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By Yasmine Lingemann

Supply chains, the network between a company and its suppliers to produce and distribute a specific product to the final buyer, are being threatened by Brexit, Covid-19, and Government actions. When one step of the supply chain fails, we all fail. Modern manufacturing depends heavily on fast supply chains offering ‘just in time’ delivery of components, often across multiple borders. The Brexit deal agreed on December 24, just one week before it came into force, left little time for companies to adapt. Many manufacturers are still dealing with rebuilding their supply chains following the impact of Covid-19, and should now also consider how to adapt and change to reflect the new trading relationship between the EU and the UK, whilst also collaborating closely with supply chains to ensure there are minimal setbacks. It is vital that Governments do all it takes to keep supply chains open and running smoothly, before everyone ends up losing out.

The global landscape for supply chains has seen better days. Setbacks faced by many supply chains have impacted our world economy. Fishmongers in France state that their supply chain has been set back by 30 years. A global push for carbon neutrality twinned with the effects of Brexit and the pandemic has caused the worst year for UK car manufacturing since 1943, according to the UK’s Auto Industry trade group. Long queues at the borders are not only adding considerably to business expenses, but perishable goods are being thrown away and supermarkets such as M&S in France are seeing empty shelves. M&S spokesman confirmed the lack of groceries was a result of ‘Brexit teething problems’ disrupting supply chains, with lorries trying to cross the Channel being held up for days and thousands of pounds of produce being thrown away. Having no cumulative rules of origin, as well as EU bans on a variety of UK products such as shellfish, have made matters even tougher. The need under Brexit to revamp supply chains to comply with local content rules, the requirement for fresh export certificates and the uncertainties of delayed parts imports are just some of the other barriers now facing manufacturers with UK sites.

The government should consider how emerging/digital technologies, can deliver improved supply chain management and efficiency. Ensuring a smoother transaction of goods at the borders should be prioritised: more workers should be hired to deal with the greater volume of issues, and documentation should be digitalised where possible. We encourage the government to continue to survey the situation at the borders, and to not rule out the possibility of negotiating better terms so that traders on both sides of the channel, as well as the rest of the world, are able to trade more freely. Government support where supply chains are at risk of breaking is needed, especially considering the global pandemic we are in. Supplies of PPE, vaccines, and other essentials, in particular, need to continue to stay open.

The global economy is already under a lot of pressure, now is the time to support one another and ask for help where needed.

If you and your company are affected by anything addressed in this article, our Business, Trade and Investment (BTI) Committee provides a platform for trade facilitation, business networking and knowledge sharing, and to harness and foster expertise. For more information, please click here to see how we can help you.


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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

IN BRIEF:

  • VAT will now be collected at the point of sale instead of at the point of importation. 
  • This means that non-UK retailers who are selling goods directly to a UK consumer with a sale value of less than €150 (£135) must:  
    • Register for UK VAT with HMRC  
    • Collect UK VAT from the consumer 
    • File VAT returns 
    • Send VAT to HMRC 
  • The EU are also implementing their own VAT system in July 2021 – where non-EU sellers must register once for the whole EU market.  

WHAT IS THE IMPACT ON BUSINESS?

While organisations would have welcomed the trade deal between the U.K. and EU, signed on December 30, 2020, it came so close to the end of the Brexit transition period on December 31, 2020 that many had insufficient time to fully understand its implications on their activities before it took effect. As people return to work their focus will now be on understanding what changes have taken place as a result of Brexit and the terms of the deal. The economic repercussions of Brexit have been challenging to many, so it is very important businesses familiarise themselves with the changes, so to benefit the most in this difficult time.

Much has been written in the press about how these VAT changes make life more difficult for non-UK businesses. However, if those businesses were already making sales valued at more than £70,000 a year into the UK they would have already been VAT registered and charging UK VAT to customers.  If the packages being delivered are under £135 in value there will be no import VAT or duty to pay and hence, their situation will remain largely unchanged save for the need to complete customs declarations.

For businesses that were not already UK VAT registered and have packages valued at more than £135 or sell via OMP, the position is more complicated.  To determine what your obligations are we would recommend reviewing the following questions:

1. What is the value of my package?
2. If selling via an OMP will you met the conditions for them to take on your obligations to account for UK VAT?
3. If your packages are going to be over £135, what will the customer experience be like if they have to pay extra import costs in addition to your charge?
4. If packages are over £135, will any duties be payable?

Generally, most of the UK’s VAT rules applicable to organisations providing services remain unchanged post Brexit. Specifically, there were no widespread changes to the place of supply provisions (rules that determine the country in which VAT is paid) or rates of VAT. However, changes were made in other areas, and it’s important you familiarise yourself with these changes so that you don’t lose out as a business.

For example, EU retailers sending packages to the UK now need to fill out customs declaration forms. Shoppers may also have to pay customs or VAT charges, depending on the value of the product and where it came from. However, customs charges are the responsibility of the customer, not the retailer, who often has no idea of how much the eventual extra cost might be. They cannot be paid in advance and are levied only when the item reaches the UK.

The end of the Brexit withdrawal period has resulted in many UK VAT rule changes, and organisations will need to adapt to new VAT accounting arrangements. We recommend  that organisations review their sales and purchase transactions and administrative processes to ensure that any changes to the VAT rules have been identified. This will help guard against unexpected costs.

We are here to help you. Head over to our new website here, where you can find support in our Brexit Hub, and get in contact with us or our network to make sure you adapt to these new changes successfully.

THE FACTS:

VAT on GOODS COMING INTO THE UK: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/eu-business-exporting-to-the-uk

UK VAT registered businesses importing goods into the UK are able to account for import VAT on their VAT return, rather than paying import VAT on or soon after the time that the goods arrive at the UK border. This applies to imports from the EU and non-EU countries. 

However, customs declarations and the payment of any other duties are still required. Customs duty (tariffs) applies to some goods and excise duties continue to apply to tobacco, alcohol and certain energy products. Customs and excise duty payments can be deferred to be settled monthly with a duty deferment account. Businesses need to register with HMRC to open a duty deferment account and will need to provide a bank guarantee.

Since 1 January 2021, VAT on imported goods with a value of up to £135 is collected at the point of sale not the point of importation. This means that UK supply VAT, rather than import VAT, are due on these consignments.

Online marketplaces (OMPs) involved in facilitating the sale of imported goods, are responsible for collecting and accounting for the VAT, even when the goods are in the UK at the point of sale.

For goods sent from overseas and sold directly to UK consumers, the overseas seller is required to register and account for the VAT to HMRC. Overseas sellers also remain responsible for accounting for the VAT on goods in the UK when sold directly to UK consumers.

Business-to-business sales not exceeding £135 in value are also be subject to the new rules. However, where the business customer is VAT registered and provides its registration number to the seller, the VAT will be accounted for by the customer by means of a reverse charge. 

AT THE UK BORDER:

Fiscal compliance checks at the UK border include checks to confirm the correct valuation for goods declared at import. Current requirements for importers and agents to assure the completeness and correctness of declarations will remain. Systems should be extended to cover EU imports with a view to identifying false information from consignors, to assure HMRC that clear anomalies can be pulled out from the high scale of declaration volumes typically handled. In particular, importers and agents will need to ensure their systems can identify consignments that are outside the scope of the new arrangements and thus remain liable to import VAT.

Vigilance around consignment valuation will continue, but with more focus on the declaration boundary at £135 or less for this policy. Systems will need to identify excise goods and goods being sent by one private individual to another, which are outside the scope of the new arrangements.

VAT ON GOODS COMING OUT OF THE UK: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/eu-business-importing-from-the-uk

Check with your EU country’s customs authority about the rules for sending goods to the UK from the EU. Make sure you talk to your trading partners in the UK to:

  • agree responsibilities
  • make sure you have the correct paperwork for the type of goods you are trading

You must make sure you have completed the necessary border requirements.

There will be no substantive change for the movement of goods between Northern Ireland and member states of the EU, including Ireland.


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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


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/

Golden Bridge

With the announcement of this year’s Golden Bridge awards fast approaching, we’re providing a last look at the candidates before the awards ceremony in London next week. The awards recognise the achievements of companies making the successful leap from the UK to the Belgian market and from the Belgium and Luxembourg markets to the UK.

What specific research did you do before entering the Belgian market?

We attended seminars on ‘how to do’ Business in Belgium organized by the NL Chamber of Commerce for Belgium & Luxembourg and by UKTI. We gained a deep understanding of the legal and regulatory constraints in the Belgian market. Our Eclipse business focused on public sector procurement and gained technical market information and competitive analysis related to national and local Belgian buyers of language services. We carried out market research in cooperation with UKTI and the UK Embassy in Brussels and also through BLCC member surveys for specific market sectors (legal & financial).

We identified consumers in our main areas of expertise, such as Intellectual Property (patents), law and life sciences. We studied how their needs were influenced by regulatory requirements (such as related to patent filing, court proceedings, patient rights etc.) and adapted our offer to the identified needs for translation and information services. We also studied the division of tasks between different market players such as industry, (patent) attorneys & CROs, specific to the Belgian market, in order to better target our products and communication efforts.

Based on this research, what changes did you need to make to the services you provide to adapt to your new business environment?

We have recruited Dutch and French speaking Business Development Managers, Account Managers and Project Managers for the Belgian market. We provide free local telephone and fax numbers for making contact with us. We have created Dutch and French localized versions of marketing collateral and of website (Eclipse) and portals which clients are now increasingly using for ordering and monitoring translation and patent filing orders. Since we are selling a service, a very personal approach adapting to the Belgian way of doing business in which personal contact and mutual confidence is very important, with regular visits to potential and existing clients We provide locally certified translations and have access to translators capable of translating localized translations for the Belgian market as well as local suppliers for translation and proofreading with knowledge of local context and terminology. A European Affairs Division was created to manage our contractual relationships with European bodies and institutions. We have recruited in-house Dutch and French translators and interpreters and accommodated for local office hours and different holidays.

How do you plan to develop and further your business in Belgium?

We aim to increase PR activities with focus on the Belgian market working together with BLCC and BCCB and other relevant organisations, giving us more exposure to potential buyers of translation, interpreting and related services. This will also be supported through the use of digital and social media platforms (such as twitter, LinkedIn etc.).

The use of portals for ordering and monitoring ongoing orders as well as ordered volumes per category over time has become increasingly important. We will increase our efforts to adapt them to the Belgian market and to provide onsite and webex-based training sessions explaining the use and benefit of all the portal functionality. We will continue to screen and selectively target public sector procurement of translation and interpreting services.

More interaction and touch points with existing clients and new prospects will be generated through increased digital marketing and through new lead generating activities; using for example Flanders Investment & Trade and AWEX sources of information will be used to identify companies that are looking to engage in export market visits by country and by industry.

We will aim to increase the number of market visits and our attendance at local exhibitions, for example the Trends Investment Summit in Brussels, the Knowledge for Growth conference organized by FlandersBIO and the annual IBJ/IJE conference. We will seek to engage local sales, account, project management and production resources.

Join us at the 2015 Golden Bridge Trade & Export Awards to celebrate the best of Belgian, Luxembourg and British business. The awards, now in their 19th year, aim to promote trade between the UK and the Belux countries, and to promote the best and brightest in this dynamic and growing market. The awards will be hosted at a gala dinner in London on 26 November at the BLCC Clubhouse Ballroom. You can register for the event here! Don’t forget that for those travelling to London from the continent, an exclusive Eurostar discount is available. Please contact events@blcc.co.uk for details of how to book.

GBA banner

The Belgian-Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce in Great Britain (BLCC) and the British Chamber of Commerce in Belgium are very excited to announce the finalists for the 2015 Golden Bridge Trade & Export Awards, which will be presented at a gala dinner and awards ceremony in London on 26 November! The Golden Bridge awards recognise the achievements of companies making the successful leap from the UK to the Belgian market and from Belgium and Luxembourg market to the UK.

For the participating companies, the awards are an opportunity to celebrate success, raise their company profile and showcase their business credentials.Former winners and finalists – such as Farnell, Brussels Airlines, Le Pain Quotidien, Alpro, Real Good Food and Netshield – have confirmed that the award has enhanced their image both at home and abroad. Whether large or small, every finalist has achieved outstanding success in exporting and trading in Great Britain, Belgium or Luxembourg, and are among the standard bearers for the very best of UK-Belux exports.

The shortlist of British companies truly showcase the diversity of this year’s candidates; from training solutions experts Ignition to one of the world’s leading translation companies RWS.

It’s a similar story across the water with Belgian synthetic foam manufacturer NMC SA being nominated alongside carpet designers, manufacturers and distributors Classis Carpets, and Syx Automation, active in the field of leisure management software. Also in the mix are Projective, a leading independent provider of programme and project management to financial services institutions across Europe and beyond, The Fenzi Group, specialising in solutions for secondary processing of flat glass, and Soudal NV, Europe’s leading independent manufacturer of sealants, PU-Foams and adhesives.

The applicants have been shortlisted based on their financial performance, their innovation and strategy abroad, and their motivation for entering the awards. Belgian companies will be pitching to a board of judges in London on 15 October, chaired by Belgian Ambassador Guy Trouveroy, whilst British companies will be facing a similar selection panel in Brussels on 29 October, chaired by British Ambassador Alison Rose. Awards will be given in various categories based on company size, export history, and the overseas market in question.

Find the full list of finalists and their company descriptions here!

Join us at the 2015 Golden Bridge Trade & Export Awards to celebrate the best of Belgian, Luxembourg and British business. The awards, now in their 19th year, aim to promote trade between the UK and the Belux countries, and to promote the best and brightest in this dynamic and growing market. The awards will be hosted at a gala dinner in London on 26 November at the BLCC Clubhouse Ballroom. You can register for the event here! Don’t forget that for those travelling to London from the continent, an exclusive Eurostar discount is available. Please contact events@blcc.co.uk for details of how to book.

 

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This week, we’re putting the spotlight on the Golden Bridge Awards, which the British Chamber is co-organising with the Belgian-Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce in Great Britain for a fourth consecutive year. This summer we’ve been looking back on the successes of some of our past winners – Netshield, Real Good Food Europe and Premier Farnell – as they described the milestones they’ve achieved, the progress they’ve made and the learning experience they’ve had since becoming winners.

One key thing we learnt is that winning a Golden Bridge Award is rather a kick-starter than an end goal in itself, and that as a participating company, you need to think about how you make the most of your win:

“I would see it as a journey and not as a destination. It’s all about how you build on the award after the gala. Who you meet and what you achieve after is the key”, said Richard Carty, Commercial Director at Netshield, elaborating that: “Through connections we’ve made in Belgium since the Golden Bridge Award, we have been able to see that there is life outside of Brussels, as we are starting to expand our client-base to Flanders.”

Our past winners also shared their experiences of doing business in Belgium:

“Everything can take that little bit longer, and that is especially true for the business environment. When you come to Belgium, you have to play the long game, where patience is key. But once you have a way in, you are guaranteed stable clients and a trustworthy market”, Richard Carty told us.

Belgium’s geographical position and bureaucracy are two other aspects to consider:

“Belgium has the benefit of being globally well located. I wouldn’t go so far as saying it’s ideal for business, but if you create the right framework then a lot of the local issues go away”, Jerry Vaughan, Global Operations Director at Premier Farnell said, with Thierry Dubois from Real Good Food Europe agreeing that: “one of the main challenges is definitely the administration and bureaucratic processes. I would advise any UK company entering Belgium for the first time to delegate as much as possible to an accounting office, lawyer’s office, or any kind of service that could give you a helping hand with the administrative work.”

Over the past few years, we’ve seen many different reasons for companies to apply for a Golden Bridge Award. For some, it’s all about the profiling that comes with the award win, for others the main objective is the related business development opportunities during the gala night and the follow-up events.

For Jerry Vaughan and Premier Farnell, the award helped to facilitate meetings with key stakeholders such as the British Ambassador and the Minister-President of Wallonia, while Thierry Dubois and Real Good Food discovered that the application process itself also offered a chance to reflect and recognise what the company had actually achieved:

“When you get busy growing your business and you are constantly striving to reach the next level, you usually don’t find the time to sit down and look back at what you have achieved. The award application process offered a great opportunity to do just that. Besides that, it was certainly a nice celebration party!”

If you think you have a great story to tell and would like to celebrate it with us, you might want to think about applying for this year’s Golden Bridge Awards. You will need to act soon, though, as applications close on Friday 11 September. Find all the information you’ll need here.

The Golden Bridge Awards recognise the trade and export success of UK companies doing business in Belgium, and Belgian & Luxembourg companies doing business in the UK. Companies of any size and in any industry can apply. Applications close in early September, and the winners will be announced at a high-level black-tie gala dinner in London on 26 November. Winning companies receive further recognition and profiling throughout the following year through the organising chambers. For more information on the awards and how to enter as a candidate, please contact James Pearson at james.pearson@britishchamber.be.

Golden_bridge2012-049In our series of revisiting past Golden Bridge Awards winners and their journeys since winning the award, today’s story puts the spotlight on Netshield.

Netshield is a technology and IT service led company that won the 2012 Golden Bridge Award for ‘Best Newcomer’. It has experienced continued success across Europe ever since.

Netshield came to Belgium on a market visit with UK Trade & Investment and made connections with a number of different organisations – including the British Chamber of Commerce – helping them to get a strong foothold in Belgium.

In less than three years, Netshield was able to grow exports by over 100%. Since 2010 Netshield has seen annual turnover growth of 35% of which 5.9% is due to Belgian exports.  

We took the chance to speak with Richard Carty, Commercial Director at Netshield.

Richard, it’s been about two and a half years since you won the award. Compared to where you were at the time and where you are now, what has happened?

We have been involved in Belgium for almost five years now, but it was only in 2012 that we experienced our first trading year. Starting from scratch, our revenues surpassed the 100.000€ mark, and it has been growing steadily ever since to about 500.00€ in 2015. Given that we have been through a recession which hit Belgium pretty badly in 2013, that is not a bad result.

Winning the award gave us some immediate smaller results in terms of recognition. But in the long term, we have managed to build from it and use it as a means to spread our word further to access key organisations and people.

What role does Belgium plays in Netshield’s activity?

At the moment, Belgium represents 20-25% of our turnover. Hopefully that will continue to grow, but we need to manage other markets too, as we don’t want to take our eye off them. That is challenge we are willing to accomplish at Netshield.

Regarding our client-base, Belgium offers a diverse spectrum of service-based companies and organisations such as various chambers of commerce and COBCOE. Compared to the UK, it’s different in the same: we are also very diverse there, but in sectors going from education, to retail, manufacturing, etc. In Brussels, all our clients can be encompassed under professional services because the city is focused on that.

However, that trend is quickly changing. Through connections we’ve made in Belgium since the Golden Bridge Award, we have been able to see that there is life outside of Brussels, as we are starting to expand our client-base to Flanders.

What surprised you most about working in Belgium?

As with everything in life, there are pleasant surprises and not so pleasant ones. In Belgium, everything can take that little bit longer, and that is especially true for the business environment. When setting up here, you have to be committed to the long run strategy, as sometimes you can only see the results after a number of years.

However, I find that it’s a nicer way of doing business here, one that is more relationship-based and not as price driven as in the UK and USA. Over there it’s all about how much you can cut the price.

When you come to Belgium, you have to play the long game, where patience is key. But once you have a way in, you are guaranteed stable clients and a trustworthy market.

Do you have any top tips for prospective Golden Bridge Awards candidates?

Your story needs to convince everyone, and that starts with you. We were honest and told it as it is. Many people tend to focus too much on financial volume, but that shouldn’t be a concern as long as you emphasize on what you have achieved with the amount you can generate. Its quality and not quantity that matters.

More importantly, I would see it as a journey and not as a destination. It’s all about how you build on the award after the gala. Who you meet and what achieve after is the key.

The Golden Bridge Awards recognise the trade and export success of UK companies doing business in Belgium, and Belgian & Luxembourg companies doing business in the UK. Companies of any size and in any industry can apply. Applications close in early September, and the winners will be announced at a high-level black-tie gala dinner in London on 26 November. Winning companies receive further recognition and profiling throughout the following year through the organising chambers. For more information on the awards and how to enter as a candidate, please contact James Pearson at james.pearson@britishchamber.be.

Brexit

Image taken from here

By Inge Boets, Managing Director
Porter Novelli

Brexit, the construed term to allude to the UK’s potential separation from the European Union, has been a trending topic for the past two years to the point that has become part of its brand identity.

Disenchantment with the EU has been a common occurrence since the UK joined the EU in 1973. This has given the Member State a reputation of playing-hard-to-get: fickle, high maintenance but a valuable asset in the Union.

The UK-EU relationship has however evolved to the point that the current marital predicament resembles the famous Clash-song “Should I stay or Should I go”. Yet this implied question also marks the shared values, interests and history.

The United Kingdom, by political design a union between England, Scotland, Wales and Northern-Ireland, combines very different cultural traditions and projects. It has a firm grasp on the difficulties of managing these different identities while professing its common interests. This was recently on display during the Scottish Independence referendum in September 2014. The contradiction in the arguments the UK put forward in its plea for Scotland to stay within the Union and its stance vis-a-vis the European Union can’t hereby go unnoticed.

Better together has been the blueprint of the European Union since its inception. The debate whether the EU should remain the sum of its parts or go beyond, is also part of that blueprint; A debate that the UK has excelled in, for better or worse. The UK’s role as guardian of an alternative political thought has an important value but there are boundaries to the Europe à la carte.

The insular mentality and the imperial longing to days past as the “Perfidious Albion” have shown their limits on many occasions, especially in the last few years where close cooperation and common regulation saved the day.

There is always a give and take to any relationship but the benefits of close cooperation outweigh the costs of going alone and become the dependent party in the negotiations for access; asking for more as a modern Oliver Twist.

Aside from the economies of scale argument, there is also the concept of brand Britain that has been part of the cultural identity of scores of Europeans. The emotional and familiar connection through the arts for instance is unparalleled but also products seen as quintessential British have been promoted from beyond the borders with the EU as main trading partner. The jury is still out whether this would have an influence in case of a Brexit but emotional connections are capricious and the feeling of belonging in flux.

The upcoming elections and a potential referendum in 2017 will keep our eyes firmly set on the UK. How this will play out with its Presidency of the EU in 2017 is everybody’s guess but it promises to be, as the British tend to say, interesting.

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