Here you will find the latest news, updates and communication resources from the BVRLA. Members, media partners, journalists and other commentators can feel free to republish the content in part or in full, crediting the association.
Latest Email Bulletins
The BVRLA issues a series of regular email bulletins to keep members informed of the very latest advice, guidance and support from government relating to the coronavirus pandemic and EU Exit. Any individual working for a member organisation can sign up to receive BVRLA updates, including the Bulletins below:
24 September 2020
Support for firms and self-employed extended beyond October
The plan extends the financial support on offer to businesses and the self-employed, and includes:
- A new Job Support Scheme will begin on 1 November, following the end of the furlough scheme, which will involve the government subsidising the wages of employees working reduced hours. The scheme will last for six months and apply to any employees working a minimum of 33% of their hours. For the remaining hours not worked, the government and the employer will each pay one-third of the employee's wages. This would mean employees working 33% of their hours will receive 77% of their pay. The grant from government will be capped at £697.92 per month.
- Workers on the Job Support Scheme will not be able to be made redundant and there will be restrictions on capital distributions to shareholders for larger firms that use the scheme. The Chancellor also announced that only large businesses that can prove they have been adversely affected by Covid-19 would be eligible for the Job Support Scheme. The Scheme will sit alongside the Jobs Retention Bonus for workers kept on until the start of February 2021.
- The Self-employment Income Support Scheme extension will support viable traders facing reduced demand over the winter months and will cover 20% of average monthly trading profits via a government grant.
- CBILS, CLBILS, BBLS and the Future Fund are being extended to 30 November, with new loan applications being accepted up to this date. Loan offers will be able to be processed up until 31 December.
- A 'pay as you grow' scheme will allow businesses that took Bounce Back loans to extend the term of their loan to ten years, as well as allowing businesses to make interest-only payments or suspend payments for six months. No business making use of the pay as you grow scheme will have its credit rating affected. CBILS loans will also be able to have their terms extended up to ten years, with a new loan scheme to be announced in January.
- Businesses who deferred their VAT payment will not need to pay a lump sum in March 2021 and will be allowed to split their VAT bill into smaller, interest-free payments over 11 months during the 2021/22 financial year.
- To support the tourism and hospitality sectors, the Chancellor has stated that the temporary reduction of VAT rates from 20% to 5% will remain in place until 31 March 2021, rather than 13 January.
BVRLA updates its Frequently Asked Questions for members
The BVRLA has updated its FAQs on the BVRLA Covid Business Advice page in response to an influx of enquiries following the Government’s recent tightening of restrictions.
Questions have mainly related to:
- Face coverings
- Rental branches and Test and Trace
- Delivery and collection of vehicles in Scotland
NHS Covid-19 mobile app launches to support track and trace
People across England and Wales are being urged to download the NHS COVID-19 app to help control the spread of coronavirus. The app launches today after positive trials and rigorous testing.
It will be available to those aged 16 and over in multiple languages and forms a central part of the NHS Test and Trace service in England and the NHS Wales Test, Trace, Protect programme.
Information for how business can prepare for the NHS Covid-19 app is available as well as the Privacy notice and data protection impact assessment for the app.
The Department of Health & Social Care has published data on the daily number of coronavirus tests processed and testing capacity in the UK, split by swab and antibody tests between the period of 20 March and 22 September.
ONS published new data on impact of Covid-19 on the UK
The Office for National Statistics has published data on the wide-ranging impacts of the coronavirus pandemic on the UK so far.
Presented in ten charts, the data highlights the profound impacts of the pandemic on the UK economy and society, including:
- The economy is 11.7% smaller than it was pre-lockdown.
- Public sector debt has exceeded gross domestic product (GDP) for the first time since the early 1960s.
- Almost one-third of jobs have been furloughed at some point.
The ONS fortnightly Business Survey findings have also been published for the period 24 August to 6 September, showing that during that period 12% of the workforce were on partial or full furlough leave.
17 September 2020
Automotive industry unites in calls for free trade deal with EU
The SMMT has joined organisations representing EU and UK vehicle and parts manufacturers to call for urgent agreement of an ambitious free trade deal before the end of the transition period in just 15 weeks’ time.
New calculations show the catastrophic impact of ‘no deal’ with World Trade Organisation (WTO) tariffs putting production of some 3 million EU and UK built cars and vans at risk over next five years.
‘No deal’ would mean combined EU-UK trade losses worth up to €110 billion to 2025, on top of around €100 billion in lost production value so far this year because of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Covering the cost of the tariffs, far higher than the small margins of most manufacturers, would almost certainly need to be passed on to consumers, making vehicles more expensive, reducing choice, and impacting demand. Automotive suppliers’ products will also be hit by tariffs. This will make production more expensive or will lead to more imports of parts from other competitive countries.
The BVRLA understands that over 70% of fleet and business car purchases are built in the EU - all of these are at risk.
The association’s members will have to pay the tariffs or pass them on to their customers. This would be disastrous for fleets and would seriously slow the decarbonisation agenda.
UK fleets are not in a position post-Covid to absorb these costs and automotive demand will stall.
It will also become more expensive for essential user fleets to operate and significantly increase the cost for fleets looking to do the right thing and replace their vehicles with Battery Electric Vehicles.
The tariffs on parts will impact the whole life cost of vehicles and have impacts on contracts that members have already signed. Orders are already in the pipeline which would land in 2021 and these must not be hit with a tariff.
The BVRLA is asking for a deal with no tariffs and ensuring an easy flow of vehicles and parts through the border.
The UK secures a Free Trade Agreement with Japan
The UK’s first major trade deal as an independent trading nation has been made with Japan. The deal will give UK businesses the benefit of tariff-free trade on 99% of exports to Japan in a deal expected to be worth an estimated £15.2 billion.
The deal is also an important step towards joining the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), giving UK businesses a gateway to the Asia-Pacific region and help to increase the resilience and diversity of our supply chains.
Government writes to businesses about new trade arrangements with the EU
HMRC has written to businesses about the new trading arrangements when the UK leaves the EU single market and customs Union, highlighting actions that need to be taken now to continue trading with the EU from 1 January 2021, including:
- Make sure you have a GB EORI number
- Decide how you’re going to make customs declarations
- See if your imported goods are eligible for staged controls
- Decide how you will account for import VAT when you make a customs declaration
- Check if Import VAT is due at the border
- Check the Controlled goods list to see if you need to complete declarations from January. If your goods are not on the list you can choose to delay import declarations until July 2021
- Check the government’s tariff tables and consider how your trade will be affected
- Sign up for the new Trader Support Service, if you move goods between Great Britain and Northern Ireland or bring goods into Northern Ireland from outside the UK
Video guidance for businesses who are brand new to customs
HMRC has created a series of short videos aimed at helping those businesses brand new to customs:
- What is Customs?
- What you need to know to bring goods into the UK?
- What you need to do to send goods out of the UK?
The Government has published a list of customs agents and fast parcel operators who can help submit customs declarations from 1 January 2021.
CMA to oversee new ‘Office for the Internal Market’
The UK government has laid out plans to establish an independent monitoring body, the Office for the Internal Market (OIM), who will oversee the functioning of the UK internal market.
The body will sit within the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) and provide independent, technical advice to parliament and the devolved administrations on regulation that may damage the UK’s internal market.
The CMA will have powers to monitor and report on the effectiveness of the internal market, and will need to report on the functioning of the internal market every 12 months, and the effectiveness of the bill’s provisions on mutual recognition and non-discrimination every five years.
Controversial UK Internal Market Bill presented to Parliament
The Government presented the UK Internal Market Bill to Parliament on 9 September, which is designed to guarantee that companies can trade unhindered in every part of the UK.
The Bill has made headlines for the controversial provision that would allow ministers to disregard parts of the Northern Ireland protocol. The Institute for Government believes that the UK Government should be prepared to compromise on the Internal Market Bill, claiming that “the stage is now set for a major stand-off between the UK government and devolved administrations.”
In a meeting of the Withdrawal Agreement Joint Committee on 10 September, Vice President Šefčovič detailed the European Union’s concerns, and requested that the UK withdraw the UK Internal Market Bill. The UK Government made clear that the legislative timetable for the Bill would continue as planned.
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