Get your goods ready for trading with Europe
Good afternoon everybody and thank you for joining us today to talk about EU transition and thank you to our panel for being here today, to do a great job answering your many questions that I'm sure you will have for us today. I'm just going to go through the panel and ask them to do a brief introduction, after which we've got a little bit of a starter setup bit of information about B2C sales in Europe and then we'll kick off with a full Q&A. So I'll come to you last Nathan if you're going to be talking about that, and I'll start with Wendy, if you could do your introduction. Hello everyone, I'm Wendy May - I'm a Trading Standards Officer with Kent County Council and I specialise in civil law, product safety and food. And Claire? My name is Claire Robinson, I'm a Kent County Council Trading Standards Officer, and I work in the Business Advice Services team and so hopefully we'll be able to answer some of your questions today.
And Graham? Hello everyone. I'm Graham Card, I work with the Kent Invicta Chamber of Commerce. In terms of signposting, for international trade advice and assistance and the Kent and Medway Growth hub have essentially made retained my services for this EU Transition period from the Kent Invicta Chamber. My contact details are in the chat under Graham at Kent Invicta Chamber. Thank you and last but not least to Nathan. Thank you Jill. Hello everybody, my name is Nathan Martin. I'm the Principal Trading
Standards Officer for commercial and food services at Kent Trading Standards. I'm a member of the Business Advice Services team as are Wendy and Claire and we specialise in working with businesses and giving you all the advice that you need to prevent things becoming a problem. Now as Jill alluded to, I just wanted to speak briefly about B2C sales that businesses who are trading directly with consumers and selling their goods to European consumers after the 1st of January. The reason being that it seems to be a bit of a hot button topic at
the moment we get a lot of questions about it, so I thought it was worth kicking off with. Now I want to make a distinction - my comments mainly relate to food. There is a very, very large sector of B2C sales of other consumer goods and not food, and I know that Wendy and Claire might touch on those a little bit later so I don't want to say too much. But the issue is that within those pieces of legislation, there is a specific provision or guidance that's already been published, telling businesses what they need to do for those B2C sales. Unfortunately that's not the case for food. The EU has made it very, very clear that where food is being sold in Europe, they do expect there to be a business that is responsible for making sure the information on it - is right, and will correct any problems that arise with those products and who are potentially liable if there is a problem. That's in the legislation itself, it says that if
a business is from a third country there needs to be an a responsible business established in the EU that has to take responsibility for it. So that's actually quite simple to understand at least. But when the goods are going directly to consumers that eventuality has not been covered, within the legislation itself and we haven't got government guidance that specifically discusses this issue of food being sold directly to European consumers. So in this situation, Trading Standards is trying to do the best that it can to look at the information that's out there and advise businesses and at the moment it's clear that the EU do want there to be somebody responsible and at the moment it looks like the only way that we can get around this, is to advise people to have an authorised representative in the EU who becomes responsible for their products where it's being sold directly to consumers. Now that mirrors the advice that the government has published for manufacturers of other consumer goods. So it is an established route that the government are suggesting. Like I say there's no legislation, there's no specific guidance for food we're
just doing our best to advise you what you need to do. So we would advise that food businesses selling their goods directly to European consumers have an authorised representative in the EU and it's their name and address details that appear on those particular products. And like I say, if the situation changes and DEFRA do provide guidance which contradicts the suggestion that we've made, we'll get back in touch - we'll put that information out there so that people are aware of it. But at the moment that is the best thing that we can suggest. Thank you Nathan. For those that have just joined the meeting, I think we've had one or two that have come on since we did the introductions, just to reiterate that you can ask whatever questions you like through the chat function, which you can find by hovering at the bottom of the screen and then typing your questions, and we'll be picking those up and putting them to each of the presenters. So I'm gonna kick off with the questions that we had sent to us prior to today's event. Maybe I can start with you Claire? There's one regarding manufacturing. "Can
UK engineers continue to self-assess machines that do not require notified bodies?" Well so if you - yes is the answer to that at the moment. So if you self-assess now, you can continue to self-assess your goods, however it's not clear what requirements that the EU members may want from the documentation, for example if you're exporting to France you they may want the assessment in French or to other European countries - so it may be that you have to have the language to where the products going to as a safety assessment. And it is not clear unfortunately what the requirements will be in the future. Currently the UK have aligned the regulations so sort of lift and shifted them over, so they're the standards are the same with the EU at the moment. But as Europe and the UK make changes, the regulations may diverge and there could be different requirements in time. So you would have to at that point check each country to make sure you're following their their own requirements. So that's why it can be quite a
tricky situation, but at the moment if you are self-assessing then you can continue to do so. Thank you Claire, that was great. So the next question we have is for Graham. "I'd like to understand the costs involved per shipment on mandatory documents required to export, such as health certificates which we have to obtain. Do we need to apply for pay for any documentation for each import shipment?" Well the answer is yes you're going to have to pay for any document that is raised on your behalf. Having said that, there may be one or two exceptions but broadly speaking if you ask an authorising body to rub a stamp a document there's going to be a cost involved. The two best examples I can give are the the Chambers own costings and I would stress costings will vary dependent upon the organisation you're dealing with, but using the Chambers own tariff, as I understand it's a customs entry for an export shipment is £25 and allows up to five product lines in that price, and then it goes up by however many lines there are of product. And then import customs entry
is £55, I believe with the same number of product lines allowed. And any one of the agencies that deal with customs entry information such as the freight forwarders, or your own carrier operator. There will be a charge - there's a cost for providing a customs entry, there always has been for outside of Europe, it's just that now we've got inside Europe coming into play as well. In terms of health certificates and certain other special documentation, I'd need to understand the products and a bit of information about the the company concerned, before I could really comment on specific certificates, but nevertheless I would expect there to be a cost.
Thank you Graham. And another one on food manufacturing, for Nathan I think. "Can I just set up a registered office address in the EU and put that on my label?" Jill, no this is something that we've been discussing at length lately. What the legislation says is that the the business whose name, address details appear on your product has to be established in the EU. Now that's not defined in legislation, but guidance and looking at other pieces of legislation that use the same language, tells us that a registered office isn't enough. Likewise, neither are things like a PO Box, a mail forwarding address, a telephone answering service, anything like that. That won't be enough. The DEFRA have now weighed in on this and they've
agreed that the address that appears on your products, the person that established in the EU has to be a real person, with a real physical address who can take responsibility for the goods, who can sort out problems if they happen, who can have action taken against them if necessary like serving notices, all that sort of thing. So no, a registered office unfortunately is not enough. Okay thank you Nathan. That's very clear and I guess following on from that, there is another food manufacturing question which is "Do I have to fix any problems before I send the goods or can I send them and let my customer in the EU fix it?" There are two parts to this. Firstly the HMRC have made it very, very clear that if the goods are not ready at the point of transport, that they will be refused entry and the EU have echoed that. We do expect them to be very, very strict from the 1st January. And the second part is a recent poll of European businesses that was conducted by the equivalent authorities within the EU, shows that the situation is just as confused with European businesses, as we are. So first off you won't be allowed to send it out,
it will get knocked back if it's not ready to go. And second the European business is unlikely to know what they need to do, to be able to fix it for you. Thank you Nathan. And we have a more
general question here which may help a number of people. It's expressed as wanting general label clarification and requirements for the EU EORI. Maybe Wendy you could pick that up? Yeah there will be some labeling amendments, depending on what you are doing. If you are exporting to the EU, you will need to have an authorised representative. And this is
someone who you mandate to take responsibility for your goods. So your label would need to be amended to include details of your authorised rep, you would need to put the country of origin on, and the label would also need to be in the language of the country you are exporting to. It is very important and we can't stress this enough - you have to have an authorised rep in the EU, and this is someone that takes legal responsibility for your goods. As they are taking on liability, it isn't just a question of saying can you pass these on please, it's much more complex than that, and you'll more than likely need a legal contract in place and possibly to pay for this service. And the authorised rep is there for enforcement purposes, so if something goes wrong with the product -there needs to be someone within the EU that has liability for the goods so it's very, very important. Thank you for that, and another general one but a very different area maybe for Claire? "What are the effects on explosives and petroleum work and enforcement?" So for the storage of explosives and petroleum there's no change now because this is all pre-existing UK legislation, so there's no changes there.
However with the pyrotechnic articles which is fireworks, they are currently subject to the CE marking regime, so in the future and not as from January - they'll be now caught by the UKCA mark, so they need to be re-labelled. Although you do get a year - there is a year grace period for products coming in, so for products in England but not for the EU, so they would need to be ready to go - completely ready to go to Europe. Brilliant Thank you for that, and for those of you who have just joined us, I've noticed one or two people have just come onto the call and just to say we're going through some pre-submitted questions, but if anybody has got any questions that they particularly want answered or that are coming to them during the course of our conversation, please do use the chat function and drop them in on the right hand side, and we will endeavor to get the panel to answer those as well. So the next one is regarding car parts "We buy salvage cars from auction, breaking them and selling the parts to EU members. In turn arrange their own transport and transport them to the EU including Poland, Belgium and France. How do the new rules affect our business?"
Who are you directing that question to? That was for Wendy I believe? Or? Okay Yeah. The new rules may affect your business. It will depend on a number of factors, if you're exporting to a business in the EU, you will need to have an authorised rep to take responsibility, as we've previously discussed. It's not so clear how this would work if the EU business was taking responsibility for them in the UK and then they are shipping them back. So we'd actually need more information about the business model to be able to fully advise. So
whoever submitted that question, if they wanted to add their details into the chat and then we can contact them further to discuss this. Lovely. Could I just? Yeah just to to say we're picking up on what Wendy said. For those with their as it were 'shipping hat' on, what she's referring to is the INCO terms that apply to the sales, so I think the key bit was the customers in the EU are coming to the UK, picking up the items and transporting themselves, so it's essentially a sale that's made in the UK where you can't prove export anyway. So there are two angles there one
is to clarify what the exact INCO terms are - that's the international commercial terms for determining where delivery takes place, where risk is assumed by the buyer. But the other one is just as a word of caution, if they are being exported and you know they're being exported, it's not good enough to know they're being exported and do a zero VAT return on those goods, unless you can prove export. I always qualify my comments by saying i'm not a VAT specialist, but I think we can all see the the layman's sense, in that if you can't prove that the goods have left the country, then you need to consider that it probably should be twenty percent VAT on them. Thank you Graham. And the next question that I've got here is also quite generic, but perhaps you could you could pick up on this? It was around basically what paperwork is needed at the border? Which is a very open question but maybe you could give them a quick summary? Well they will need to be an export entry, for export carriage. There will be need to
be an import entry for import carriage. Perhaps the key thing to say is that paperwork needs to be in hand, in place prior to the vehicle attempting to go to Dover or whichever exit port it's using. It's an export because the vehicle needs to be able to declare the goods has arrived for customs purposes, whilst they're on their way to Dover. It's quite a long-winded answer to that, but that's broadly speaking what people need to know. So the carrier who's picking up the goods, whether it's
a full load or a part load, is going to have a vested interest in knowing that documentation is completed and to some extent there's a lot of merit in making sure that your carrier, is also your freight forwarder, is also your customs broker, and doing a complete job for you. I think the other thing to clarify is that for imports there's a bit more of a grace period. There's there are some things that need to happen by April and some that need to be happening by July. So we've got a little bit more leeway if things aren't quite right for imports, but for exports from 1st of Jan, it will need to be an export customs entry, that up until now for European sales, hasn't needed to be the case. Lovely, thank you Graham.
Could I just add little bit onto that? Because some documents that Trading Standards would look out for as well as details of the product, and the safety assessments on the product, and the labeling as well in the invoice, and packing list - so we can check the safety of the item. So there'll be a couple of documents there that Trading Standards might look at as well. I should probably add, having focused on the customs entry. Almost everything that moves these days, is going to need a commercial invoice anyway, if it's going abroad. Even if it's samples of no commercial value, there would need to be a commercial invoice stating that the goods are of no commercial value (samples).
Value for customs purposes would need to be stated so. But the Chamber are pretty good - and the Chamber of Commerce are pretty good in terms of their export documentation service for each country. They can clarify for you what documentation you need. Brilliant. And again quite a general question I think is maybe for Wendy about "How do people go about obtaining an EU representative?" Well this is a difficult area, particularly for small SMEs, without previous contacts in Europe. You can speak to your suppliers, or your customs agents - they may be able to provide a contact for you. Or you can do a Google search. I've done that and there are
companies that do offer these services, and this may be a sector that significantly increases in the Transition. However Trading Standards can't recommend the specific provider unfortunately. Okay and we've got another motorcycle/ motor vehicle question here, and I think this one is for Claire. "I currently sell around 20 reprint motorcycle spares list to the EU, hosted by Royal mail. I am not VAT registered. What do I have to do to continue to sell to EU customers?"
Well the customers and tariffs is not really a Trading Standards area, but I know that you will need to submit your customs declarations before you post, and to pay any tariffs which are applicable on the goods. And there is a big change coming that Nathan spoke about earlier in July next year, about the EU wanting there to be a responsible person or authorised representative for your goods - even if they're being given or sent to consumers, so direct to customers, they're still going to need that authorised rep in the EU. So those are the two ways I can answer that question. I didn't fully answer that, but
yeah we don't really do custom tariffs. It's not really a Trading Standard area. Okay I've got, just a another question that's coming from the chat. So I just want to throw this one on. I don't know who wants to answer it but "Do hauliers need an EORI number?" Who wants to take that? Well I'm prepared to put my hand up and say I don't know. But what I do know is that the hauliers need a whole bunch of other documentation with, I mean I was on a webinar for audios this morning. I didn't hear anything about eur - sorry EORI numbers from them, apart from as they related to the exporter or the importer.
There was a lot of comment about the hauliers responsibilities if they were carrying the goods, and so I think you know just to defer back to what I said at the beginning, I don't absolutely know but there are a lot of conditions that the hauliers who need to meet and I have got and I'm prepared to help out any hauliers. I've got a useful link that I picked up from the webinar I was in this morning, which should be quite happy to share with anyone who asks for it. Okay so maybe we can drop that into the chat as well then? Yeah excuse me Jill. I'd also recommend that the chat call - the HMRC customs helpline apparently they're very, very good. So I suspect they'd be able to give them quite a quick answer to that one as well.
I do believe hauliers would need an EORI number as well. It seems it seems logical that they would, because there's a economic activity that's happening but I haven't had to worry about that question before. Okay we've got another question that's come in via the chat. From a manufacturer of LED light fittings, who export to various EU countries on a business to business basis. "Does having an authorised person established in the EU apply to us? Currently if there are any product issues, the customers will come back to us to resolve. Does the
authorised rep now need to deal with our customers directly to resolve the problems? We would like our customers to continue to come to us. We have no one in the EU who would know as much as we do, so they would be acting as a middleman effectively?" Anyone want to put their hand up for that one? I can take that? Yes it will apply to you, and yes you'll need a an authorised rep in the EU. Your customers can still come back to you, it the authorised rep is about authorities in the country being able to deal with problems with the product. So if there's a problem they need to be
able to go back to someone within their country. There's no cross-border reciprocation for that so. But your consumers can go directly back to you to resolve any problems, but if there's an issue with an illegality around the product, they will need an authorised rep in the country, so yes it will apply. Thank you, that was a really good clear answer. So going back to another of our questions here, how will it impact. This is from a musician "How will it impact selling our music to the EU? Mostly it's sold via download and also CDs via our website, as well as various online stores. Will it impact on us being able to tour in the EU,
and have EU-based bands at our events?" That was quite a lot in one question and Claire can I come to you? Yes I was having a look at this. This will be quite a tricky one for me to answer because the honest answer is I don't know the answer to that question. But there may be tax implications and copyright issues, which I can send you some information on. However if you'd like further detailed advice, I think this is one where we would need to talk to you directly to have a chat about what you're doing, what your requirements are and then we can try and work through it that way, because it's difficult to explain all of that in one answer. And yeah there may be visa implications as well for people working in the EU, so for example for the touring part of it, so you would need advice on that as well and we can find out more about that from the .GOV website, so yeah that's a tricky one. Okay perhaps something
a little simpler and from the chat, I've now got another question come in "Are there any specific rules applying to alcohol exports i.e beer cans?" I guess that might be for Nathan? There are specific rules with regards to legislation in terms of composition and of labeling. So what you're allowed to put on your product, what can go in certain spirits, that sort of thing. But the fact that they've mentioned beer cans suggested they want something more than that. There is European legislation on food contact materials, which covers what specific materials, coatings, dyes, etc. can be used on packaging, and other food content materials like frying pans, and all that sort of thing. So there is legislation that you do need to comply with.
We have issued UK versions of the legislation, so the rules themselves remain exactly the same. So the only additional things that you're going to have to follow are the things we've discussed previously about having the name and address of the importer onto there, being labeled in the correct community language, not labeling the origins the UK, That sort of thing. But yeah if you already have a line of beer cans that you produced and you've been complying with the rules, then the rules are still the same.
Great, thanks Nathan. Moving on to another different area, we have an artist who sells paintings, sculptures, t-shirts, notebooks, etc. currently via Etsy, as well as their own website. "Will this change how I do business with customers in the EU?" and I think can it go to Wendy? Yeah there will be some changes, and as we were discussing EU regulation is coming in July. That will mean that you will need an authorised rep in the EU to take responsibility for your goods, even when you're delivering direct to customers - which is going to be more complex, and it's going to be difficult to navigate for some people unfortunately. Potentially I think the simplest way to achieve this is to have an authorised rep in an EU member state, that takes all your products and then they distribute them throughout the EU. Otherwise if you're individually selling to consumers in numerous EU countries, you're going to need to have an authorised rep in each EU member state. But that's going to take
some negotiating to get an authorised rep to do that, and to put a contract in place for them to do that for you. So that's going to be difficult - that's not coming in as far as I know until July though, so there is still time for people to sort that if. If I could come in as well, if you're selling through a marketplace such as Etsy, eBay, Amazon, there is the potential for the marketplace to be willing to act as an authorised representative. So I'd suggest that people who
trade on a marketplace, contact the marketplace and discuss whether that is an option. Okay, I've got a another one possibly for you Nate and if you want to take this one? Unless anybody else wants to chip in and so from the chat "What puzzles me about the requirement for reps in the EU and the EU EORI is this effectively means there will be more onerous and stringent requirements for exporting to the EU then there are currently for the rest of the world. I have not understood from the government websites that we will be required to have a rep, and FBO in our case, in the EU to continue to be able to export there. We will need to have an EU address on the back and my understanding that this is sufficient?" Okay. See this comes back to my comments at the very start about having an authorised rep for food. As Wendy and Claire said, it's a simple situation for manufactured goods because legislation is coming in that's going to require it.
At the moment it sort of falls into a sort of dead zone between legislation and guidance, for the EU, for food sorry. I agree it does make the requirements very onerous, but unfortunately that's because we've left the you know the Free Trade Agreement. There are barriers towards trading with the EU now and we do have to comply with them. Now even though there's no legislation that requires an authorised representative for food, it's clear that there is the intention that the EU want there to be somebody who is responsible for the food. And we might see guidance, we might see other
legislation that makes a requirement. But what I would say at the moment is checking to see whether an EU name and address on there, is very, very easy to do -very easy and quick. So we would expect that to be one of the checks that get made if your product is picked out to be examined, and we do expect quite a large proportion of them to be examined. So if it isn't on there you can expect X percentage of goods to be refused entry. So that's not a situation we want any business to be in, so like I say. If you do other sales
you know business to business sales into the EU and you already have an importer who takes responsibility for your goods, it may be that they're happy to do that and be an authorised representative for B2C sales as well. Now I can't imagine they're going to do that for free, but as you would have already had to negotiate an agreement with them for them to take responsibility for the goods that you're supplying to them, then it might be something they're willing to do. Unfortunately I don't think there is any realistic way of getting around it costing money, so it is going to be more expensive to sell goods into the EU. That's just an unfortunate reality that we've got to get around, but it might cost more money if the EU are very strict on it and decide to stop X percent of your goods going to the EU. Ultimately we won't know how it's going to be enforced until the EU start enforcing it on the 1st January and I just - I wouldn't recommend not making any preparations because you're going to be in a very bad position if come 1st of January, you haven't got the stuff in place and they decide your stuff's not coming in, sorry. Okay Nathan, a follow-up from the light manufacturer, asking if
we're able to provide a link with more detailed information on the requirements to have an authorised rep as the .GOV website is very vague. I'm assuming that is the central resource and so the answer to that is - what information is available? We can have a look and provide a bit more information on that. I'll do some research and get some details sent out about that, I'll see what I can find and see what information I can produce. Lovely, thank you for that Wendy. Well also, I was just going to say if we haven't asked specifically someone's question - if they wanted to leave their email address in the chat we can get back to them directly. So if you needed further advice and please do that.
Thank you Claire, and maybe you could take the next question - which is from a cosmetics company "Is it the UK's intention to align with the EU in regards to cosmetic regulation, amendments and updates?" Yes - again this is the first question I answered earlier, a very similar answer to the self-assessment question. We don't know at the moment what will happen in the future with regards to the EU. We have lifted and shifted the standards and the legislation at the present time, so at the moment we are aligned with the EU but in time, either the UK or the EU could make changes to that legislation and then we may not be so aligned in the future as to our standards, so this is something we'll have to wait and see what happens and adapt accordingly.
Lovely thank you. And I don't know whether this is similar or different, but you will understand all of the all of the words I'm about to read out I hope Wendy "Is the UKNI required with UKCA and CE is selling UK and all Ireland or" sorry. Can- I've done it, I think somebody's gone back on mute now and I'll read that again. "Is the UKNI required with UKCA and CE is selling UK and all Ireland or CE and UKCA mark together sufficient?" Okay this is quite complicated. I will go, if I get this wrong, anybody step in. But so essentially the answer is no. The UKNI mark is not used alongside the UKCA mark. It isn't, so that isn't going to work that way. So for Ireland you could use the CE mark or the CE UKNI mark.
So effectively, you can use the CE mark for goods into Europe and the UKNI mark for goods who have been assessed by a body in the UK because Northern Ireland are going to accept that. So you can use CE and UKNI together, but the UKNI mark wouldn't be used on its own. So yeah. And then in GB which is just England, Scotland and Wales - it will be the UKCA mark. But there's a year's grace on that so you can use the UKCA and CE mark in GB until January 2022. And then just for the EU market it would just be the CE mark,
that is complicated if anybody wanted a rundown of that - we can send an email about that so that it's clearer, I think because that is complicated that side of it. Lovely, thank you Wendy. We have another question on food manufacturing "What about finished goods do they need to be reworked?" Again, two parts to that question. If it's finished goods which are exported, after the 1st January then yes they will need to be reworked - that they comply with the EU sort of labeling requirements, that they're gonna change for the1st January. If you export them now before the 1st January,
then no they don't need to comply - sorry, they only need to comply in the current rules. And they can be sold through once they're in the European community, and I know we have in the past we've advised people to try and use that sell-through provision to get your goods into Europe. I don't know how realistic that is now simply because we're already seeing you know the motorways backing up and Eurotunnel being booked out and all that sort of thing.
So it's still good advice, but I don't know how realistic it is at this point. Thank you Nathan. And another change of direction now to manufacturing of toys and electricals. ""hat will be the new rules on toys and electrical goods?" Claire? Claire you're mute.
Sorry I knew that was going to happen at some point - and so the majority. As I said before the majority of the EU legislation has been incorporated into UK law by the Product Safety and Metrology Act regulations 2019. So the essential safety requirements remain the same at the present time. The European harmonized standards which provide a presumption of conformity are likely to become designated standards in Great Britain. So the CE marking
can continue for up to a year for most products, but we will be going over to the UKCA mark eventually. But they want you to start doing that now. So if you use a UK approved body then you will be able to affix the UKCA mark for England, Scotland and Wales. And product safety guidance for toys and electrical goods has recently been published and links can be can be provided so we'll put them in the chat as well. Lovely thank you. And yes just to reiterate for those who perhaps weren't with us right at the beginning - if you scroll to the beginning of the chat for today's message you'll see that we have placed for some very useful links about some of these issues that we felt would come up and also the contact details for all of the panel are there, so if there's anything that you need to follow up from any of the answers we've given then, do feel free to use those contacts and as the panel have said if there is something that you feel we've not covered specifically and you would like follow-up then please do let us have your email and a request in the chat, and we will follow that up after today. And you can carry on adding questions into the chat as we go through
Another one on food manufacturing is next "What language do my goods need to be labelled in?" Nathan? They'll have to be labeled in the language of the member state where they're being placed on the market. So being placed on the market means where they're made available for supply to consumers or other businesses. That doesn't necessarily mean transiting through So the example I've used before is finished goods that are being sold to a German retailer, they land in France but they're not placed on the market until they're with the retailer made available to consumers. So then go all the way through France they don't need to be labeled in French but they would need to be labeled in German. Now you can put other languages on there including English, but you can't put so many on there that it means the information you know is jumbled and it's not clear and accurate enough, that sort of thing. Lovely thank you. Could I just add something to that?
Sure. You know it's just a thought that occurs to me something that people might want to check, I don't know the answer to this, I'm just posing it as a further thought on the top of that question - there are quite a few countries in Europe in fact many, where there's more than one language and usually in fact there are many languages in some countries, but usually there's the official one or two languages. There might be a view that the courtesy would be to observe the official languages that are listed for each country, maybe not all of the minor languages but certainly the official languages, I guess Wales would be our example over here and perhaps Scotland where there's Gaelic or there's the Welsh language to consider on products.
Probably a courtesy, I don't know. It may be the rule in Wales now the Trading Standards people probably tell me that. I can come back on that one, I couldn't tell you with regards to specific consumer goods like toys and etc., but certainly for food the requirement is that the label is clear accurate and easy to understand, so it should be in a community language which is sort of widely understood within that country. So for most it's going to be the official language, but for example in Belgium where I think they speak three languages so French, Dutch. That's what I had in mind. Yeah, and I can't remember is it Flemish? Yes it will be the Flemish one, yeah.
Now I think because Flemish is only spoken in a very, very small part of the country - I don't think you could necessarily label it in Flemish but I think you probably could label it in either French or Dutch because it would be widely understood. But I think ideally you default to the one which is considered to be the national language. Great thank you. That was a useful clarification there. I hate to do this to you but another one for you Nathan, "What's going on with organic?" Yes the organic question - the situation has been unchanged for over a year now.
Although we use the same rules to produce organic, so our rules are exactly the same as the ones in the EU. The EU haven't recognised our organic rules as equivalent, so for the time being we can't sell our organic food in the EU, but to clarify we can sell the food - you just can't describe it as organic and that would include any sort of description use the word organic, any description of organic farming methods, and use of the EU organic logo. Now we're hoping that that will be resolved because the UK has applied for equivalency, but the EU won't even look at that until we officially become a third country - well until we become treated as a third country on the 1st January and I know that the organic control bodies, like the Soil Association, they have also applied for third country - not five body status which would allow them to certify the goods organic and to be sent to the EU. That process is ongoing and I know that they still have not been given their answers, so for the time being you can't describe goods as organic being sold to the EU, but fingers crossed we really hope that that will be resolved soon. Lovely and I think this may have been a question that was covered in an earlier answer, but maybe you could just clarify Wendy it's a general question on manufacturing about the use of the CE mark after the 1st January. Yes, businesses are encouraged to be ready for implementation of the new UK regime from the 1st of January, so using the UKCA mark for goods in GB. However to allow businesses time to adjust, CE marked goods that meet EU requirements
and meet UK requirements can continue to be placed on the GB market until January 2022, where the EU and UK requirements remain the same. So when the legislation is the same, they can do that. Currently that is for most things because EU regulations have been enacted into UK law, but in future this may change and the regulations may diverge, so I think as Claire said earlier - we don't know what's going to happen next and things may change, but at the moment until 2022 you can use both, yes.
Lovely thank you for that. And just going to ask if anybody else has got any information that they would like to - any further questions they want to pop into the chat and here we go. "Apologies if I misheard was the label in the language of the country, food product requirement or all products? Is it just a label on the product or all accompanying documents, such as instruction leaflets? So is the requirement around the language on labeling a food only or is it a more general?" Did you want to cover this Wendy or drop me to jump in. I'll let you go Nathan. It needs the product - I mean there will be specific provisions within each piece of safety legislation. But what it boils down to is the product information needs to be understood by the people who are going to be using that product. So
if it's being sold in France, you expect French consumers that speak French to use it, then all the instructions etc. have to be available in French. Okay. Yeah there was a second part of that which "Was is it just the label or the accompanying document such as instruction leaflet?" so i guess that covers. Yeah. Okay hopefully that was clear for you Rebecca. All right let's see if there's any further [questions]. Oh here we go people are typing. Yep just to say that that was clear, lovely. Just give everybody a few minutes if there's anything else that's come to mind and then I'll do a quick run through the panel to see if there's anything that they want to add before we close this meeting. As I said before the links are in the chat
and I'll give you the the main Kent one which is kent.gov.uk/eutrade and there are various links there to a number of useful resources. So while I wait to see if there's any final questions coming in, can I go through the panel see if there's anything that they feel from their current experience or their current discussions with businesses that feel they haven't been covered today that would be useful. Nathan's got his hand up. Yeah I just want to address something which is a constant thing I hear which I think is just worth repeating. We still see that a lot of businesses aren't
preparing, we still keep getting the same story that we're going to wait, there's going to be a deal. All of this preparation is not going to be necessary. I mean it is slowly starting to trickle into public consciousness, coming out in the news etc. that a deal is not going to change a lot and I'll just reiterate that everything you need to do for product specific changes all that all the Trading Standards side of things. Even if we get a deal you are still going to have to do all of this - so don't wait until the 1st of January when not doing it would have cost you money. Get on and do it now. If we get a deal, it might change what we plan on tariffs, all that sort of thing but all of these requirements you're going to have to do realistically, they're not going to change. That was it. Anything to add Graham? A similar message really, I mean the main thing to take on board is that documentation for export or for import has always been required for the other countries - if you like the rest of the world let's call them that for the moment.
And of course the EU countries have been the home market. Essentially all that's happened is the home market apart from England, Scotland, Ireland or England, Scotland Northern Ireland and Wales with the caveat that I'll add about Northern Ireland in a minute, that is is now the shrunken home market and the 27 EU countries are now an overseas market. So we're dealing with exports and with imports and there will - as Nathan said there are there are things that could still change such as rates of import duty that sort of thing, but essentially we have got a situation where exports will be happening for goods going to the 27 member countries imports will be happening and it is important to realise that those customs procedures will need to be prepared for. The one to watch really is the Northern Ireland situation because that kind of is it's literally in the news right now as we know there were some comments about it yesterday. I believe there may be some further ones today, so we don't absolutely know how
Northern Ireland is going to settle down at the moment except to say that based upon what we know at the moment Northern Ireland is a home market destination. But because the product that you're sending to Northern Ireland could potentially end up in Southern Ireland, there's a different customs procedure which is why there's a different EORI number for Northern Ireland but - so basically just bear in mind that there will be customs procedures to consider. Perhaps the good news is if it's coming from Northern Ireland into GB unless it's a particularly specialist subject, sorry a specialist product it's basically a home sale and doesn't need to be worried about if it's coming from NI to GB.
Thank you Graham that's useful and Wendy do you have anything to add? Only really to reiterate what Graham and Nathan have said about being prepared. It's just really important to be prepared - I know a lot of businesses it's a lot to take in, it's a lot to look at the GOV website -there's a lot of information and it can be difficult to go through. I struggle with it sometimes but being prepared looking at the sector specific requirements for your products and if you don't know and you can't find the answers or you just don't want to read it or ask someone in Trading Standards, even if you've got to pay somebody to give you the information, get the information because if you don't get it right potentially when you go to export it could cost you money and far more delays than getting it done now would do. So I would just reiterate about
being prepared and knowing what is expected for your business, in your product sector. Lovely thank you, and just to do the full house Claire do you have anything to add? Yeah just to reiterate really what the others have said is that we are here for you so, and we want to advise businesses and help them, so if you are stuck if you don't know which way to turn then, please just give us an email or call us up and we can try and help you. Especially with sector specific - if you've got detailed advice that you need for your business and please get into contact with us and we can help you.
Okay so it's gone into the chat but it's email@example.com And just to let everybody know that there have been two previous events in this series, and the recordings are actually also available by the website that I mentioned earlier. The first one was around product safety rules, and the other one was around specifically food and drink. So both those recordings are available for you to watch in your own time, and to take away the Q&A that were asked on those occasions. I can't see any more questions
coming into the chat so if there's nothing further to add, we're just coming up to the end of the session and so thank you for your time and attention your questions. Do get in touch with the panel if there is anything that needs further clarification. I've just got one more coming at the last - bear with me a second "do we have any indication from the wider enforcement field or government stakeholders what kind of delays might be experiencing goods arriving into the UK?" so that's more of an import question Graham maybe? It's a little bit of a crystal ball question. Really in terms of the answer, what I can say is if you consider that the UK authorities are planning on being able to stack if necessary, up to 4,000 vehicles at Manston as a last resort, if they've already got 500 on the A2 between Folkestone and Dover, 1,400 [between] Junction 10A of the M20, and 2,000 between Junction 9 and Junction 8 of the M20.
Total of 8,000 vehicles potentially, and that's just planning for a worst case disaster scenario. We don't know whether that's going to be something that comes to pass or not, but that is that is the contingency that the authorities are planning around. My understanding is there are similar contingencies on the French border but I don't have specific detail and it would be wrong of me to guesstimate what may be happening over there. But I think it would
be prudent to plan for some delays, yeah I mean I would add that. We haven't been given any sort of time frames to expect disruption or anything like that, but I believe that Kent County Council have now published Operation Fennel the details for Ops Fennel which is our - the KCC's response to what might be happening 1st of January. I believe that's a publicly available document which you can which you can look up from the KCC website - which will give you an idea of the sort of scale of the issue that KCC's preparing for. We don't know exactly what's going to happen. I think that's why this creates such uncertainty because we don't actually know, which is why it's a worry. It creates anxiety because nobody knows, so we haven't got that much information. But coming in.
may be slightly easier because at the moment we're not doing the same checks as going out. So it may not be the same situation but as far as I know, like they said I don't know what their plans are the other side of the border. Yeah I mean I think just to reiterate, it's probably prudent to plan for for some element of delay and things may become clearer over the next few few weeks. Could I just add that logistically speaking now the vehicle that comes in is probably 99% certain a vehicle that went out a few days earlier, so if there are delays to the vehicle going out there could well be delays to the vehicle coming in for that reason. Although that's a very good point Wendy has made, we're not getting so strict until halfway through the year on a lot of things, so it may be a little bit easier coming in.
Thank you Graham and just to say to the people who've popped their emails addresses and asked for further contact we will be in touch with you after the meeting. Thank you for doing that. If there are no further questions then I think I'm going to draw the the meeting to a close by thanking you for your attention and thanking our panel for ask answering the questions that have been posted to them this afternoon and it is a moving situation, as Graham alleged to - there are talks going on as we speak so you know this this situation may change, so do keep in touch with Trading Standards, The Chamber [of Commerce], with the KCC website where we will endeavor to keep you updated on all the latest changes and all of the latest information. In terms of the traffic management it is published on the KCC website and again we'll try and get that link sent out to make sure that you have that available. Does anybody else have anything to add? If not I'll just say thank you for your attendance and hopefully we'll see you at the next event.