Trade Compliance News - April 2024

New SPS Import Controls Come Into Effect

There’s been some confusion amidst the new BTOM checks especially following a recent report in the Financial Times, UK port authorities were informed that health and safety checks on EU imports wouldn’t proceed as scheduled.

However this has been debunked and the next round of BTOM border checks on plant and animals products proceeded as planned.The 2nd Phase of the BTOM SPS Import Controls commenced from 30th April 2024 at these BCPS ( border control posts )that will carry out new SPS checks

The priority for physical checks will be the highest risk goods, and Port Health Authorities will be conducting documentary checks on consignments of all risk levels and will contact traders where they have concerns.

You must adhere to the following guidelines to avoid disruptions to your business and supply chain.

  1. Ensure that goods arrive via a designated Border Control Post (BCP) or Control Point (CP) suitable for your commodity type.
  2. If requested, present the consignment for documentary, physical, and identification inspections at the designated BCP or CP.

Additionally you’ll need to pay the common user charge if you are a UK business importing a consignment of goods that enters or transits through Great Britain through the Port of Dover or Eurotunnel.

The charge will apply even if the authorities do not select your consignment for SPS checks.

EU Enforces Ban on Goods Made with Forced Labour

New regulation enabling the EU to prohibit the sale, import, and export of goods made using forced labour has been approved.

The European Parliament announced that both member states and the European Commission (EC) will receive enhanced authority to investigate “suspicious goods, supply chains, and manufacturers.

Companies found to be using forced labour will face consequences. They will need to remove their products from the EU single market and either donate, recycle, or destroy them.

Non-compliant companies may be subject to fines. However, if a company eliminates forced labour from its supply chains, its goods may be permitted back into the EU single market.

Read the press release here

Suez Canal Traffic Plummets by Two-Thirds Amid Red Sea Crisis

The Data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS)highlights that during the initial week of April this year, the number of cargo and tanker ships traversing the Suez Canal was 71% and 61% lower compared to ship crossings recorded at the same time in 2023. The decline occurred in both tanker and cargo ships

The Suez Canal is one of the most important maritime canals in the world. Since the start of the war in the middle east in October 2023, Houthi rebels have been attacking vessels travelling through the Red Sea.

This has resulted in significant disruption after major shipping companies announced they would not be using the trade route.

The ONS said that these numbers “align with the widely reported maritime disruption in the Middle East.” 

Read more

Notice issued to UK Exporters

The Export Control Joint Unit (ECJU) has recently issued a notice to exporters, bringing attention to recently issued compound settlements for breaches of strategic export controls. This is to ensure that exporters comply with the updated licensing requirements.

Between January and March 2024, HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) issued compound settlement offers to six UK exporters totalling just over £1.3 million.

These settlements relate to unlicensed exports of Military listed goods, dual use goods and related activity controlled by The Export Control Order 2008.

Over the 12 months, HMRC has seen an increase in the number of voluntary disclosures relating to:

  • Unlicensed exports
  • Incorrect licence usage
  • Breach of licence conditions

Surge in UK Car Exports to Russia’s Neighbouring Markets

New official data reveals that there’s been a remarkable, unprecedented, and largely unexplained influx of millions of pounds worth of British luxury cars into neighbouring states of Russia .

According to HM Revenue & Customs, British car exports to Azerbaijan totaled £26 million.

Azerbaijan’s ascent has coincided almost to the month with the imposition of sanctions on the export of cars to Russia.

This has transformed a small, relatively poor economy into one of the most lucrative luxury car markets globally, rivalling Switzerland, Luxembourg, and Saudi Arabia.

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