Companies trading with Qatar are becoming increasingly concerned about the severing of diplomatic ties with that country on 4 June by Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt.
Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt have implemented what is effectively a blockade against Qatar, closing airspace and territorial waters and preventing onward shipment of goods traditionally routed through them.
This is of greatest concern to companies which might have goods destined for Qatar now ‘stuck in transit’ in Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt, particularly those with Letters of Credit stipulating delivery by specific dates to secure payment.
UK exporters are being encouraged to discuss with their shipping agents alternative routes into Qatar but a threat of wider action by Yemen, Libya and the Maldives could further complicate arrangements.
The British Chamber of Commerce in Qatar has issued a statement which said: “On 4 June 2017, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt cut diplomatic ties with Qatar. This has led to closures affecting road, air and sea routes between these countries and Qatar, as well as travel and residence restrictions affecting Qatari nationals. Restrictions on entry to the UAE have also been placed on certain holders of Qatari Residence Permits. These restrictions don’t apply to British nationals.
As of 6 June 2017, the land border between Qatar and Saudi Arabia is closed. All flights between Qatar and Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Bahrain are suspended until further notice. These measures are likely to lead to some disruption for travellers in the region. You should check with your airline before you travel. Direct flights to and from the UK aren’t affected.
Travellers should also check with the FCO Travel Advice for Qatar which is being updated regularly.
Trade with Qatar is similarly affected by the closure of ports and road borders to Qatar bound shipments. Companies with goods in transit to Qatar should check with their shipping and handling agents to determine how best to ensure the shipments can reach Qatar. Local shipping agents in Qatar can advise on what new routes are proving most reliable and effective.
For companies that have future business in Qatar, the Qatar government has emphasised that its ports and the airport remain open and they are operating business as usual.
The British Chamber of Commerce in Qatar judges the embargo to be only temporary in nature but it is not possible to say how long it will continue. Further information will be posted as and when the situation changes.
More information about the business centre can be found at http://www.bmcc.org.my/bbcim
The International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) United Kingdom and the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) have released a guide aimed at cutting through the noise around the UK’s future trade negotiations – helping small and medium-sized businesses plan ahead and manage risks and opportunities.
The ICC and CBI have come together to publish a critical guide aimed at helping small and medium-sized businesses in the UK navigate Brexit. Aimed at providing clarity around the EU trade negotiations, the guide lays out a timeframe of the upcoming negotiations and provides practical, independent advice and insights from foreign investors and expert trade negotiators. Reiterating the importance of transitional agreements, the guide aims to help businesses effectively plan – as well as manage risks and opportunities – over the next two-to-three years.
“A stable UK-EU relationship is a global economic priority,” says Chris Southworth, Secretary General of ICC United Kingdom. “A lot is at stake in terms of jobs, investment and standards of living, so it is important that businesses of all sizes feel properly informed to make the right decisions at the right time. Given the size and complexity of coming negotiations, transitional arrangements are crucial should timeframes overrun – giving businesses confidence to plan ahead without fearing sudden increases in cost or unnecessary red tape.”
“As the UK looks to forge a new future with our European partners, firms of all sizes are keen to understand the opportunities, and risks, this new landscape presents both for trade within and outside Europe,” says Paul Drechsler CBE, CBI President. “This simple guide to trade negotiations for small and medium-sized businesses should be a helpful tool for companies up and down the country, and inspire firms to help each other by sharing their expertise and knowledge.”
The joint ICC-CBI reference guide on trade negotiations will be launched at ICC United Kingdom’s Global Debate taking place this evening at Merchant Taylors Hall. Speakers at the Global Debate will include Lord Price, Minister for Trade Policy; Sir Michael Rake, Chair of ICC United Kingdom; Paul Dreschler, President of CBI; Robin Niblett, Director, Chatham House; Richard Eglin, Senior Trade Policy Advisor, White & Case, Geneva and Linda Yueh, Fellow in Economics at Oxford University.
ICC is the largest world business organisation and provides a critical voice for business at a global level – championing free trade, providing the rules that govern international business and helping businesses settle international disputes.
BCC: Boost SME export support to navigate uncertainty
On the day (Tuesday) that trade experts from Chambers of Commerce at home and in overseas markets across the world gather for the BCC Global Business Network conference, the British Chambers of Commerce, in partnership with DHL, publishes its latest Quarterly International Trade Outlook, which incicates that uncertainty following the vote to leave the European Union is slowing down export orders in the services sector.
The services sector saw a slowdown in growth, with the balance of businesses in the sector expecting an improvement in sales and orders also falling to its lowest level in five years.
In contrast, the report also shows that a greater proportion of manufacturers enjoyed an improved export performance compared with the second quarter, with some benefiting from sterling’s recent fall. This is also replicated in an improvement to the sector’s future orders.
The report’s Trade Confidence Index, which measures the volume of trade documentation issued by accredited Chambers of Commerce, fell by 4.14% on the quarter – following the surge of documentation issued before the EU referendum – but remains 5.32% up on the same quarter of 2015.
The results show that exports are expected to grow at a slower pace in the coming months, and confidence in turnover and profitability has also fallen in the medium term. The BCC calls on the government to use the Autumn Statement to increase resources to directly support SME export plans, providing direct monetary support for firms to explore new markets or deepen sales abroad.
Key findings from the report are:
Commenting on the findings, Adam Marshall, BCC Director General, said:
“While factors including the weaker pound have benefited manufacturers when it comes to exporting, the services sector continues to face challenges. The decline in export orders in the services sector is concerning considering the sector is by far the largest part of the economy.
“Our data suggests that slower growth is likely to come in the months ahead. However, it is important to note that while the UK’s economic growth may slow further, we are unlikely to enter a recession.
“To fire up the animal spirits of our exporters, and boost business confidence, the Chancellor should use the Autumn Statement to improve direct financial support for firms looking to access new markets without bureaucracy or delay. Enabling businesses to attend trade missions, trade fairs, commission market research or make themselves export ready would be a shot in the arm for our trade performance at a time of uncertainty.”
Phil Couchman, CEO, DHL Express UK, said:
“As the EU referendum approached there was an underlying sense of uncertainty on the part of British businesses and, despite a strong Trade Confidence Index against last year, this latest report shows that that feeling still exists – even amongst the manufacturing exporters currently enjoying the UK’s increased global competitiveness as a result fall in the value of the pound.
“Businesses are now seeking advice and reassurance about getting their goods and services overseas and it is important that businesses and government work together as EU negotiations progress. At DHL, we will continue to leverage our strength in navigating complex customs processes to encourage the UK’s exporters to be confident in their ability to grow and succeed internationally.”
Click here to view the QUARTERLY INTERNATIONAL TRADE OUTLOOK Q3 - 2016
27th April 2016
Back in December 2015, we were advised by the Egyptian-British Chamber of Commerce (E-BCC) of new regulations which had been been put in place by the Egyptian Ministry of Trade and Industry regarding the importation of certain products and goods for the retail market. With these changes in mind, the E-BCC organised a workshop and useful information from that workshop is below.
If you have any questions or for further information please contact the Egyptian-British Chamber of Commerce Tel: 020 7499 3100 www.theebcc.com
UK Export Finance, the UK’s export credit agency, has become the newest member of the African Trade Insurance (ATI) agency, offering UK exporters enhanced access to growing markets in Africa.
UK Export Finance (UKEF) has today announced that it has joined ATI, the pan-African export credit agency (ECA). The move comes as the UK government looks to encourage more UK businesses to trade with African countries as part of the nation-wide Exporting is GREAT campaign.
As an ATI member, UKEF will gain access to information about upcoming opportunities for exporters, as well as local knowledge of firms and projects. ATI will also provide a platform to raise awareness among project sponsors and buyers in African countries of the UKEF support available to importers of UK goods and services.
UKEF will be able to share risk with other ATI-member countries in strategically important markets, increasing risk capacity for projects in African countries sourcing goods and services from the UK.
Witnessing UKEF joining ATI, British High Commissioner to Kenya HE Nic Hailey said:
‘The UK is a global leader in many of the sectors for which Kenya has greatest demand: infrastructure, advanced engineering, energy, ICT and defence and security. In these and other specialist areas, UK expertise can help accelerate Kenya’s development and economic growth’
Louis Taylor, UKEF Chief Executive Officer, said:
‘UKEF’s ATI membership will help UK exporters unlock fast-growing markets in Africa. We will be able to offer even more comprehensive support to help UK companies win contracts in African countries, combining access to export finance with access to the local knowledge needed to enter new markets.’
George Otieno, Chief Executive Officer of ATI, welcomed UKEF’s membership, saying:
‘A close partnership between ATI and UKEF will give African buyers and UK suppliers access to each other. UKEF and ATI will be able to identify and promote real business opportunities where UK and African companies can work together, and to provide the local market knowledge needed to facilitate trade.’
Export Finance Adviser - South East - Berkshire, Surrey, Hampshire and the Isle of Wight
UK Export Finance
Export Credits Guarantee Department
Export Control Training Bulletin - click here for further details
MGN 534 issued by the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) sets out the legal position as a result to the amendments to SOLAS VI which take effect from 1.7.16.
To ensure the safety of the ship, the safety of workers both aboard ships and ashore, the safety of cargo and overall safety at sea, the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS), as amended, requires in chapter VI, part A, regulation 2 that packed containers' gross mass are verified prior to stowage aboard ship. The shipper is responsible for the verification of the gross mass of a container carrying cargo. The shipper is also responsible for ensuring that the verified gross mass is communicated in the shipping documents sufficiently in advance to be used by the ship's master or his representative and the terminal representative in the preparation of the ship stowage plan.
In the absence of the shipper providing the verified gross mass of the packed container, the container should not be loaded on to the ship to which the SOLAS regulations apply unless the master or his representative and the terminal representative have been provided with, in advance of vessel loading, the verified actual gross mass of the container or obtained the verified gross mass through other means.
The responsibility for obtaining and documenting the verified gross mass of a packed container lies with the shipper.
A legal entity or person named on the bill of lading or sea waybill or equivalent multimodal transport document (e.g. "through" bill of lading) as shipper and/or who (or in whose name or on whose behalf) a contract of carriage has been concluded with a shipping company. The shipper may also be known as the sender.
Exporters of full container loads need to familiarise themselves with the requirements of MGN534 as soon as possible and if they intend to use Method 2, they must register their intent with the MCA as set out in Annex 2 of MGN534.
Methods for obtaining the verified gross mass of a packed container
The SOLAS regulations prescribe two methods by which the shipper may obtain the verified gross mass of a packed container - “Method 1” and “Method 2”
Weighing the packed container using calibrated and certified weighing equipment (e.g. weighbridges, load cell sensing technologies etc.). (See annex 3 of MGN534)
Weighing all packages and cargo items, including the mass of pallets, dunnage and other securing material to be packed in the container and adding the tare mass of the container to the sum of the single masses, using a certified method approved by the UK competent authority, that is the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) or its authorised body.
Link - MGN534
Update from the Egyptian-British Chamber of Commerce
Please find below a brief translation of the latest instructions of the Central Bank of Egypt earlier this week regarding the bank-to-bank trade documents handling
Instructions of the Central Bank of Egypt to exempt some companies and items related to Bank-to-Bank documents handling:
1.All imports of all foreign companies and their branches established in Egypt
2.All live animals and poultry
3.Raw materials, intermediate products, spare parts for factories shipped by air freight
4.All commodities and products shipped by air
5.All programmes, applications, computer equipment and its peripherals
The following items are exempt from the 100% finance coverage; however they still need to have all related trade documentation in place:
1.Essential food commodities and supplies including infant powder and infant milk
2.Equipment, instruments and spare parts
3.Intermediate products and raw materials, including medical equipment, applications and programmes
4.Medicine, vaccinations and all their related chemical products.
For further information please contact the Egyptian-British Chamber of Commerce on tel +44 (0)20 7499 3100
Egyptian-British Chamber of Commerce Quarterly Trade Report - Q3 2015 - please click here to view the report
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Kindly find below a brief translation of the latest instructions of the Central Bank of Egypt earlier this week regarding the bank-to-bank trade documents handling. We would be most grateful if you could inform your customers about the new changes.
Instructions of the Central Bank of Egypt toexempt some companies and items related to Bank-to-Bank documents handling:
1. All imports of all foreign companies and their branches established in Egypt
2. All live animals and poultry
3. Raw materials, intermediate products, spare parts for factories shipped by air freight
4. All commodities and products shipped by air
5. All programmes, applications, computer equipment and its peripherals
The following items are exempt from the 100% finance coverage; however they still need to have all related trade documentation in place:
1. Essential food commodities and supplies including infant powder and infant milk
2. Equipment, instruments and spare parts
3. Intermediate products and raw materials, including medical equipment, applications and programmes
4. Medicine, vaccinations and all their related chemical products.