This article was published before we became the Chartered Institute of Export & International Trade on 10 July 2024, and this is reflected in references to our old brand and name. For more information about us becoming Chartered, visit our dedicated webpage on the change here.

customs easements

The government is keeping trade moving during the Coronavirus pandemic through a combination of customs easements and taxation reliefs and deferments.

Measures so far include the waiving of VAT on imports of PPE, digitising export-related documentation and the easing of red tape around several key customs procedures.

The government has made several announcements about these support measures and how it is handling export and import documentation during the pandemic, a summary of which can be viewed here.

Kevin Shakespeare, director of stakeholder engagement at the IOE&IT, told the Daily Update (11 March):

“We welcome the extensive support measures and customs easements from government so far and we hope to work with government to ensure all is being done to support our exporters and importers during these difficult times.”

All available levers

The IOE&IT continues to call on government to pull on all available levers to support the UK’s traders during the pandemic.

Last week (4 May), Marco Forgione, director general of the IOE&IT, called on government to automatically defer import VAT and duties on all goods.

He said this would help many businesses “seriously struggling for cash flow” due to reduced international demand and freight capacity.