Updated: Aug 19, 2022
In this issue - Another massive green technology export investment, a trade deal with the Gulf and tariffs on steel could all help create more business in Britain’s industrial heartlands.
Also, news on the CHIEF cut-off/switch to CDS, International Trade Guide Updates and Technical Support Update.
UK Export Finance puts £100 million into undersea cable factory
Blyth-based subsea comms specialist JDR Cables has received a £100 million to build a modern marine cable factory in Cambois, Northumberland. The financial support comes from Société Générale , HSBC UK and BGK and was brokered by the government agency UK Export Finance (UKEF). The DIT spin off gave JDR Cables an Export Development Guarantee (EDG) which helps UK exporters obtain massive loans for general working capital if the projects can boost international trade.
JDR is part of the booming industry for green energy, backed by governments across the world, so the loan is guaranteed to boost exports by securing more national and international contracts. It is estimated it will create 170 high tech jobs in the Northeast.
The JDR award comes after the company scooped £160 million under the Offshore Wind Manufacturing Investment Support scheme announced in September 2021. Since launching EDG in 2019, the government has backed £10 billion in loans across multiple industries.
JDR’s subsea cable technology and offshore services connects wind farms and other types of offshore turbines in the energy industry, which need high-performing, resilient cables. With the world committed to ‘Net Zero’ targets, JDR’s exporting potential is significant, according to Anne-Marie Trevelyan, the UK’s Secretary of State for International Trade. “It has never been more important to strengthen energy security in the UK and around the world as we reduce our reliance on fossil fuels and face instability in global energy markets. Our support for UK companies who are enabling the transition, such as JDR, is vital in securing a cleaner and more secure future.” There are currently 2,571 offshore wind farms and projects in 51 countries that will need connecting.
Once planning conditions have been met, construction of the new cable factory will begin in autumn and the facility should open in 2024.
“We are committed to helping the UK and other countries around the world make vital progress on the green transition,” said JDR CEO Tomasz Nowak, “with UKEF’s support we can play an even bigger role in supporting the offshore wind sector across the globe with high quality, specialist subsea cables.”
Are you ready for the Customs Declaration Service?
After 30 September 2022 HMRC will be closing its Customs Handling of Import and Export Freight (CHIEF) system. All import declarations must be made using Customs Declaration Service (CDS) from 1st October.
You will need to ensure you are ready to make your import declarations on the Customs Declaration Service before the cut-off.
Just Trade is a state-of-the-art customs declaration software designed around the CDS requirements for import and export declarations. It is more advanced and easier to use than other customs solutions. It provides helpful assistance to enable you to convert from CHIEF. It is also cost-effective too. With one fixed annual fee for unlimited usage, you will not get caught out by annoying volume-based charges.
To find out how we can help your business and set up a demo account today, contact email@example.com.
Sanction Russia, reboot infrastructure, tackle food insecurity, says G7
Exports of military technology to Russia could be banned by the G7 after their annual summit in Germany. New measures will also target those who add to global food insecurity.
As the G7 tried to agree a price cap on oil exports from Russia to limit the benefits of the soaring price of crude to Moscow, it was working out how to cushion the impact of surging energy prices. Italian PM Mario Draghi wants a similar cap in gas prices paid to Russia, while the US and UK want to ban gold exports.
A ban on Russian’s gold would “directly hit Russian oligarchs and strike at the heart of Putin's war machine” argued Boris Johnson. The value of gold exports has increased since the war began as wealthy Russians seek to skirt sanctions.
Gold is the top Russian export after energy, worth almost $19bn, about 5% of global gold exports in 2020, according to the White House. Around 90% was consigned to G7 countries with over 90%, or nearly $17bn, exported to the UK.
Leaders also pledged to raise $600bn to fund infrastructure projects in the developing world. The move is seen as a counter to China’s Belt-and-Road plan, which has ploughed trillions of dollars into infrastructure projects as a way to increase its influence globally.
The new G7 programme, Partnership for Global Infrastructure and Investment (PGII), is a relaunch of a scheme announced at last year’s G7 talks in Cornwall. President Biden avoided talking about China in his announcement of the initiative. According to The Times, Biden’s son Hunter received $4.8 million from a Chinese state-linked energy company, so Biden’s decisions may be affected by outside influence.
Critics of China’s Belt and Road plan say it’s a debt trap but Biden’s authority is fatally undermined by the bribery allegations. The US aims to raise $200bn over the next five years, adding to the €300bn announced by the EU. The joint funds will be used to tackle climate change, improve global health, achieve gender equity and build digital infrastructure.
Meanwhile the Northern Ireland Protocol Bill had its second reading on June 27th with foreign secretary Liz Truss claiming that the legislation will fix the Protocol’s problems and uphold the Good Friday Agreement.
The government says the bill introduces solutions for burdensome customs processes, inflexible regulation, tax and spend discrepancies, and democratic governance issues.
It will avoid a hard border, safeguard the EU Single Market and ensure the integrity of the UK, the government claims. This is another issue where the US President has opposed UK attempts to resolve the crisis.
Trade talks in Riyadh pitching for Gulf business worth £33.1 billion
Traders of food and drink, manufacturing and renewable energy might benefit from a new agreement between the UK and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). The government claims a deal could add £1.6 billion a year to the UK economy and support new jobs. Trade Secretary Anne-Marie Trevelyan started negotiations with between the UK and the GCC, comprising Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the UAE, on June 22nd.
The GCC is the UK’s seventh largest export market and expected to grow rapidly to £800 billion by 2035, with a 35% growth rate opening huge new opportunities for UK businesses. A free trade deal would bring more investment from the Gulf, supporting and creating jobs across the country. In a visit to Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, the Secretary of State will have met the GCC Secretary General, Dr Nayef Falah M. Al-Hajraf and her counterparts from all six GCC countries.
It is the fourth major set of Free Trade Agreement (FTA) negotiations launched by the Trade Secretary this year, following visits to begin talks in India in January, Canada in March, and the launch of negotiations with Mexico last month.
Last year the U-GCC trading relationship was worth £33.1 billion, according to Trevelyan. A deal could mean significant benefits for British farmers and producers, as the Gulf is highly dependent on imported food. British food and drink exports to GCC countries were worth £625 million last year, and a deal that cuts tariffs could boost UK food and drink exports.
Tariffs that could be slashed include cereals, currently tariffed up to 25%, chocolate (15%) baking products (12%;) sweet biscuits (10%) and smoked salmon, which has a 5% tariff. With almost £30 billion already invested in each other’s economies, this deal would also help unlock even more opportunities for investment between the UK and GCC countries.
Gulf investments supported over 25,000 UK jobs in 2019 and analysis shows the East Midlands, West Midlands, North East and Yorkshire and the Humber will be in line for the greatest proportional gains. The deal would boost the economies of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland by almost £500 million collectively.
Government analysts say a deal with the GCC is expected to increase trade by at least 16%, add at least £1.6 billion a year to the UK economy and contribute an additional £600 million or more to UK workers’ annual wages. There were around 600 GCC-owned businesses in the UK in 2019, supporting over 25,000 jobs – a number that tripled over the previous decade. More than 85% of total UK goods exporters to Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the UAE are SMEs. In 2020, around 10,700 UK SMEs exported goods to the UAE, 5,500 exported to Saudi Arabia and 4,100 exported to Qatar.
UK may extend steel tariffs and breaches international law
Britain is set to introduce new tariffs on overseas steel to protect UK producers from a “flood of cheap steel” imports. The government will impose new “safeguard” import limits on several developing countries, while announcing a two-year extension of duties imposed on developed countries and China.
After seeing a report from the Trade Remedies Authority (TRA), international trade secretary Anne-Marie Trevelyan proposed a two-year extension of tariffs and quotas on 15 categories of steel products. The TRA also told Trevelyan that India, Tunisia, Vietnam and Turkey all exceeded their import quotas for developing countries, meaning that they are now liable for the tariffs that already apply to developed nations. Brazil and South Korea could also be affected.
The move has also received positive support from industry including Gareth Stave, director general of UK steel, although he struck a note of caution.
“Today’s decision to maintain the UK’s steel safeguard shows that the government is backing Britain’s steel industry,” said Steel - but he warned that tariffs should only be used as an interim measure. “It is vital we now work with partners like the EU and the US to address the underlying issues that are destabilising global steel markets,” he said. “Safeguards are not a long-term solution, and the goal here is a global market for steel where we all play by the same rules.”
Country Guide Update
Cameroon, Republic of
Cameroon has been a member of WTO since 13 December 1995 and a member of GATT since 3 May 1963. Cameroon is also a member of the Central African Customs and Economic Union CEMAC. Member of the CFA franc zone.
Douala and the Kribi deep-sea port are major regional international seaports. Kribi is considered the gateway into Cameroon, and the countries in its hinterland, including Chad and the Central African Republic; this new terminal, is destined to underpin commerce across the region and accelerate the country's growth.
Cameroon requires Pre-Shipment Inspection (PSI) for most imports into the country. Goods bound for Cameroon must be covered by an Electronic Cargo Tracking Note (ECTN) validated by the Conseil National Des Chargeurs du Cameroun (CNCC). Foreign exporters to Cameroon should be aware of IMF reports of a denial rate of 30% of bank payments.
Certificate of Origin
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Technical Support Update
To help to manage support questions effectively we are introducing the following procedure for all future technical support issues:
All technical support requests should be made via the “Contact Support" button in the top blue menu bar.
If the system is unavailable, contact us by email via firstname.lastname@example.org.
We cannot guarantee a reply to messages forwarded to email@example.com or to other staff email addresses.
Thank you for your understanding in this matter.
Just Trade Team.