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.

The UK Warehousing Association (UKWA) has teamed up with logistics and supply chain advisor Bis Henderson Consulting to encourage importers to store goods away from ports to help ease congestion and keep supply chains flowing.

With outbound movement of non-essential goods slowing as retail and manufacturing outlets remain closed, inbound flows continue to arrive at UK ports and warehouses are rapidly becoming full, the association said.

Bis Henderson Consulting, an associate member of UKWA, is offering full container storage in warehouses located along the A14, A34, the A13 corridor and on other sites.

The UKWA estimates that around 1.2m pallet spaces are available nationwide.

“If there is no lifting soon of the lockdown and warehouse capacity at ports is full, then we have a solution to get goods cleared through ports and stored in off-dock sites,” said Peter Ward, chief executive of the UKWA. “Containers could be stored off-dock either on a long term basis for a year or ready for offloading into retailers as soon as the lockdown lifts.”

Government VAT move

Where goods are in storage under the customs warehouse procedure for longer periods than planned, the government has just announced a change to how import VAT is calculated.

In a measure to help importers whose goods depreciate in value over a period, that lower value will be taken into account for calculating import VAT.

However, that lower value may only be used to clear the goods into free circulation if supported by evidence of a reduction in sale price from the supplier.

The UKWA said the move was “positive news for importers”.

He said that the UKWA members were receiving long term storage requests from retailers looking to store inventory until next year and that HMRC’s adjustment was to be welcomed.

Customs valuation Masterclass

The Institute of Export & International Trade is running an online Masterclass in customs valuation  on Thursday, 30 April and a Masterclass in warehousing on Wednesday, 5 May.

Both Masterclasses are being presented by Holly Tonge, a director of special projects at the IOE&IT.