Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Freight Forwarding Agents Should Take the Chance to Train Furloughed Staff Online Ready for Brexit

With Government Grants Extended Now is the Time to Prepare for a No Deal EU Exit
Shipping News Feature

UK – In a world of uncertainty freight forwarders are being reminded that there is still a train coming down the track they need to pay heed to. With all thoughts on the virus, the spectre that is Brexit is very real, negotiations may be currently delayed but those organisations that need to be ready for the potentially career changing Customs regulations, particularly those who have furloughed staff, now have the perfect chance to regroup and make use of an online tool to guide them through it.

The British International Freight Association (BIFA) has reminded its members and any company involved in international trade that its online training course that focuses on Customs declarations is still available, with grant funding available from the Government. Forwarding agents are reminded HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) has extended the deadline for businesses to apply for customs support funding to 31 January 2021.

BIFA’s online eLearning course was introduced in March 2019. It has 11 modules in total. These include: The Export processes, The Import process and entry completion rules, Customs Procedure Codes (CPCs) and Customs Simplified Procedures, and BIFA says it should not take more than around five hours to complete. Robert Keen, BIFA director general, observes:

“The Covid-19 crisis has kicked the transition period off the front pages, and our members are rightly focusing their efforts on their ongoing management of international supply chains that are under severe strain. However, with trade discussions between the UK and the EU stalled, and no sign of a request for an extension to the transition period, Customs declarations remain a huge issue if no trade deal has been reached by the end of this year.

“At some point, we will emerge from the current crisis and I would urge members and anyone involved in international trade to consider how they can obtain a better understanding of Customs regimes and how to complete a Customs declaration when some sense of normality returns to international trade, whenever that might be, and whatever it looks like."

The situation being in a state of flux interested parties can enquire about courses at on the BIFA website training pages HERE and scan down to online courses, or email bifatraining@bifa.org with any queries.

Photo: The great advantage of online study is that you can do it wherever you happen to be. Image courtesy of Dan About Thailand.