The ATA Carnet system covers 85+ countries and territories and is always challenged to maintain consistency amongst those economies while recognizing that each customs authority has the legal right to impose country-specific requirements.

Posted by Leslie August

Director - Boomerang Carnets LTD

Fri 11th, Mar

This Top Ten list points out the most glaring new requirements as well as important expansion developments.

10 – ATA Carnets & TIBs Officially Exempt from Filing EEI in US – No Penalties Imposed

Until Census published the exemption in the Federal Register, ATA Carnet users were to be penalized for failure to file the Electronic Export Information (EEI) with most carnet shipments. This would have essentially halted all carnet shipments to the U.S. since foreign carnet holders including those from the U.K., would not have been able to file EEIs. U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and the U.S. Census Bureau worked to EXEMPT ATA Carnets (and TIBs) from filing Electronic Export Information (EEI) into the Automated Export System (AES) reinforcing the worldwide benefits of relief from duties and taxes for temporary admissions.

9 - Mongolia Accepts Commercial Samples, Validates ATA Carnet System

Mongolia validated the financial security of the ATA Carnet system by accepting commercial samples under ATA Carnet. A carnet country since April 2004, Mongolia expanded their participation to accept carnets for Commercial Samples. Previously they were only signatories to the Professional Equipment and Exhibitions and Fairs conventions.

8 - Belgium Issues New Replacement Carnet Rules, Reinforces Expiration Dates

Belgium’s shift to making carnet extensions more difficult is one indication that carnet countries continue to reinforce the requirement to re-export goods in compliance with expiration dates. Belgium's National Guaranteeing Association, the Fédération des Chambres de Commerce et d’Industrie de Belgique, announced a change in procedures regarding Replacement Carnets, sometimes referred to as carnet extension. The Belgian customs is undergoing a reorganization process and seeking the approval for a Replacement Carnet can become difficult as a result.

7 – Hand Carried Goods into China Require Registration, Three-Day Rule Imposed

Adding to the carnet countries requiring pre-registration due to increased security concerns, the Chinese carnet authorities have issued new regulations governing the entry of hand-carried goods into China. The new procedure outlines the process of registering those hand-carried items with the Council for the Promotion of International Trade which is the Chinese carnet guaranteeing association.

6 – Indonesia Joins the ATA Carnet System, Expands Carnets in Australasia

This major economy in the Australasia region is a welcome addition to the ATA Carnet system. It was announced on March 27, 2015 that Indonesia would join the ATA Carnet system and began accepting carnets May 15, 2015.  Indonesia is the 85th country/territory to join the ATA Carnet system.

5 – Airport Maps Published for Carnet Users, Get Help Going Against the Flow

Since airports are not designed to have customs easily available to a departing passenger, carnet users can feel as if they are "going against the flow" when they need to get a carnet validated upon departure. The "carnet-customized airport maps" help a carnet user navigate through an airport to locate a customs official and get a carnet validated for departure. Note that these maps are available only on the U.S. boomerang carnets site at this time.

4 – UK Adopts US Carnet-Issuing Technology, Quill Pens Retired

Automation of the carnet process in the U.K. has lagged behind the U.S. until now, for at least 20 years. U.K. ATA Carnets are now available online from the Liverpool Chamber of Commerce (LCC) from anywhere in the U.K. LCC has partnered with a U.S. carnet provider to deliver a fully-automated, ATA Carnet application solution that is highly-efficient for the carnet applicant.

3 – Turkey Imposes Sticky Requirements on Carnet Users, Unnecessary Hurdles Should Be Rescinded

The “devil is in the details” when getting temporary imports into Turkey. Turkey accepts the international customs document, the ATA Carnet, for commercial samples, professional equipment and trade fairs and exhibitions. However, recently, Turkish customs issued new requirements that will cause problems for U.K. exporters and carnet holders if caught unawares. Unfortunately, while the ATA Carnet is intended to facilitate temporary imports for commercial and cultural purposes, these regulatory impositions create unnecessary administrative hurdles for users.

2 – Qatar May Be Next Carnet Country, Implementation is Imminent

Following the leadership of Bahrain, Qatar has recently appointed a national guaranteeing association for ATA Carnets, taking a key step toward issuing and accepting ATA Carnets. The National Guaranteeing Association is the Qatar Chamber. The remaining hurdle to Qatar becoming a fully-functional ATA Carnet country is implementation of the issuing and acceptance functions by Qatar customs. Qatar would become the 6th Middle Eastern country to join the system including Bahrain, Lebanon, Iran, Israel and the United Arab Emirates.

1 – Brazil Poised to Accept Carnets for Olympics, Most Significant Addition to Carnet System since Mexico

Rio 2016 is positioned to be the international sporting event that opens Brazil to long-term simplification of temporary admission processes there. For a historically closed economy, adoption of the carnet system would substantially reduce the costs and hurdles associated with temporary admission to Brazil. In anticipation of the Olympics, Brazil is quickly moving toward ATA Carnet acceptance and issuing to facilitate temporary imports. Once the rules for treatment of import licenses is approved it is expected Brazil will quickly announce an effective date for the acceptance of carnets. CNI, the Brazilian national guaranteeing association has already met all its obligations and is prepared to act quickly with Brazilian customs to bring ATA Carnets into force.

To get regular updates on changes affecting the use of ATA Carnets, subscribe to our newsletter or check back on our blog posts.

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Defined Benefit Pensions, Reduction to the Lifetime Allowance from 6 April 2016

Posted by Winston Ruddick

Independent Financial Advisor

  • T: 0151 243 1233
  • E: wr@dsg.uk.com
Wed 02nd, Mar

The standard Lifetime Allowance (LTA) will reduce from £1.25 million to £1 million from 6 April 2016. It will remain at this level for tax years 2016/17 and 2017/18. From 6 April 2018 the standard LTA will be indexed annually in line with the Consumer Prices Index (CPI).

Tax Year   Lifetime Allowance
2015/16     £1.25 million
2016/17     £1 million
2017/18     £1 million
2018/19     £1 million + CPI

How do I calculate the capital value of my defined benefit pension?
The capital value of your defined benefit pension is calculated as follows: Annual Pension x 20 + Pension Commencement Lump Sum

When will the reduction in the standard LTA affect defined benefit pension members?
A standard LTA of £1 million will have an effect when you take benefits from your pension on or after 6 April 2016.

What happens if my pension benefits are more than the standard LTA?
If your pension benefits exceed the LTA then a tax charge, known as the Lifetime Allowance Charge will apply.

The LTA charge is 25% if the excess is taken as scheme pension and 55% if the excess is taken as a lump sum. You will only pay a tax charge on the amount by which you exceed the LTA, not on your entire pension or lump sum.

Fixed Protection 2016 and Individual Protection 2016
The government announced that it is to offer new protections to members who could be impacted by the reduction of LTA to £1 million;
- Fixed Protection 2016 (FP2016).
- Individual Protection 2016 (IP2016).

Applications for FP2016 and IP2016 will be online using a new HMRC online self-service tool, which is expected to be available from June 2016.

There will be specific restrictions which apply if you elect to take Fixed Protection 2016, the most important restrictions will be;
- No further contributions into a money purchase pension arrangement.
- No further build-up of benefits in a Defined Benefit that exceeds “relevant benefit accrual”.

For most Defined Benefit Pensions “relevant benefit accrual” is the percentage by which the CPI (Consumer Prices Index) increases in a year. If the increase in your Defined Benefit Pension is greater than this you will have exceeded “relevant benefit accrual” and as such Fixed Protection 2016 will be lost.

What should I do if I am worried about exceeding the LTA?
- Request an up to date benefit statement from your pension scheme.
- Calculate the capital value of your Defined Benefit Pension (Annual Pension x 20 + Pension Commencement Lump Sum).
- Contact us to discuss what options are available to you to reduce any potential tax charge.

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Posted by Andy Whitehead

Director, AMPW Ltd

Wed 24th, Feb

Mental Toughness is an agenda fast gaining momentum across the sports, education and business worlds. It is defined as:

….a quality which determines, in some part, how effectively individuals perform when exposed to stressors, pressure and challenge….irrespective of the prevailing situation. (Clough & Strycharczyk 2006)

‘Resilience’ is a word often used when discussing Mental Toughness – Resilience can be described as:

‘The ability to recover quickly from change, setback or misfortune’

My simple view is that people with strong mental toughness can (and do) make excellent leaders. The question often asked is whether you can develop stronger mental toughness?…thankfully the answer is yes!

The four key components of mental toughness are:

•   Challenge – an individual’s approach to challenge (or change) and whether they see problems/obstacles or opportunities

•   Control – The extent someone feels they are in control – some feel external factors control everything where others have a strong sense of self-control and influence over external activities

•   Commitment – The extent to which an individual persists with tasks and goals – either with a strong focus on delivery or the other end of the scale, easily distracted and diverted from the end goal.

•   Confidence – Individuals high in confidence have the self-belief to complete successfully tasks that may be considered too difficult by individuals with similar abilities but lower confidence.

Leaders who develop their mental toughness will deliver better results in terms of performance, quality and the bottom line…..maybe more organisations should be focusing more development activity to the mental Toughness of their leadership?

If you want to be more resilient, have greater confidence and deliver increased performance then join me for an exclusive master class on Friday 1st April, 10.30 - 16.30 at Liverpool & Sefton Chambers of Commerce. Click here to find out more and secure your place.

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New Requirements Raise Concerns

Posted by Leslie August

Director - Boomerang Carnets LTD

Thu 18th, Feb

The “devil is in the details” when getting temporary imports into Turkey. Turkey accepts the international customs document, the ATA Carnet, for commercial samples, professional equipment and trade fairs and exhibitions.However, recently, Turkish customs issued new requirements that will cause problems for U.K. exporters and carnet holders if caught unawares. Unfortunately, while the ATA Carnet is intended to facilitate temporary imports for commercial and cultural purposes, these regulatory impositions create unnecessary administrative hurdles for users.

The obstructionist requirements are regarding of use of ATA Carnets presented to Turkish customs in the areas of:1) Authorized Representatives, 2) Temporary Admissions with Partial Relief from duties and taxesand 3) Penalties associated with misuse of the carnet.

In addition to explicitly naming the Holder’s Authorized Representative and providing a signature, that representative must obtain a Power of Attorney approved by the Turkish Consulate. Turkish customs has made it clear that this is required in spite of lack of any mention of such a requirement in the international convention under which carnets are managed.

Turkish customs also clarifies that items subject to “Partial Relief” will carry a duty rate of 3% monthly. For further details, exporters are referred to an authorized Customs broker. Carnet specialists are concerned about any requirements that depend on the use of a customs broker since the original intent of the ATA Carnet was a do-it-yourself document.

Finally, penalties are outlined for misuse of the carnet. They are steep for goods re-exported more than 2 months after expiration. The is fine is two times the bonded value of the goods.

While ATA Carnet authorities are addressing these unnecessary trade barriers directly with Turkish customs, exporters must comply with the requirements. It is our opinion that these regulations are in direct conflict with the intent of the ATA Carnet system and that customs authorities already have adequate protection,in the form of a financial guarantee, without imposing limitations that make it harder to temporarily import.

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But where is the similar push for disability in the workplace?

Posted by Tom Dowling

Tom Dowling, Editor of the Liverpool-based charity health and disability newspaper, All Together NOW!(www.alltogethernow.org.uk)

Tue 09th, Feb

More than 40 years ago, while lying paralysed in a hospital bed in Southport’s spinal injuries unit, my Indian neurosurgeon gave me a few words of advice:

‘Strive to be as flexible as you can – physically and mentally,’ he said, puffing on his pipe. ‘Happiness and fulfilment are linked to attitudes – yours and the people you will meet along the way . . . and especially employers.

‘Disabled people can still make valuable contributions. We all just need to think a bit differently, that’s all.’ 

Kookal Krishnan had a lifetime’s experience in helping paralysed people get back to ‘normality’.

But he was frustrated that most of the people he and his team had helped could not find the same support with employers.

A few months earlier I had the world at my feet. I’d just finished my reporter’s training and was looking forward to Fleet Street.

But while returning with three other 20-year-old friends from the ultimate road trip to Everest, we were attacked by armed bandits in Iran. A bullet severed my spinal cord and left me paralysed from the chest.

It could have been the end of my short-lived journalistic career. But within weeks of my injury Dave Williams, the boss of the now defunct Ellesmere Port News, offered me a job. Just one snag, he said: “You’ll have to be flexible. We work on the first floor and there’s no lift. You will have to use a desk in the ground floor kitchen and use a bucket for a pee.”

It wasn’t perfect – back in the 70s everywhere had steps, and more steps – no ramps or dropped kerbs. But I’d been given a chance, and it soon led to a job on the ECHO where I worked for almost 30 years– proving to members of staff, including management, that taking on a disabled person can bring many benefits to a business.

It also helped me to earn enough to raise a family, to contribute to the local economy, and saved the Government hundreds of thousands of pounds in benefits.

All the evidence suggests there is a really strong business case for employing, and retaining, disabled staff.

So why are more than 2 MILLION disabled peoplenot getting the chance?

In a recent article in HR Magazine Alice Weightman, founder of recruitment consultancy Hanson Search, suggests that organisations often just don’t feel they know how to discuss disability . . .

If that’s the case, why not set up disability awareness courses for line managers and staff? That will help.

There’s lots of other help around, too. Check out the Government’s Disability Confident website (https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/disability-confident-campaign)

Acas has also launched an employers’ guide to disability discrimination (http://www.acas.org.uk/index.aspx?articleid=1859), which includes tips on recruitment advertising – how to write them and where to place them so that disabled people are most likely to see them.

Disability in the workplace is nothing to fear. All organisations, and especially those in the public sector, need to embrace it and reap the benefits of a truly diverse workforce. 

I’m certain that’s something my old guru, Kookal Krishnan, would have raised his pipe to.

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February 7th – February 15th

Posted by Ian Jones

Managing Director of Warrant Group

  • T: 0151 955 0627
Mon 01st, Feb

Chinese New Year poses one of the biggest annual challenges you'll face when working in the logistics sector.

China is essentially closed for business over this holiday period, meaning that planning ahead for stock surpluses and post-holiday lag as workers drip back to work is absolutely vital.

Great communication and forward planning can save you from possible complications during this time. Collaborating closely with clients and planning intimately with suppliers, carriers, airlines and sub-contractors will eliminate Supply Chain interruption.

Supply Chain Managers in 2016 need to plan for no production or shipments leaving China from late January and for reduced output during the first half of March 2016.

It is therefore prudent to analyse the key ingredients required for businesses wishing to maintain Supply Chain integrity during Chinese New Year.

Forecasting

Forecasting can be quite complex as it is dependent upon supplier numbers, geographical location and SKU data.

Factories will enter overdrive mode prior to Chinese New Year to meet delivery obligations prior to closing. Supply Chain Managers must be very specific on:

  • Production deadlines
  • Latest ship dates

Service providers likewise must communicate their client forecasts to carriers so as to avoid booking refusals and container availability bottlenecks. It is critical to liaise with suppliers to confirm exact numbers on an on-going basis at least two weeks prior to vessel departure. 

Increase Inventory

As a rule of thumb, receipts scheduled for March require 50% of that volume "shifting" to arrive in January and the remaining 50% for February's intake.

The net effect on stock migration sees January and February taking an additional 50% increase to counteract a significant drawdown reduction in March.

Warehouse Planning

Warehouse capacity and manpower planning for this seasonal fluctuation is essential.

Creating additional space where spare capacity is at a premium can be managed effectively by having a laser focus approach to creating more room by executing good housekeeping rules.

Manpower planning remains a conundrum between goods in, housekeeping, picking and loading. Tailoring receipts and dispatch activity, invariably by tweaking resource allocation, minimises any short-term disruption.

Changing Sourcing Strategy

Dual sourcing is a common solution. In other words instead of buying additional inventory look to other possible suppliers from different geographical locations, that aren't affected by the Chinese New Year closures, to bridge the gap to maintain a consistent and manageable product flow. 

Supply Chain Savvy

Incentivising slow moving stock and offering promotions can clearly help both revenue streams and warehouse space.

In summary the more time you take to understand the complexity of Chinese New Year, the better equipped you will be to mitigate its effect on your company's operations. 

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New regulations will come into effect from 1st April 2016

Posted by Jenny Stewart

Chief Executive of Liverpool & Sefton Chambers of Commerce

Wed 27th, Jan

On 1 April 2016 the National Living Wage will become law. The Government is urging businesses to prepare early for the changes and make sure they follow these four simple steps:

  • Know the correct rate of pay - £7.20 per hour for staff aged 25 and over
  • Find out which staff are eligible for the new rate
  • Update the company payroll in time for 1 April 2016
  • Communicate the changes to staff as soon as possible.

 

The National Living Wage will provide a direct boost to over one million workers in the UK this year – rewarding and providing security for working people.

By taking these measures, companies will be able to properly reward their staff and avoid falling foul of the law when it takes effect.

The new National Living Wage is a key part of the Government’s plan to continue to move to a higher wage, lower tax and lower welfare society, building a more productive country and giving families the security of well-paid work.

You can find out more by clicking here. Join the conversation on Twitter by following @bisgovuk and the hashtag #NationalLivingWage.

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New regulations for international exporters from July 2016

Posted by Joanne Jones

Commodities Director, Warrant Group

  • T: 0151 955 0627
Tue 26th, Jan

In 1914 the first version of the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea known as SOLAS, was created. Responding directly to the sinking of the Titanic, it featured regulations for the safety of merchant ships.

Regarded as the most important international treatise of its kind for the shipping sector, new regulations under SOLAS come into force on July 1st 2016 which legally require shippers to accurately submit the verified gross weight of a seaboard container.

With some container weights being incorrectly declared in recent years, the new data is expected to help ships accurately plan weight distribution to avoid overloading and, in worst case scenarios, vessels capsizing or running aground.

There been widespread concern however among exporters, freight forwarders and the logistics sector that the new requirements will cause considerable disruption to supply chains as well as additional costs.

The practicalities of meeting the new regulations can be managed in two ways.

For exporters of general bulk cargoes such as scrap metal and un-bagged grain which already have weighing procedures in place, existing documentation and audit trails should be sufficient to meet the new requirements.

Alternatively, for shippers which have audited procedures in place such as ISO, AEO, MCA or an ERP system, the requirements are a little more complicated and less familiar. The weight of the goods, the weight of the packing material as well as the tare weight of the container will need to be recorded separately and submitted.

Liability for meeting the new regulations will lie with the shipper named on the Bill of Lading documentation which could be the exporter or even the forwarder.

Some sections of the logistics sector have suggested that a five per cent tolerance over the accuracy of the submitted data would be acceptable however if all containers were loaded using the maximum tolerance, it could compromise safety.

Adapting existing working practises and using electronic data transfer would certainly help companies manage the new regulations which may prove not as difficult to implement as first anticipated.

Interested in becoming an International Strategic Partner? Email membership@liverpoolchamber.org.uk for more info.

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Posted by Phil Bird

Managing Director - PC Support Group

Tue 26th, Jan

At The PC Support Group we were pleased to win Network Computing Awards “Service Provider of the Year 2015” title.  Let’s tell you why – but first, let’s explain a little about us. There’s a point to this, so please bear with us…

• We specialise in “corporate quality” IT support to SMB’s throughout the Northwest.

• Our unique structure combines advanced support technology with local, friendly, professional delivery. A flexible, high quality service at an affordable price. Our unwavering focus is to remove our client’s concerns about their computers and anything that communicates with, runs on, or connects to them.

• We monitor and manage all our clients’ computers simultaneously and proactively prevent problems before they occur – saving time and money.

• We don’t patronise our clients, orconfuse them with technical jargon. Our staff understand people and business, not just technology, providing superb support and a level of service that’s the envy of the industry.

• The PC Support Group is a member of the Apple Consultants Network – with qualified engineers providing Apple Mac support/assistance with other Apple devices. The sheer scope, scale and quality of our offer makes us different, and makes us the best.

That’s aLONG marketing message! Too much for Twitter’s meagre word count and our target market wants something they have TIME to read! That’s where awards come in and why it’s been fantastic to win something every year.

“Award-Winning IT Support” encapsulates what we do and that we’re excellent at it.

We’ve won many awardsby passing scrutiny by a judging panel but those won by vote are also useful.  Writing to contacts, telling them we’ve been nominated and requesting their vote is away to remind people who we are and that we’re good enough for a nomination! Word is circulated via social media too!

Awards evenings ensure plenty ‘tweetable’ material– especially winning! The photo of us collecting atrophy that says people believe in our excellence enough to vote in droves!

Then it’s time to write again, thankingcontacts for voting, to put news out via social media, press releases, the chamber. The winner’s logo is fixed on our website, e-mails and literature.

We chose for our Social Media headers a photo of our team holding aloft all the accolades we’ve worked so hard for – from Excellence in Customer Service to being listed in the Top 100 Managed Service Providers in the world.  They say a picture paints a thousand words!

Nothing says you’re superb at what you do as quickly and easily as an award and we’re grateful to everyone who ever nominated, or judged us ‘outstanding’ over the years.

Get YOUR entries in for 2016.

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Posted by Mark Willison

Director at Reddbridge Media Limited

Mon 25th, Jan

Global philanthropist and Microsoft founder Bill Gates joined Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne in Liverpool today, to jointly announce a £3bn drive to rid the World of Malaria, with the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine at the heart of the plan.

The plan will aim to see malaria deaths reduce by 90% by 2030, on a path to malaria free world. The Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine was the World’s first institution dedicated to research and teaching in the field, with a research order book today of over £210 million, making it a natural and essential partner.

Bill and Melinda Gates have ploughed money into the World famous institution before, investing over £30m into its groundbreaking research back in 2010.

The latest initiative will see the UK team up with their foundation in ploughing £3bn into research and ideas to eradicate Malaria, with £140m being invested this year from the foundation.

Highlighting Liverpool’s track record at this morning’s launch, Bill hailed the plan “taking the best of science, which Liverpool is an example of, we can get malaria deaths to zero.”

Founded over 115 years ago, the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine is also set to undergo an expansion via a £25m laboratory development that will enable innovative research into antibiotic resistance, meaning that Liverpool is both now at the heart of global fights against Malaria and the growing threat of antibiotic resistance, cementing the city’s Worldwide reputation for leading science.

Today’s announcement shows Liverpool as a powerful Northern Powerhouse contributor of global significance, where local industry and institutions can make a real and lasting impact.

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