British citizen living and working in Flanders/Brussels/Wallonia/German-speaking Community for more than 90 days need a single permit?

Yes. The place of employment determines in which region the employment must apply for the single permit.

Does a British citizen travelling to Belgium have to have a visa to work here for less than 90 days?

No, British citizens are exempt from the visa requirement. The employee must be able to prove to customs why they are travelling to Belgium with an invitation or work permit. Customs may ask for any supporting documents such as a hotel reservation.

Does a British citizen who comes to work in Flanders/Brussels/Wallonia/German-speaking Community for less than 90 days within a period of 180 days need a work permit or a single permit?

Yes. The place of employment determines in which region the employer must apply for the work permit. 

Does a British citizen who stays in Belgium to work for less than 90 days need a Belgian residence document?

  • Hotel: If the British employee is staying in a hotel, they do not have to register with the municipality. Their British passport is sufficient.
  • Apartment/house: If a British citizen rents a house in Belgium, they must register with the municipality. They will then receive an Annex 3 or an Annex 15 as a frontier worker.

A British employer is temporarily seconding a British employee to Belgium (100% employment): Will they continue to be covered by British social security?

This situation has not yet been resolved and is part of the negotiations. If there is no agreement, British citizens can come to Belgium for 52 weeks under British social security. If they stay for longer, this situation must be assessed further.

A British employee works in Belgium 3 days a week and in the United Kingdom for 2 days a week: Where do they have to pay their social security contributions?

This situation has not yet been resolved and is part of the negotiations. We will update as we have more news. If there is no agreement, British citizens may be socially insured in Belgium and the UK.

A British employee lives in Belgium and also works in the Netherlands and Belgium: Does the European Social Security Regulation still apply to them?

Yes, this regulation also applies to nationals of non-member countries, including British citizens. You can also apply these European rules to the employment situation of the British employee.

For Belgian Citizens to the United Kingdom

Does a Belgian travelling to the United Kingdom need a visa to work there?

In certain cases, they do not need a visa to travel to the United Kingdom for professional reasons. For example, if they attend meetings or negotiate contracts. In other cases, visas are required regardless of the duration of work in the United Kingdom.

An employee lives and only works in the United Kingdom for a British employer: What do I need to do?

The employee must apply for a specific visa based on points. Only employees who can demonstrate sufficient points may still enter the United Kingdom. The British Government allocates points based on the skills, qualification and income of Belgians. The employee must score at least 70 points to be able to work in the United Kingdom. This will be the case, for example, if they:

  • Have already received a job offer from a British employer (20 points).
  • Are highly qualified (20 points).
  • Have a minimum annual salary of currently £25,600 (20 points).
  • Can speak English (10 points).

In addition, the British employer must act as a sponsor.

An employee only works and lives in the United Kingdom: What do I need to do?

They must have a visa. In order to obtain a visa, they must have a recognised British company as a sponsor. If there is no recognised British company, it will be difficult to employ a Belgian in the United Kingdom. A Belgian company should have a British branch or establishment on British territory.

I am temporarily sending my employee to our United Kingdom sister company to carry out an assignment: What needs to be done?

The employee will apply for an Intra-company transfer visa and the company will act as a sponsor. Unless the employee earns £73,900 or more per year and working for you for at least 12 months.

I am seconding my employee temporarily (100% employment) to the United Kingdom: Will they continue to be covered by Belgian social security?

The situation has not yet been resolved and is part of the negotiations. If there is no agreement, you can second the employee to the UK under Belgian social security for six months. The six-month period may be extended once for a further six months. If they stay for longer, the situation must be assessed further.

My employee works in Belgium 3 days a week and in the United Kingdom for 2 days a week: Where do they have to pay their social security contributions?

The situation has not yet been resolved and is part of the negotiations. If there is no agreement, Belgian citizens run the risk of being socially insured in Belgium and the United Kingdom.

I am sending an employee to our British branch whose secondment will last a number of years and they do not want to lose their Belgian social security: What are their options?

If covered under British social security is not sufficient for the employee, the employee can still join the Overseas Social Security scheme.


BRITCHAM SUPPORT
Here at the British Chamber of Commerce, we will continue to update you with the necessary information to help all our members to succeed. We are all in this together, and with the right plans in place, consumer confidence can be restored. BritCham offers support, guidance and specialised coverage for both Brexit and COVID-19, including webinars, workshops and events that will give your firm the tools it needs to navigate through this challenging period. Click here to register: 
https://www.britishchamber.be/upcoming-events

By Madeline Reynolds

In just over 50 days, the UK/EU transition period will end and the U.K. will leave the EU single market and customs union. This will happen even if a deal is agreed between the two before the end of the year. As a result, all businesses that trade between the EU and the UK will face significant changes in how they do business. Businesses will therefore need to ensure they adhere to a vastly changed legislative framework, which will include new customs procedures and paperwork, in addition to significantly more restrictive labour and immigration rules, including visas and work permits, even for relatively short work assignments in the European Union.


This will be the case even if a deal is agreed, however, if no deal is forthcoming, UK businesses will see their trade with the EU relying on World Trade Organisation (WTO) rules. The consequences of leaving on these terms will mean that there will be no preferential base for trading with the EU, and therefore tariffs and a far wider range of non-tariff barriers to trade will be introduced, significantly hampering the ability to place goods produced in Britain on the EU market or EU produced goods on the British market. 

As a result, the British government is urging businesses to ensure they are fully prepared for these changes, which will arrive in just over 50 days time. Whilst the UK government will introduce a phased approach to the new border regime, the EU will not, and therefore British exporters will need to be ready from day one.

There are some basic steps that all export businesses can take now to ensure that they can continue trading into Europe in 2021. For example, the most important is that companies will be prohibited to move goods in and out of EU territory without an Economic Operations Registration and Identification (EORI) number. EORI numbers are existing registration procedures, but they are now needed in the when making customs declarations from third countries – in this case, trading between the UK and EU. Your number can be obtained through www.gov.uk/eori.


Those selling manufactured goods may have to comply with new labelling and approved testing and should seek guidance to ensure their products are compatible with EU legislation from January 1st. All food placed on the EU market from 1 January 2021 will have to meet EU rules.

For companies using and storing personal data, in the absence of a trade deal,  they will need to demonstrate that the data is stored and processed in line with EU rules. This will apply to companies processing EU citizens personal data. The ICO provides the most up-to-date information regarding post-transition period data adequacy and collection and in the absence of an adequacy deal, companies will most likely need to rely on Standard Contractual Clauses (SCC).


The British government have announced an updated Border Operating Model that will require a passport for travel into the United Kingdom as identity cards will begin to be phased out as accepted identification at UK borders by October 2021. Those travelling frequently between both territories on a National ID card should begin to seek a passport so travel is not interrupted.

This documentation will need to be provided by hauliers, alongside a new Kent Access Permit for cross-channel HGV’s – which are access permits that allow lorry drivers crossing the Channel into Kent and into UK territory. This is designed to minimise the disruption that is expected to be caused by vehicles which enter the Channel ports without the correct documentation.

Both the European Union and the United Kingdom will impose full goods control on freight that arrives without the correct documentation. Importing into the United Kingdom from the European Union will become more complicated. Imports will now require your EORI number and businesses must begin to obtain their EORI numbers as soon as possible to ensure there is sufficient time for it to be processed and ready for use.

Value Added Tax (VAT) will also need to be paid on imported goods from Europe. However, Businesses will be now able to account for import VAT on their VAT return – known as postponed accounting – rather than paying VAT when goods arrive at the UK border. From January 1st, when selling to EU consumers, UK businesses will be able to zero-rate sales of most goods to EU consumers. In addition, businesses will not be required to complete EC sales lists, however, evidence of the sale will still need to be retained.

So in just over 50 days, we will see the biggest change to U.K./ European trade in a lifetime. To successfully weather these changes, businesses will need to prepare and adapt. 


BRITCHAM SUPPORT
Here at the British Chamber of Commerce, we will continue to update you with the necessary information to help all our members to succeed. We are all in this together, and with the right plans in place, consumer confidence can be restored. BritCham offers support, guidance and specialised coverage for both Brexit and COVID-19, including webinars, workshops and events that will give your firm the tools it needs to navigate through this challenging period. Click here to register:
 https://www.britishchamber.be/upcoming-events


UK

As a wave of infections sweeps back over Europe, many of its countries are forced to reintroduce restrictions on work, leisure and education.

England is set to endure a month of restrictions, beginning Thursday 5th November until Wednesday 2nd December, similar to European countries such as France and Germany that also announced national restrictions in response to a surge in infections. This comes as a result of revised health projections that reflect stark warnings of hospital beds filling rapidly and deaths expected to increase.

Across the United Kingdom, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales are following their own restrictions. Northern Ireland has extended its school break for an additional week (totalling two weeks) and bars and restaurants are closed for four weeks. Wales has been following a ‘fire-break lockdown’ which is due to end today. People will be able to form household bubbles again and meet in pubs, bars, cafes and restaurants when Wales’ restrictions end.

Scotlands measures are in effect from today and include a 5-tiered system. Each borough has currently been graded between levels 1-3, with level 3 areas including Glasgow and Edinburgh. As a result, over half of Scotlands population is placed in tier 3 which means alcohol will not be permitted to be sold indoors or outdoors in hospitality, all hospitality settings are required to close by 6pm and people advised on not leaving their local area.

In England, all non-essential shops such as restaurants, gyms, places of worship, entertainment and beauty facilities will all have to close on Thursday for one month. People will be told explicitly to stay at home with the exception of work which cannot be done from home, outdoor exercise, essential shopping and education. People will be allowed to meet one other person from another household outside in a public place but not in their homes or gardens. Conversely to Belgian rules, schools in England will remain open.

The United Kingdom reports 18,950 new cases in 24h with a total of 1,053,864 cases since the epidemic broke out. This Monday November 2, 2020, 136 deaths in 24h, leading to a total of 46,853 deaths have been reported. England is about to go back into lockdown until December 1, and other European countries are making always stricter measures to try and stop the new Covid-19 rise. 


BELGIUM

Belgium went into a second ‘reinforced’ lockdown on Monday 2nd November, due to continue to the 13th of December at the very least. Like in England, half term holidays have been extended til the 15th November. Restrictions vary between the Brussels-Capital, Flemish and Walloon regions. Curfews and mask regulations differ as follows: In the Brussels-Capital Region, there is a curfew from 10:00 PM to 6:00 AM and a mask must be worn at all times. For Flanders, the curfew is midnight to 5:00 AM and a mask but be worn on public transport, in busy places, and on streets where local authorities made it mandatory. Lastly for Wallonia, the curfew is from 10:00 PM to 6:00 AM and a mask must be worn on public transport, in busy places, and on streets where local authorities made it mandatory.

Shops deemed non-essential have closed, and social gatherings outlawed. Restaurants, bars and cafes are closed, with takeaway running until 10pm. All higher education will now be online, and teleworking is mandatory unless it is not possible.  

Belgium has the highest rate of coronavirus infections in Europe. The country has been struggling to come up with a unified and coordinated approach to the pandemic, and has been juggling the economic interests of the north of the country with the situation in southern Wallonia, the worst-hit region.

Belgium reports – as of November 2 – 11,789 new cases have been reported in 24 hours taking it up to a total of 441,018 cases, as hospitalisations are peaking like for the first wave. There have been 108 deaths in 24 hours, taking it to a total of 11,737 deaths. Belgium is following France and is placed back into lockdown stating for a month, from Monday November 2 to December 13, with assessment on December 1.


Here at the British Chamber of Commerce, we will continue to update you with the necessary information to help all our members to succeed. We are all in this together, and with the right plans in place, consumer confidence can be restored. BritCham offers support, guidance and specialised coverage for both Brexit and COVID-19, including webinars, workshops and events that will give your firm the tools it needs to navigate through this challenging period.

See our website here for more details on how we can help you: https://www.britishchamber.be/

By Elizabeth Gull

This year the death of George Floyd jolted not just America but the world and inspired the Black Lives Matter protests. During the protests a quote by @lifewcourt resonated with me on this issue:

“I’m not black, but I see you
I’m not black, but I hear you
I’m not black, but I mourn with you
I’m not black, but I will fight for you”

I want to continue to fight because this issue does not stop when it’s no longer viral.

Diversity is often talked about as an ideal world scenario and then pushed to the bottom of the list when other commitments take precedent. This is especially true at the moment because it is hard for companies to prioritise diversity when COVID has caused many businesses across a range of sectors to struggle for survival, and HR departments have been preoccupied with the task of ensuring the safety of employees through social distancing and PPE.

This October marked Black History Month, a period to reflect on the narratives that have shaped Black culture. So in this article I want to highlight something that often gets lost in conversation, which is that diversity matters for more reasons than simply to keep things fair. Diversity is good for business.  A McKinsey study, which is linked below in the crowd sourcing section, proved this when it found that ethnically diverse companies were 35% more likely to outperform those in the bottom quartile for diversity. This report underscores the importance of focusing on increasing the representation of voices around the table and layering that with a culture where people feel safe to use their voices authentically and fully contribute their ideas.

It is clear that having a diverse and inclusive environment is the smart thing to do for your company, so here are some practical measures that can help create a diverse and inclusive work environment:

Crowd sourcing solutions from our members.

Here are some picks from our Diversity & Inclusion Committee who have shared with us the books, films and podcasts that have impacted them on this issue:

  1. Read the McKinsey report Diversity Wins: How Inclusion Matters  which shows that the most diverse companies are now more likely than ever to outperform less diverse peers on profitability.
  2. Listen to the Intersectionality Matters! podcast which is hosted by Kimberlé Crenshaw and looks at the reality of race and gender bias to show that if you’re standing in the path of multiple forms of exclusion, you’re likely to get hit by both.
  3. Head to the BBC to watch The Unwanted: The Secret Windrush Files where presenter David Olusoga uncovers a story of racial prejudice at the highest levels of government, exploring how the Windrush Scandal was rooted in buried events that happened 70 years ago.

The UK is a place where we are free to have these conversations and celebrate diversity. For instance, if you want to be inspired by some of the positive things that British people have done to inspire others to explore their heritage then this article on ‘five projects shining a light on black culture in the UK’ is a really nice read.

Moreover, there are many people in the UK who have succeeded despite the challenges. Following the 2019 General Election, 65 or 10% of Members of the House of Commons were from ethnic minority backgrounds and the number of MPs from ethnic minority backgrounds has increased at each general election since 1987. There is still more progress to be made in Parliament, because if the ethnic make-up of the Commons reflected that of the UK population there would be about 93 Members from ethnic minority backgrounds. However, the progress that we have made should be celebrated and if you would like to find out more about ethnic diversity in politics and public life, click here.

If you would to learn about the wider global context, here are some resources from outside of the UK:

  1. Stream Dear White People on Netflix, a series that follows a group of students of colour at a predominantly white university to highlight the issues that still plague today’s ‘post-racial’ society.
  2. Read What Should White People Do? by Linda Martin Alcoff who explores white attempts to move towards a proactive position against racism that will amount to more than self-criticism.

Measure your progress.

Ensuring diversity in the workplace is a journey that we learn as we go from others ahead of ourselves on the journey. Nobody has it 100% right. Following on from that, it always helps to be able to reflect on how far you’ve come, so commit to goals at board level and track your progress which will help to prove success.

One such goal could be to tackle subconscious preconceptions. These preconceptions can have a negative impact on your business, especially in the recruitment process as the candidates best positioned to help your company grow may be overlooked. The first step to avoid this is to be aware of it which could mean providing training to help your employees learn how to think more openly and so get a better understanding of a person’s professional capacity so that skin colour is not the deciding factor in who gets hired and instead the best person for the job is the one who gets it.

This requires challenging people’s assumptions. In an interview some examples of how to do this would be to cover up the names on resumes, set up diverse interview panels, and ask every candidate the same questions.

Other goals include setting up a Diversity and Inclusion Committee and meeting regularly to have open discussions both about what may need to be improved and also about what your company does well for diversity. This article is for Black History Month and so talks particular about issues of ethnic diversity, however it is important to discuss all forms of diversity such as gender, class and age etc.

As you increase diversity, celebrate it!

Often those who don’t have a role model will not put themselves forward for jobs or promotions, so make sure to encourage mentoring from those in leadership positions so that they can become the cultural role models who inspire others.

In Britain, we are lucky enough to have phenomenal black role models: Mo Farah, the most successful British track athlete in modern Olympic Games history, John Stewart, first black British male MP, Cynthia Erivo, first black British actress to be nominated for an Oscar award- the list goes on. Yet, more needs to be done to make this list known, and to allow it to keep expanding.

It is also important to embrace the diversity of thought that comes hand in hand with an inclusive workplace. Assembling a team that acts and thinks in the same way is often fairly easy to do, and in such teams consensus will be reached on most issues without much debate. However, unless all your customers also think the same it is a difficult task to grow your business with this homogenous workforce. You want to create an environment where people feel their input is valued, even if it goes against the way you would normally expect things to be done, because through this your business can discover new ways of doing things and successfully lead through change.

We are not trying to point fingers. We are by no means perfect. Everyone is entitled to their own opinions. However, establishing diversity and inclusion measures in your workplace is not only the right thing to do, but will also infinitely benefit your business, too.

Think you are embracing diversity of thought? Take the diversity of thought assessment by the Glenn Llopis Group here to find out.

Finally, at the British Chamber of Commerce | EU & Belgium we would love to hear from you. If you have had any experiences as a business with these issues then feel free to leave a comment or send an email to eucommittee@britishchamber.eu to let us know your strategies for overcoming them.


Here at the British Chamber of Commerce, we will continue to update you with the necessary information to help all our members to succeed. We are all in this together, and with the right plans in place, consumer confidence can be restored. BritCham offers support, guidance and specialised coverage for both Brexit and COVID-19, including webinars, workshops and events that will give your firm the tools it needs to navigate through this challenging period.
See our website here for more details on how we can help you: https://www.britishchamber.be/

By Yasmine Lingemann


With the end of the Brexit transition period fast approaching, here are 5 steps BritCham EU & Brussels suggest you and your business should take for importing into the EU, and 5 steps for importing into the UK.
Available in English, French, German and Dutch.

If you have any further questions, please head over to https://www.gov.uk/eubusiness for more information.

IMPORTING INTO THE EU:
Step 1: Register with Customs!
No relationship with Customs yet? Request an EORI number with them as soon as possible. Every company in Europe involved in exporting from the UK will require a GB EORI number- you cannot export without one. Also, if you are an importer or exporter who uses a forwarder or customs agent for your import and export declarations, please contact national customs as the application process may vary from country to country.

Step 2: Decide who takes care of the import and export declarations!
After the Brexit transition period ends, determine whether you will submit import and/or export declarations to Customs yourself or whether you will use a forwarder or customs agent for this. If you submit the declarations yourself, you will need separate software and licences. For this software you will find an overview of possible suppliers on the Dutch customs website.

Step 3: Determine who is responsible for the pre-notification of customs documents!
After Brexit, the pre-notification of customs documents is mandatory at all ferry terminals and most shortsea terminals. The importer/exporter can do this, but also the forwarder, customs agent or, on occasion, the transport company. Make clear agreements about this! Without pre-notification, the transporter will not be granted access to the terminal.

Step 4: Fill in the necessary documentation!
Importers should submit or enter the required data in the import clearance system via an EDI interface to the Customs computer Paperless Customs and Excises (PLDA) system. The import declaration, including security data, has been compulsorily submitted online via the PLDA-program (ICS = Import Control System). The importer can likewise declare the goods by presenting a finished Single Administrative Document (SAD form) to Belgian Customs. The official model for written declarations to customs is the Single Administrative Document (SAD). The SAD delineates products and their movement around the world and is fundamental for trade outside the EU, or of non-EU merchandise. Merchandise brought into the EU customs area is, from the time of their entrance, subject to customs supervision until customs formalities are finished. Items are secured by a Summary Declaration which is documented once the things have been shown to customs authorities.

Step 5: Check beforehand whether the terminal has the customs document!
Only cargo that has been digitally pre-notified can enter and leave the terminal. Otherwise, the container or trailer will come to a standstill here. You will then be referred to a temporary parking location. You can contact your client or transport planner there to get the necessary customs formalities in order.Therefore, before you start driving, always check the status at the termina. No customs document, no pre-notification at the terminal, no transport!

IMPORTING INTO THE UK
Step 1: Get an EORI Number
As a business owner, you need to make sure that your business has an Economic Operator Registration and Identification Number (EORI). In order to continue importing goods into the UK, you will need to have a 12-digit EORI starting with GB. You may not need an EORI number if your business is service-based or if you want to move goods between Northern Ireland and Ireland. If your business does not have an EORI number, then you might face delays and increased costs while importing goods. Check what documents you may need to apply for an EORI number here.

Step 2: Make Importing Declarations!
To make import declarations, you can either hire an agent or do it yourself.


HIRING A CUSTOMS AGENT: Freight forwarders, brokers, and fast parcel operators are some of the types of agents who can handle customs for you. Freight forwarders can assist you with moving the goods around the world. They can even make arrangements to help you get customs clearance. Brokers or custom agents ensure clearance through customs. Fast parcel operators can help you move documents, parcels, and freight across the world within a specific time frame. They can even handle customs clearance for you, provided you give them written instructions. The instructions must clarify whether these agents are acting for you directly or indirectly. If your business is new and you are still in search of a customs agent, you can find one from HMRC’s list of customs agents.


DECLARING IMPORTS YOURSELF:
If you are making customs import declarations by yourself, there are three important things for you to know when you import from outside the UK: how to submit, when to submit, and which boxes to complete.  
a. How to submit –If you are submitting your declarations on your own, they have to be sent electronically through the Customs Handling of Import and Export Freight (CHIEF) system. To do this, you must first apply to gain access to CHIEF and then buy third-party software to submit declarations electronically via CHIEF. While moving merchandise in baggage or small vehicles, you will need to submit a full declaration in advance if the goods meet any of the following conditions:– the value of goods is over 900 Euro– the goods weigh more than 1,000 kg– you are moving excise or restricted goods– the goods need a licence– you are planning to claim relief.   
b. When to submit – Under normal circumstances, a business owner must submit a complete declaration when goods are entering the UK. If you are moving your goods to temporary storage under customs supervision, they can remain in storage for 90 days. If the 90-day time limit is exceeded, you will need to pay the duty, VAT and penalty.The declaration process may vary if you are using the simplified declaration procedure or operating under an EIDR(entry in declarant’s record) authorisation. In the event of a no-deal Brexit, the goods you import from the EU might get delayed. This is because it may take longer than usual for you to submit a full declaration and pay your import duties and VAT. In the event of a no-deal Brexit, you can still utilise the roll on roll off ports or the Channel Tunnel to import goods from the EU. You may need to produce customs declarations and pay any excise duty or VAT. 
c. Boxes to complete – Each time you are moving goods, you must include the commodity code in your customs declarations. You may also have to include the CustomsProcedure Code (CPC), which identifies the customs procedure applied while moving the goods.

Step 3: Make Importing Easier
There are other customs procedures designed to streamline the process, like the CommonTransit Convention (CTC), which simplifies the way in which goods get transported between or through the EU and the common transit countries. If your business imports goods frequently, you can set up a duty deferment account. This allows you to make one payment per time interval (for instance, a month), instead of making payments every time you import something. You can also get customs authorisations too, but you will need a deferment account for this.

Step 4: Check the Tax & Duty Rates to be Paid!
For every import, you will have to pay custom duties and VAT. If the UK leaves the EU without a deal, the custom duty tariffs for imports from the EU and the rest of the world will change.Reports say that the temporary rates will be applicable for up to 12 months until the government completes its public consultation and introduces a permanent tariff regime.Based on where the goods come from, the tariff rates can be classified as either preferential (also called MostFavoured Nation or MFN) and non-preferential.A preferential tariff rate will be applicable on goods if the country they are imported from has trade agreement with the UK and is a part of the UK’s generalised scheme of preferences.Non-preferential tariffs will be applicable for those countries which do not hold an official trade agreement with the UK and will eventually have to comply with the trade regulations set up by World TradeOrganisation (WTO). You can find out what the non-preferential tariff rates will be in case of a no-deal Brexit here. If you have registered your business for VAT, then you will have to pay your import VAT while filing your VAT return. If your business involves the import of alcohol, tobacco, or biofuels, you will have to pay excise duties also. You can find the rates for excise duties here.

Step 5: Get the Right Type of License for the Type of Goods you Import!
Based on what kinds of goods you are moving into the UK, you may be required to have a special license or certificate. For some goods, you may even have to pay an inspection fee. You can check whether you need licenses for the goods you are importing here.



BRITCHAM SUPPORT
Here at the British Chamber of Commerce, we will continue to update you with the necessary information to help all our members to succeed. We are all in this together, and with the right plans in place, consumer confidence can be restored. BritCham offers support, guidance and specialised coverage for both Brexit and COVID-19, including webinars, workshops and events that will give your firm the tools it needs to navigate through this challenging period. Click here to register: https://www.britishchamber.be/upcoming-events


IMPORTER DANS L’UE
Étape 1: S’incrire aux Douanes!
Pas encore de relation avec les douanes? Demandez un numéro EORI avec eux dès que possible. Chaque entreprise en Europe impliquée dans l’exportation du Royaume-Uni aura besoin d’un numéro GB EORI – vous ne pouvez pas exporter sans un. De plus, si vous êtes un importateur ou un exportateur qui utilise un transitaire ou un agent des douanes pour vos déclarations d’importation et d’exportation, veuillez contacter les douanes nationales car le processus de demande peut varier d’un pays à l’autre.

Étape 2: Décider qui s’occupera des déclarations d’importation et d’exportations!
Après la fin de la période de transition du Brexit, vous deviez décider si vous allez soumettre vous-même vos déclarations d’importations et/ou d’exportations, ou si vous utiliserez les services d’un transitaire ou un agent des douanes. Si vous le faites vous-même, vous aurez besoin d’un logiciel et des licences séparés.Pour ce logiciel, vous trouverez une liste de fournisseurs en ligne sur le site internet des services de douanes hollandais.



Étape 3: Décider qui s’occupera de la pré-notification des documents douaniers!
Après Brexit, la notification pré-able des documents douaniers sera obligatoire à tous les terminaux de ferry et dans la plupart des terminaux de courte distance.  L’importateur/exportateur peut faire cette démarche, mais aussi le transitaire, l’agent des douanes ou, à l’occasion, la société de transport. Faites des accords clairs ! Sans une notification pré-able, le transitaire n’aura pas accès aux terminaux. 



Étape 4: Remplir les informations nécessaires!
L’importateur devrait présenter les données nécessaires au système par EDI (Échange de Données Informatisé) auxDouanes et Accises (PLDA). La déclaration d’importation y compris les données informatisées, est obligatoire de le présenter en ligne par le PLDA. L’importateur pourrait aussi déclarer leur produit en présentant un document administratif unique (DAU)aux douanes belges. Le DAU délimite les produits et leurs mouvements autour du monde, il est fondamental pour les échanges hors de l’UE, ou pour les produits non-européens. Les produits qui sont importés dans l’UE, dès leur entrée, sont soumis aux supervisions des douanes jusqu’à que les formalités en douane soient finies. Les articles sont sécurisés par un sommaire de déclaration qui est documenté dès qu’ils sont montrées aux autorités des douanes. 

Étape 5: Vérifier préalablement si le terminal a les formulaires de douanes!
Seule la cargaison qui est déjà notifiée préalablement pourrait rentrer et sortir du terminal. Autrement, le conteneur ou la remorque seront en arrêt. Vous serez alors dirigé vers une zone de parking temporaire. Vous pourrez contacter votre client ou transitaire surplace pour avoir les formulaires de douanes nécessaires.  Avant de commencer à conduire, vérifier toujours vos documents aux terminaux. Pas de formulaires de douanes, pas de notification pré-able aux terminaux, pas de transport ! 

IMPORTER DANS le ROYAUME UNI
Étape 1: Obtenir un Numéro EORI!
En tant que propriétaire d’entreprise, vous devez vous assurer que votre entreprise dispose d’un numéro d’enregistrement et d’identification d’opérateur économique (EORI). Afin de continuer à importer des marchandises au Royaume-Uni, vous aurez besoin d’un EORI à 12 chiffres commençant par GB. Vous n’aurez peut-être pas besoin d’un numéro EORI si votre entreprise est basée sur des services ou si vous souhaitez déplacer des marchandises entre l’Irlande du Nord et l’Irlande. Si votre entreprise ne possède pas de numéro EORI, vous risquez de subir des retards et une augmentation des coûts lors de l’importation de marchandises. Vérifiez les documents dont vous pourriez avoir besoin pour demander un numéro EORI ici.

Étape 2: Faire des Déclarations D’Importation!
Pour faire des déclarations d’importation, vous pouvez soit engager un agent, soit le faire vous-même. 


EMBAUCHE D’UN AGENT DES DOUANES:
Les transitaires, les courtiers et les opérateurs de colis rapides font partie des types d’agents qui peuvent gérer les douanes à votre place. Les transitaires peuvent vous aider à déplacer les marchandises à travers le monde. Ils peuvent même prendre des dispositions pour vous aider à obtenir le dédouanement. Les courtiers ou agents des douanes assurent le dédouanement.Les opérateurs de colis rapides peuvent vous aider à déplacer des documents, des colis et du fret à travers le monde dans un laps de temps spécifique. Ils peuvent même gérer le dédouanement à votre place, à condition que vous leur donniez des instructions écrites. Les instructions doivent préciser si ces agents agissent pour vous directement ou indirectement. Si la création de l’entreprise est récente et que vous êtes toujours à la recherche d’un agent en douane, vous pouvez en trouver un dans la liste des agents en douane du HMRC. 


DÉCLARER VOUS-MÊME IMPORT:
Si vous effectuez vous-même des déclarations d’importation en douane, vous devez savoir trois choses importantes lorsque vous importez de l’extérieur du Royaume-Uni: comments ou mettre, quand soumettre et quelles cases remplir.
a. Comment soumettre – Si vous soumettez vos déclarations vous-même, elles doivent être envoyées par voie électronique via le système de gestion des douanes du fret importé et exporté (CHIEF). Pour ce faire, vous devez d’abord faire une demande d’accès à CHIEF, puis acheter un logiciel tiers pour soumettre des déclarations par voie électronique via CHIEF. Lors du déplacement de marchandises dans des bagages ou de petits véhicules, vous devrez soumettre une déclaration complète à l’avance si les marchandises remplissent l’une des conditions suivantes:- la valeur des marchandises est supérieure à 900 euros- la marchandise pèse plus de 1000 kg- vous déplacez des produits soumis à accise ou soumis à des restrictions- les marchandises nécessitent une licence- vous prévoyez de demander une réparation 
b. Quand soumettre – Dans des circonstances normales, un propriétaire d’entreprise doit soumettre une déclaration complète lorsque les marchandises entrent au Royaume-Uni. Si vous déplacez vos marchandises vers un stockage temporaire sous contrôle douanier, elles peuvent rester en stock pendant 90 jours. Si le délai de 90 jours est dépassé, vous devrez payer les droits, la TVA et la pénalité. Le processus de déclaration peut varier si vous utilisez la procédure de déclaration simplifiée ou si vous opérez sous une autorisation EIDR (entrée dans le dossier du déclarant).En cas de Brexit sans accord, les marchandises que vous importez de l’UE pourraient être retardées. En effet, cela peut prendre plus de temps que d’habitude pour soumettre une déclaration complète et payer vos droits d’importation et votre TVA.En cas de Brexit sans accord, vous pouvez toujours utiliser les ports roll-on roll off ou le tunnel sous la Manche pour importer des marchandises de l’UE. Vous devrez peut-être produire des déclarations en douane et payer tout droit d’accise ouTVA. 
c. Boîtes à remplir – Chaque fois que vous déplacez des marchandises, vous devez inclure le code marchandise dans vos déclarations en douane. Vous devrez peut-être également inclure le code de procédure douanière (CPC), qui identifie la procédure douanière appliquée lors du déplacement des marchandises.

Étape 3: Facilitez L’Importation!
Il existe d’autres procédures douanières conçues pour rationaliser le processus, comme la convention de transit commun (CTC), qui simplifie la manière dont les marchandises sont transportées entre ou à travers l’UE et les pays de transit commun. Si votre entreprise importe fréquemment des marchandises, vous pouvez créer un compte de report des droits. Cela vous permet d’effectuer un paiement par intervalle de temps (par exemple, un mois), au lieu d’effectuer des paiements chaque fois que vous importez quelque chose. Vous pouvez également obtenir des autorisations douanières, mais vous aurez besoin d’un compte différé pour cela.

Étape 4: Vérifiez les Taux de Taxes et de Droits à Payer!
Pour chaque importation, vous devrez payer les droits de douane et la TVA. Si le Royaume-Uni quitte l’UE sans accord, les tarifs douaniers pour les importations en provenance de l’UE et du reste du monde changeront. Les rapports indiquent que les taux temporaires seront applicables jusqu’à 12 mois jusqu’à ce que le gouvernement termine sa consultation publique et introduit un régime tarifaire permanent.En fonction de la provenance des marchandises, les taux de droits peuvent être classés comme préférentiels (également appelés nation la plus favorisée ou NPF) et non préférentiels.Un taux tarifaire préférentiel sera applicable aux marchandises si le pays d’où elles sont importées a conclu un accord commercial avec le Royaume-Uni et fait partie du système de préférences généralisé du Royaume-Uni.Des tarifs non préférentiels seront applicables aux pays qui ne détiennent pas d’accord commercial officiel avec le Royaume-Uni et devront à terme se conformer aux réglementations commerciales mises en place par l’Organisation mondiale du commerce (OMC). Vous pouvez découvrir quels seront les tarifs non préférentiels en cas de Brexit sans accord ici. Si vous avez enregistré votre entreprise à la TVA, vous devrez alors payer votre TVA à l’importation lors du dépôt de votre déclaration de TVA. Si votre entreprise implique l’importation d’alcool, de tabac ou de biocarburants, vous devrez également payer des droits d’accise. Vous pouvez trouver les taux des droits d’accise ici.

Étape 5: Obtenez le bon Type de Licence pour le Type de Marchandises que vous Importez!
En fonction des types de marchandises que vous transportez au Royaume-Uni, vous devrez peut-être détenir une licence ou un certificat spécial. Pour certaines marchandises, vous devrez peut-être même payer des frais d’inspection. Vous pouvez vérifier ici si vous avez besoin de licences pour les marchandises que vous importez.


BRITCHAM APPUI
Ici, à la Chambre de commerce britannique, nous continuerons à vous mettre à jour avec les informations nécessaires pour aider tous nos membres à réussir. Nous sommes tous dans le même bateau et avec les bons plans en place, la confiance des consommateurs peut être rétablie. BritCham offre un soutien, des conseils et une couverture spécialisée pour le Brexit et le COVID-19, y compris des webinaires, des ateliers et des événements qui donneront à votre entreprise les outils dont elle a besoin pour traverser cette période difficile. Cliquez ici pour vous inscrire: https://www.britishchamber.be/upcoming-events


IMPORT IN DIE EU

Schritt 1: Stellen Sie sich beim Zoll vor!
Sind Sie beim Zoll noch nicht bekannt? Beantragen Sie umgehend eine EORI-Nummer. Jedes Unternehmen in Europa, das aus Großbritannien exportiert, benötigt eine GB EORI-Nummer – ohne eine können Sie nicht exportieren. Wenn Sie ein Importeur oder Exporteur sind, der einen Spediteur oder Zollagenten für Ihre Import- und Exporterklärungen verwendet, wenden Sie sich bitte an den nationalen Zoll, da das Antragsverfahren von Land zu Land unterschiedlich sein kann.

Schritt 2: Entscheiden Sie, wer sich um die Import- und Exporterklärungen kümmert!
Nach dem Brexit endet die Übergangszeit, Bestimmen Sie, ob Sie selbst Import- und / oder Exporterklärungen beim Zoll einreichen oder ob Sie hierfür einen Spediteur oder Zollagenten einsetzen. Wenn Sie die Erklärungen selbst einreichen, benötigen Sie separate Software und Lizenzen. Für diese Software finden Sie auf der niederländischen Zollwebsite eine Übersicht möglicher Lieferanten.



Schritt 3: Vereinbaren Sie, wer die Voranmeldung der Zollpapiere vornimmt!
Nach dem Brexit ist an allen Fährterminals und den meisten Shortsea-Terminals die Voranmeldung der Zolldokumente obligatorisch. Dies kann durch den Importeur/Exporteur, aber auch durch den Spediteur, Zollagenten oder bei Gelegenheit durch den Frachtführer erfolgen. Vereinbaren Sie klar und deutlich, wer diese Aufgabe übernimmt! Ohne Vorankündigung wird dem Frachtführer kein Zugang zum Terminal gewährt.


Schritt 4: Abonnieren Sie die Dienste!
Importeure sollten die erforderlichen Daten über eine EDI-Schnittstelle an das papierlose Zoll- und Verbrauchsteuer system (PLDA) des Zollcomputers übermitteln oder in das Einfuhrabfertigungs system eingeben. Die Einfuhranmeldung einschließlich der Sicherheitsdaten wurde zwangsweise online über das PLDA-Programm (ICS = Import Control System) eingereicht. Der Importeur kann die Waren ebenfalls deklarieren, indem er dem belgischen Zoll ein fertiges einheitliches Verwaltungsdokument (SAD-Formular) vorlegt. Das offizielle Modell für schriftliche Zollanmeldungen ist das einheitliche Verwaltungsdokument (SAD). Die SAD beschreibt Produkte und ihre weltweite Bewegung und ist von grundlegender Bedeutung für den Handel außerhalb der EU oder für Waren von außerhalb der EU. Waren, die in den Zollbereich der EU gebracht werden, unterliegen ab dem Zeitpunkt ihrer Annahme der Zollaufsicht, bis die Zollformalitäten erledigt sind. Die Gegenstände werden durch eine zusammenfassende Erklärung gesichert, die dokumentiert wird, sobald die Dinge den Zollbehörden gezeigt wurden.

Schritt 5: Prüfen Sie im voraus, ob das Terminal über das Zolldokument verfügt!
Nur elektronisch vorangemeldetes Frachtgut kann auf dem Terminal abgeliefert und abgeholt werden. Andernfalls gerät der Transport des Containers oder Trailers hier ins Stocken. Sie werden dann zu einem temporären Parkplätz weitergeleitet. Sie können sich dort an Ihren Kunden oder Transportplaner wenden, um die notwendigen Formalitäten zu erledigen.Überprüfen Sie daher immer den Status am Terminal. Ohne Zolldokument, ohne Voranmeldung am Terminal, kein Transport!

IMPORT NACH GROßBRITANNIEN

Schritt 1: Erhalten sie eine EORI Nummer!
Als Geschäftsinhaber müssen Sie sicherstellen, dass Ihr Unternehmen über eine EORI (Economic Operator Registration and Identification Number) verfügt. Um weiterhin Waren nach Großbritannien importieren zu können, benötigen Sie einen 12-stelligen EORI, der mit GB beginnt. Möglicherweise benötigen Sie keine EORI-Nummer, wenn Ihr Unternehmen serviceorientiert ist oder wenn Sie Waren zwischen Nordirland und Irland transportieren möchten. Wenn Ihr Unternehmen keine EORI-Nummer hat, kann es beim Import von Waren zu Verzögerungen und höheren Kosten kommen. Überprüfen Sie hier, welche Dokumente Sie möglicherweise benötigen, um eine EORI-Nummer zu beantragen.

Schritt 2: Einfuhrerklärungen Machen!
Um Importerklärungen abzugeben, können Sie entweder einen Agenten beauftragen oder dies selbst tun. 


EINEN ZOLLAGENTEN ANSTELLEN: 
Spediteure, Makler und schnelle Paketbetreiber sind einige der Arten von Agenten, die den Zoll für Sie erledigen können. Spediteure können Sie beim Transport der Waren um die Welt unterstützen. Sie können sogar Vorkehrungen treffen, um Ihnen bei der Zollabfertigung zu helfen.Makler oder Zollagenten sorgen für die Zollabfertigung.Schnelle Paketbetreiber können Ihnen helfen, Dokumente, Pakete und Fracht innerhalb eines bestimmten Zeitraums weltweit zu transportieren. Sie können sogar die Zollabfertigung für Sie erledigen, sofern Sie ihnen schriftliche Anweisungen geben. In den Anweisungen muss klargestellt werden, ob diese Agenten direkt oder indirekt für Sie tätig sind. Wenn Ihr Unternehmen neu ist und Sie noch auf der Suche nach einem Zollagenten sind, finden Sie einen aus der Liste der Zollagenten der HMRC. 


ERKLÄRUNG IMPORTIERT SICH:
Wenn Sie selbst Zoll importer klärungen abgeben, müssen Sie beim Import von außerhalb Großbritanniens drei wichtige Dinge wissen: wie Sie einreichen, wann Sie einreichen und welche Felder Sie ausfüllen müssen.
a. Einreichen – Wenn Sie Ihre Erklärungen selbst einreichen, müssen sie elektronisch über das Zollab fertigungs system für Import- und Exportfracht (CHIEF) gesendet werden. Dazu müssen Sie zunächst einen Antrag auf Zugang zu CHIEF stellen und dann Software von Drittanbietern kaufen, um Erklärungen elektronisch über CHIEF einzureichen.Wenn Sie Waren im Gepäck oder in kleinen Fahrzeugen bewegen, müssen Sie im Voraus eine vollständige Erklärung abgeben, wenn die Waren eine der folgenden Bedingungen erfüllen: 
– Der Warenwert beträgt über 900 Euro- Die Ware wiegt mehr als 1.000 kg- Sie bewegen verbrauchst euer pflichtige oder eingeschränkte Waren- Die Ware benötigt eine Lizenz- Sie planen, Erleichterung zu fordern. 
b. Zeitpunkt der Einreichung – Unter normalen Umständen muss ein Geschäftsinhaber eine vollständige Erklärung abgeben, wenn Waren nach Großbritannien einreisen. Wenn Sie Ihre Waren unter zollamtlicher Aufsicht vorübergehend lagern, können sie 90 Tage gelagert werden. Wenn die 90 -Tage-Frist überschritten wird, müssen Sie die Abgabe, die Mehrwertsteuer und die Strafe bezahlen. Der Deklarationsprozess kann variieren, wenn Sie das vereinfachte Deklarationsverfahren verwenden oder unter einer EIDR-Berechtigung (Eintrag im Datensatz des Anmelders) arbeiten. Im Falle eines No-Deal-Brexit können sich die Waren, die Sie aus der EU importieren, verzögern. Dies liegt daran, dass es möglicherweise länger als gewöhnlich dauert, bis Sie eine vollständige Erklärung abgeben und Ihre Einfuhrzölle und Mehrwertsteuer bezahlen.Im Falle eines No-Deal-Brexit können Sie weiterhin die Roll-on-Roll-off-Häfen oder den Kanaltunnel nutzen, um Waren aus der EU zu importieren. Möglicherweise müssen Sie Zollanmeldungen vorlegen und Verbrauchsteuern oder Mehrwertsteuer zahlen.
c. Zu vervollständigende Kisten – Jedes Mal, wenn Sie Waren bewegen, müssen Sie den Warencode in Ihre Zollanmeldungen aufnehmen. Möglicherweise müssen Sie auch den Zollkodex (CPC) angeben, der das Zollverfahren angibt, das beim Transport der Waren angewendet wird.

Schritt 3: Einfacher Einfuhren
Es gibt andere Zollverfahren zur Straffung des Prozesses, wie das Common Transit Convention (CTC), das den Transport von Waren zwischen oder durch die EU und die gemeinsamen Transitländer vereinfacht.Wenn Ihr Unternehmen häufig Waren importiert, können Sie ein Zollaufschubkonto einrichten. Auf diese Weise können Sie eine Zahlung pro Zeitintervall (z. B. einen Monat) ausführen, anstatt jedes Mal Zahlungen zu leisten, wenn Sie etwas importieren. Sie können auch Zollgenehmigungen erhalten, dafür benötigen Sie jedoch ein Aufschubkonto.

Schritt 4: Prüfen sie die zu Bezahlenden Steuern und Pflichten!
Für jeden Import müssen Sie Zölle und Mehrwertsteuer bezahlen. Wenn das Vereinigte Königreich die EU ohne ein Abkommen verlässt, werden sich die Zolltarife für Einfuhren aus der EU und dem Rest der Welt ändern. Berichten zufolge gelten die vorübergehenden Tarife bis zu 12 Monate, bis die Regierung ihre öffentliche Konsultation abgeschlossen und ein dauerhaftes Tarifsystem eingeführt hat.Je nachdem, woher die Waren stammen, können die Zollsätze entweder als bevorzugt (auch als Meistbegünstigte Nation oder MFN bezeichnet) oder als nicht bevorzugt eingestuft werden.Ein Vorzugstarif gilt für Waren, wenn das Land, aus dem sie eingeführt werden, ein Handelsabkommen mit dem Vereinigten Königreich hat und Teil des allgemeinen Präferenzschemas des Vereinigten Königreichs ist. Nicht präferenzzölle gelten für diejenigen Länder, die kein offizielles Handelsabkommen mit dem Vereinigten Königreich haben und möglicherweise die von der Welthandelsorganisation (WTO) festgelegten Handelsbestimmungen einhalten müssen. Hier erfahren Sie, wie hoch die nichtpräferenziellen Tarife im Falle eines Brexit ohne Deal sein werden.Wenn Sie Ihr Unternehmen für die Mehrwertsteuer registriert haben, müssen Sie Ihre Einfuhrumsatzsteuer bezahlen, während Sie Ihre Mehrwertsteuererklärung einreichen. Wenn Ihr Geschäft den Import von Alkohol, Tabak oder Biokraftstoffen beinhaltet, müssen Sie auch Verbrauchsteuern zahlen. Die Preise für Verbrauchsteuern finden Sie hier.

Schritt 5: Holen Sie sich die richtige Art der Lizenz für die Art der Waren, die Sie importieren!
Abhängig davon, welche Arten von Waren Sie nach Großbritannien umziehen, benötigen Sie möglicherweise eine spezielle Lizenz oder ein Zertifikat. Für einige Waren müssen Sie möglicherweise sogar eine Inspektionsgebühr zahlen. Hier können Sie prüfen, ob Sie Lizenzen für die Waren benötigen, die Sie importieren.


BRITCHAM UNTERSTÜTZUNG
Hier bei der britischen Handelskammer werden wir Sie weiterhin mit den notwendigen Informationen aktualisieren, um allen unseren Mitgliedern zum Erfolg zu verhelfen. Wir sind alle gemeinsam dabei, und mit den richtigen Plänen kann das Verbrauchervertrauen wiederhergestellt werden. BritCham bietet Unterstützung, Anleitung und spezielle Berichterstattung sowohl für den Brexit als auch für COVID-19, einschließlich Webinaren, Workshops und Veranstaltungen, die Ihrem Unternehmen die Tools bieten, die es benötigt, um durch diese herausfordernde Zeit zu navigieren. Klicken Sie hier, um sich zu registrieren: https://www.britishchamber.be/upcoming-events


IMPORTEREN IN DE EU
Stap 1: Maak u bekend bij de Douane!
Nog geen relatie met de Douane? Vraag zo snel mogelijk bij hen een EORI-nummer aan. Elk bedrijf in Europa dat betrokken is bij het exporteren vanuit het VK, heeft een GB EORI-nummer nodig – u kunt niet zonder een nummer exporteren. Als u een importeur of exporteur bent die een expediteur of douane-expediteur gebruikt voor uw in- en uitvoeraangiften, neem dan contact op met de nationale douane, aangezien het aanvraagproces van land tot land kan verschillen.

Stap 2: Bepaal wie de invoer- of uitvoeraangiften doet!
Na afloop van de Brexit-overgangsperiode,
bepaal als importeur of exporteur of u na de Brexit zelf bij de Douane invoer- c.q. uitvoeraangiften wilt doen, of dat u een expediteur of douaneagent inschakelt. Doet u de aangiften zelf, dan zijn aparte software en vergunningen nodig. Voor deze software vindt u op de douane website een overzicht van mogelijke leveranciers.


Stap 3: Spreek af wie de douanedocumenten voormeldt!
Na de Brexit is het voormelden van douanedocumenten bij alle ferryterminals en het merendeel van de shortsea-terminals verplicht. Dat kan de importeur/exporteur doen, maar ook de expediteur, douaneagent of bij gelegenheid de vervoerder. Spreek dit goed af! Zonder voormelding krijgt de vervoerder geen toegang tot de terminal.





Stap 4: Abonneer u op de services!
Importeurs dienen de vereiste gegevens in het in klarings systeem in te voeren of in te voeren via een EDI-interface naar het douanecomputer Paperless Customs and Excises (PLDA) -systeem. De aangifte ten invoer, inclusief beveiligingsgegevens, is verplicht online ingediend via het PLDA-programma (ICS = Import Control System).De importeur kan de goederen eveneens aangeven door een afgewerkt Enig Administratief Document (ED-formulier) voor te leggen aan de Belgische Douane. Het officiële model voor schriftelijke aangiften bij de douane is het Enig Administratief Document (ED). Het ED omschrijft producten en hun verplaatsingen over de hele wereld en is van fundamenteel belang voor de handel buiten de EU, of van niet-EU-goederen. Goederen die het douanegebied van de EU binnenkomen, zijn vanaf het moment van binnenkomst onderworpen aan douanetoezicht totdat de douaneformaliteiten zijn afgehandeld. Artikelen worden beveiligd door een summiere aangifte die wordt gedocumenteerd zodra de zaken aan de douane zijn getoond.

Stap 5: Check vooraf of de terminal het douanedocument heeft!
Alleen digitaal voorgemelde lading kan de terminal op en af. Anders komt de container of trailer hier tot stilstand. U wordt  dan verwezen naar een tijdelijke parkeerlocatie. U kunt daar contact opnemen met uw opdrachtgever of transportplanner om de noodzakelijke formaliteiten alsnog in orde te krijgen.Check daarom voordat u gaat rijden altijd de status bij de terminal. Geen douanedocument, geen voormelding bij de terminal, géén vervoer!

IMPORTEREN IN HET VK
Stap 1: Krijg Een EORI Nummer!
Als bedrijfseigenaar moet u ervoor zorgen dat uw bedrijf een Economic Operator Registration and Identification Number (EORI) heeft. Als u goederen in het VK wilt blijven importeren, heeft u een 12-cijferige EORI nodig die begint met GB. Mogelijk hebt u geen EORI-nummer nodig als uw bedrijf servicegericht is of als u goederen wilt vervoeren tussen Noord-Ierland en Ierland. Als uw bedrijf geen EORI-nummer heeft, kunt u te maken krijgen met vertragingen en hogere kosten bij het importeren van goederen.Bekijk hier welke documenten u eventueel nodig heeft om een ​​EORI-nummer aan te vragen.

Stap 2: Doe Importverklaringe!
Om aangiften ten invoer te doen, kunt u een makelaar inhuren of dit zelf doen.


EEN DOUANE-AGENT INHUREN: Expediteurs, makelaars en snelle pakketbeheerders zijn enkele van de soorten agenten die de douane voor u kunnen afhandelen. Expediteurs kunnen u helpen bij het verplaatsen van de goederen over de hele wereld. Ze kunnen zelfs regelingen treffen om u te helpen bij de inklaring. Makelaars of douane-expediteurs zorgen voor inklaring door de douane. Exploitanten van snelle pakketten kunnen u helpen binnen een bepaald tijdsbestek documenten, pakketten en vracht over de hele wereld te vervoeren. Ze kunnen zelfs de douane-inklaring voor u afhandelen, op voorwaarde dat u hen schriftelijke instructies geeft. De instructies moeten duidelijk maken of deze agenten direct of indirect voor u optreden. Als uw bedrijf nieuw is en u nog steeds op zoek bent naar een douane-expediteur, kunt u er een vinden op de lijst met douane-expediteurs van HMRC.


HET AANGEVEN VAN IMPORT ZELF:
Als u zelf aangiften ten invoer doet, zijn er drie belangrijke dingen die u moet weten wanneer u van buiten het VK importeert: hoe u moet indienen, wanneer u moet indienen en welke vakken u moet invullen.een. 
a. Hoe indienen – Als u uw aangiften zelf indient, moeten deze elektronisch worden verzonden via het systeem Douane Afhandeling van Import en Export Freight (CHIEF). Hiervoor moet u zich eerst aanmelden om toegang te krijgen tot CHIEF en vervolgens kopen software van derden om aangiften elektronisch in te dienen via CHIEF.Bij het vervoeren van goederen in bagage of kleine voertuigen, moet u vooraf een volledige aangifte indienen als de goederen aan een van de volgende voorwaarden voldoen:- de waarde van goederen is meer dan 900 euro- de goederen wegen meer dan 1.000 kg- U verplaatst accijnsgoederen of goederen waarvoor beperkingen gelden- de goederen hebben een vergunning nodig- U bent van plan uitstel te eisen
b. Wanneer indienen – Onder normale omstandigheden moet een bedrijfseigenaar een volledige aangifte indienen wanneer goederen het VK binnenkomen. Verplaatst u uw goederen naar tijdelijke opslag onder douanetoezicht, dan kunnen ze 90 dagen in opslag blijven. Als de termijn van 90 dagen wordt overschreden, moet u de invoerrechten, btw en boete betalen.Het aangifteproces kan variëren als u de vereenvoudigde aangifteprocedure gebruikt of opereert onder een EIDR-machtiging (vermelding in het dossier van de aangever). Bij een no deal Brexit kunnen de goederen die u uit de EU importeert vertraging oplopen. Het kan namelijk langer duren dan normaal voordat u een volledige aangifte doet en uw invoerrechten en btw betaalt.Bij een no deal Brexit kun je nog steeds gebruikmaken van de roll on roll off ports of de Kanaaltunnel om goederen uit de EU te importeren. Het kan zijn dat u douaneaangiften moet overleggen en eventuele accijnzen of btw moet betalen.
c. In te vullen dozen – Elke keer dat u goederen verplaatst, moet u de goederencode in uw douaneaangiften vermelden. Mogelijk moet u ook de Customs Procedure Code (CPC) vermelden, die de toegepaste douaneregeling identificeert tijdens het verplaatsen van de goederen.

Stap 3: Maak Het Importeren Eenvoudiger!
Er zijn andere douaneprocedures die zijn ontworpen om het proces te stroomlijnen, zoals de Overeenkomst inzake gemeenschappelijk douanevervoer (CTC), die de manier waarop goederen worden vervoerd tussen of door de EU en de landen van gemeenschappelijk douanevervoer vereenvoudigt.Als uw bedrijf regelmatig goederen invoert, kunt u een rekening voor uitstel van invoerrechten aanmaken. Hiermee kunt u één betaling per tijdsinterval (bijvoorbeeld een maand) doen, in plaats van elke keer dat u iets importeert, te betalen. U kunt ook douanevergunningen krijgen, maar hiervoor heeft u een uitstelrekening nodig.

Stap 4: Controleer de te Betalen Belasting en Rechten!
Voor elke invoer moet u douanerechten en btw betalen. Als het VK de EU verlaat zonder akkoord, zullen de douanerechten voor invoer uit de EU en de rest van de wereld veranderen. Volgens rapporten zullen de tijdelijke tarieven tot 12 maanden van toepassing zijn totdat de regering haar openbare raadpleging heeft afgerond en een permanent tariefregime invoert. Op basis van waar de goederen vandaan komen, kunnen de tarieven worden geclassificeerd als preferentieel (ook wel meest begunstigde natie of MFN genoemd) en niet-preferentieel.Een preferentieel tarief zal van toepassing zijn op goederen als het land waaruit ze worden geïmporteerd een handelsovereenkomst heeft met het VK en deel uitmaakt van het algemene preferentieschema van het VK.Niet-preferentiële tarieven zullen van toepassing zijn op die landen die geen officiële handelsovereenkomst met het VK hebben en die uiteindelijk zullen moeten voldoen aan de handelsregels die zijn opgesteld door de Wereldhandelsorganisatie (WTO). Wat de niet-preferentiële tarieven zijn bij een no deal Brexit, leest u hier. Als u uw bedrijf voor btw heeft aangemeld, dan moet u uw btw bij invoer betalen bij het indienen van uw btw-aangifte. Als u in uw bedrijf alcohol, tabak of biobrandstoffen importeert, moet u ook accijnzen betalen. De tarieven voor accijnzen vindt u hier.

Stap 5: Krijg het Juiste Type Licentie voor het Soort Goederen dat u Importeert!
Afhankelijk van het soort goederen dat u naar het VK verhuist, kan het zijn dat u een speciale vergunning of certificaat nodig heeft. Voor sommige goederen moet u misschien zelfs inspectiekosten betalen. Hier kunt u controleren of u vergunningen nodig heeft voor de goederen die u invoert.


BRITCHAM ONDERSTEUNING
Hier bij de Britse Kamer van Koophandel zullen we u blijven voorzien van de nodige informatie om al onze leden te helpen slagen. We zitten allemaal in hetzelfde schuitje en met de juiste plannen kan het vertrouwen van de consument worden hersteld. BritCham biedt ondersteuning, begeleiding en gespecialiseerde dekking voor zowel Brexit als COVID-19, inclusief webinars, workshops en evenementen die uw bedrijf de tools geven die het nodig heeft om door deze uitdagende periode te navigeren. Klik hier om te registreren: https://www.britishchamber.be/upcoming-events


-A message from the Dean-

In academia, September marks a fresh start, a new chapter. We are delighted to be saying hello to our new members at the British Chamber Academy, and to be welcoming back some familiar faces, too. The past few months haven’t been easy, so we have put together a selection of initiatives in order to support our community and help you and your business get the best out of these unprecedented times. 

To start, we are now offering online executive education to individuals and organisations who wish to acquire immediately applicable skills, knowledge and enhance their professional network. The upcoming training schedule offers a wide variety of digital workshops, carefully configured to address the challenges associated with remote working environments and encouraging individuals to maximise the benefits of our digitised world. 

In cooperation with Brussels New Generation (BNG), the academy will be offering digital workshops targeted at young professionals, who aim to enrich their employability and thrive within increasingly competitive labour markets. 

Academy ‘credits’ are being introduced as a method of preventing participant  ‘e-learning fatigue’. This development aims to maximise the digital learning experience of our clients and encourages the purchase of ‘credits’ to allow the completion of  a series of shorter, more engaging workshops as opposed to one less productive training session. 

As part of our long term commitment to improving the quality of work within our business community, we will continue to utilise our extensive network of like-minded professionals and offer specialised courses in support of broader social initiatives such as promoting women in enterprise. 

I look forward to virtually meeting with you soon!

Dirk Daenen

Click here to register for our upcoming trainings!

By César Guerra Guerrero
Partner & Director of Trade Policy at Euraffex

The number of Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) have surged in the last years. It is clear that applied tariff levels and the number of comprehensive trade agreements of a country determine its readiness to constructively engage in ambitious trade treaties. For example, it is relatively easy to strike deals with Singapore or Chile, but it is completely different with Mercosur. In my view, a successful conclusion of a process depends on the political will and the real room for manoeuvre to accommodate each other’s interests.

Most of the time, governments must make important and difficult decisions to bridge gaps, especially in the final stages of negotiations. Trade negotiators have the ability to present results in a way that shows the benefits and minimises concessions to justify their decisions, so that FTAs will always prove positive in countries, or blocks of countries, that are so lined up with the free trade agenda. However, this is not exempted from partisan backfire that would normally use political arguments to prevent moving forward on the trade agenda. As long as negotiators prove that sensitivities were protected by using alternative treatments and specific non-trade concerns were addressed somehow, countries would be inclined to make hard calls to close a deal.

In the meantime, the private sector- whether on the offensive or the defensive side- is faced with uncertainty. It is difficult to know how their products are going to be treated if they are part of the final package that would solve the most difficult issues to clench a deal. The reading and identification of true red lines is crucial for governments. Stakeholders play an important role to influence this vision. Using the example of the EU-UK trade negotiations, is the level playing field a true red line for the European Union or is it just the access to British fishing waters? What are the potential trade-offs all parties can live with? The answer is communication and creativity. The private sector must be part of the solution and governments should be open for feedback as it is in their best interests. The successful outcome for business sectors and individual companies often depends on the engagement with trade negotiators and making the case with sound arguments, whilst providing reasonable alternatives to the ideal outcome.


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