April 2022 / United Kingdom

May 2 2022

New approach to import controls to help ease cost of living

The Government has concluded that it would be wrong to impose new administrative requirements on businesses who may pass-on the associated costs to consumers.

The remaining import controls on EU goods will no longer be introduced this year, the government has announced today.

Instead, traders will continue to move their goods from the European Union to Great Britain as they do now.

Russia’s illegal invasion of Ukraine, and the recent rise in global energy costs, have had a significant effect on supply chains that are still recovering from the pandemic.

The government has therefore concluded that it would be wrong to impose new administrative requirements on businesses who may pass-on the associated costs to consumers already facing pressures on their finances.

The change in approach is expected to save British importers at least £1 billion in annual costs.

The Government will now review how to implement these remaining controls in an improved way. The new Target Operating Model will be based on a better assessment of risk and will harness the power of data and technology. It will be published in the Autumn and the new controls regime will come into force at the end of 2023.

This process will build on existing work already taking place as part of the 2025 Border Strategy, including on the UK Single Trade Window – a new digital platform that will help traders to more easily move goods globally. Our goal is to create a seamless new ‘digital’ border, where technologies and real-time data will cut queues and smooth trade.

The controls introduced in January 2021 on the highest risk imports of animals, animal products, plants and plant products will continue to apply alongside the customs controls which have already been introduced.

Minister for Brexit Opportunities, Jacob Rees-Mogg said:

Today’s decision will allow British businesses to focus on their recovery from the pandemic, navigate global supply chain issues and ensure that new costs are not passed on to consumers. It’s vital that we have the right import controls regime in place, so we’ll now be working with industry to review these remaining controls so that they best suit the UK’s own interests. We want the process for importing goods from the EU to be safe, secure and efficient and we want to harness innovative new technologies to streamline processes and reduce frictions. It’s precisely because of Brexit that we’re able to build this UK-focussed system The UK Government is committed to ensuring the process for importing goods remains safe, secure and efficient and will harness innovative new technologies to streamline future processes and reduce frictions.

Our engagement with industry will be guided by these objectives, and will build on existing work already taking place, including on the UK Single Trade Window – a new digital gateway that will help traders to more easily move goods globally.

John Keefe, Director of Public Affairs. Eurotunnel said:

Eurotunnel supports this decision which will keep goods flowing seamlessly into the UK. It is good for traders as it reduces import declaration paperwork on food and perishables.

It is good for transporters as it increases fluidity at the border and it is good for consumers as it keeps the cost of living down.

Michael Schymik, International Director of SEF Langdon’s said:

The current paper-based SPS processes and procedures are unsuitable in a 21st century digital world. This change in policy towards a smarter digital border by the UK Government will allow the free flow of safe food products into Great Britain.

The decision may lead to a return of more EU companies exporting to the GB market, increasing competition and ultimately lowering prices for the consumer.

Notes to editors:

  • Controls no longer being introduced for EU goods July 2022 are:

    • A requirement for Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) checks currently at destination to be moved to a Border Control Post (BCP)
    • A requirement for safety and security declarations on EU imports
    • A requirement for health certification for further SPS imports
    • A requirement for SPS goods to be presented at a BCP
    • Prohibitions and restrictions on the import of chilled meats from the EU

  Source: Cabinet Office
May 30 2022

UK: Employment Allowance and Eligibility

Five ways you can get financial support for your business  
1. Claim up to £5,000 with the Employment Allowance
Employment Allowance is a tax relief which allows eligible businesses to reduce their National Insurance contributions (NICs) bills each year. You can claim this if you’re a business, and your employer Class 1 National Insurance liabilities were less than £100,000 in the previous tax year.
Last month we increased the Employment Allowance from £4,000 to £5,000 to further benefit SMEs.
That’s a new tax cut worth up to £1,000 for nearly half a million SMEs (30% of all businesses). This includes around 50,000 businesses which will be taken out of paying NICs and the Health and Social Care Levy entirely.
Find out more on GOV.UK.  
2. Get a discount of up to £5,000 on software, with Help to Grow
Help to Grow: Digital is a UK-wide government-backed scheme that aims to help you choose, buy and adopt digital technologies that will help you grow your business.
Eligible businesses can receive a 50% discount on buying new software worth up to £5,000 per SME, alongside free impartial advice and guidance about what digital technology is best suited to boost your business performance.
The Help to Grow: Management scheme provides small businesses with access to world-class business expertise on everything from leadership and financial management to marketing and digital adoption. This is delivered through leading UK business schools, alongside one-on-one support from a business mentor – and is 90% funded by the government.
By the end of the programme you will develop a business growth plan to help you lead and grow your business. Businesses which have previously taken part in the course – including James Lister & Sons, Wilkinson Construction Consultants Ltd and Seacat Services Ltd – strongly recommend the programme to anyone who is trying to grow their business.
To be eligible, you must be a UK-based SME, actively trading for at least one year and have a total of between 5 and 249 employees.
For more information and to apply, visit Help to Grow on GOV.UK.  
3. Get up to half off your business rates
From April this year, small retail, hospitality, and leisure businesses can benefit from 50% off their business rates bills. This is worth £1.7 billion for up to 400,000 eligible properties.
The business rates multiplier has also been frozen for another year, saving businesses £4.6 billion over the next 5 years. This is used to calculate how much business rates they should pay, and it usually rises with inflation each year.
The business rates multipliers for 2022 to 2023 are 49.9 pence for the small business multiplier and 51.2 pence for the standard multiplier.
From April 2022 there will be no business rates due on a range of green technology, including solar panels and batteries, whilst eligible heat networks will also receive 100% relief. Together these will save businesses around £200 million over the next five years.  
4. Invest in your business with Super-deduction and Annual Investment Allowance
To spur business investment, the super-deduction allows companies to cut their tax bill by 25 pence for every £1 they invest in any qualifying machinery and equipment. This can include the purchase of computers, most commercial vehicles and office furniture.
The temporary £1 million limit for the Annual Investment Allowance has also been extended to the end of March‌‌‌ 2023. This had been due to revert to £200,000 at the start of 2022. The Annual Investment Allowance allows businesses to spend up to £1 million on qualifying business equipment, and deduct in-year its full cost before they calculate their taxable profits.
Both of these tax breaks remain available for firms to take advantage of until the end of March‌‌‌ 2023, by incurring qualifying expenditure before then.  
5. Benefit from the cut in Fuel Duty
The government has cut fuel duty on petrol and diesel by 5 pence per litre for 12 months – effective from 23‌‌‌ March‌‌‌ 2022.
This cut, plus the freeze in fuel duty in 2022 to 2023, represents a £5 billion saving worth around:
£200 for the average van driver
£1,500 for the average haulier
To find out what other support may be available for your business, search 'business support' on GOV‌‌‌.UK.  
HM Revenue and Customs