New EU Sanctions against Venezuela

The latest Notice for Exporters 2017/25 from Department of International Trade describes new EU sanctions against Venezuela.

Sanctions were imposed by European Union on 13th November 2017 and the new measures are contained in Council Decision 2017/2074/CFSP and Council Regulation (EU) No 2017/2063.

The sanctions include

  • Arms embargo – including all items from the UK Military List (controlled items having ML number)
  • Prohibition on the supply of equipment which might be used for internal repression
  • Equipment for monitoring communications – A licence will be required for the supply of equipment, technology or software intended primarily for use in the monitoring or interception of internet or telephone communications on mobile or fixed networks in Venezuela
  • There are related prohibitions on the provision of technical assistance, financing and financial assistance, brokering services, and other related services.
  • Financial sanctions

The new sanctions permit Member States to authorise transactions, prohibited by the arms embargo, which concern the execution of a contract or an agreement concluded before 13 November 2017.

 

For more information and support, please contact us directly.

Why using EXW/FCA for Letters of Credit is not a good idea!

Image result for not a good ideaIncoterms EXW: Spotlight on Ex Works | Shipping Solutions

A Letter of Credit (LC) is an important method of payment in International Trade. It is a type of a bank guarantee which ensures that if compliant documents are presented to the negotiating bank payment will be received as per the LC terms.

It should be noted that LC’s come with associated costs.  The opening charges are borne by the Importer who becomes the Applicant (the Buyer), any charges outside the country of the Applicant are borne by the Beneficiary of the credit, the Exporter (the Seller).

Charges can include costs such as advising commission, acceptance commission, any amendment charges, confirmation commission (if applicable), checking/paying commission, transmission charges, courier charges for original documents and reimbursement fees (if applicable).  These can total up to several hundred pounds depending on which bank in the UK is used for handling the documents with multiple presentations against the LC further increasing charges.  When quoting for the goods on any Incoterm basis, many companies do not take these costs into consideration and this results in reduced margins.

There are further complications when LCs are raised on an EXW/FCA basis.  Using these Incoterms, it is the Importer which contracts for carriage and they can choose any Agent in their country to arrange the shipment. Such Agents might not necessarily work with Freight Forwarders in the United Kingdom (UK) who have experience raising transport documents for LC presentations.

In these situations, it is often found the transport document is raised and sent off to the Applicant for approval without the Beneficiary being able to ask for any changes which may be required under the LC. Crucial information can be missed off, spelling is not thoroughly checked, declarations and signatures are not sufficient to comply with the LC requirements. It can take time to see a draft document for checking and for any of the requested changes to be applied.  A Freight Forwarder who is not familiar with transport documents raised in accordance with an LC might dismiss the importance of minor changes required such as spelling, dates, correct version of the document with the right stamps and signatures.  The Beneficiary may have to wait several days for the transport documents to be sent to them therefore delaying the presentation and, in many cases, receipt of payment. Each shipment, even for the same Applicant, might mean working with a different Freight Forwarder in the UK as they offered the cheapest rate for that shipment.

Quoting for goods on CPT/CIP basis might seem like more work in getting the right price from a Freight Forwarder, ensuring the service is of good quality and that the Applicant will accept the costs. However, in the long term, finding a Freight Forwarder that understands the company requirements and has worked with LCs previously will mean that the transport document will be for the Beneficiary to approve.  The Freight Forwarder will know what sort of information is required and in what format it should be included, they will work with the Beneficiary on agreeing the documents in advance so that when the goods move the originals can be issued straight away. As the Beneficiary is paying their fee there is the ability to apply pressure on them to get the transport documents right and provided in a timely manner. The Freight Forwarder will also provide the required proof of export for the shipment, this can be an issue when trying to obtain this from a Freight Forwarder contracted by an Applicant.

LCs are a secure way to get paid for goods, however they require a thorough assessment of the costs which will be incurred to ensure that the quotation to the client and the subsequent LC is raised for an amount which will cover the Beneficiary’s costs and protect margins. By contracting for carriage there is an increased chance of being able to present compliant documents as there is control over the transport documents being raised by the appointed Freight Forwarder.

Qatar Crisis

Qatar is currently being blockaded by many of its Gulf neighbours in a dispute that came to a head last month. As of 5th June 2017, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Egypt and Bahrain have closed all of their land, sea and air routes into and out of Qatar. As a result, moving goods into Qatar has become extremely difficult. Flights to and from Qatar cannot pass through airspace of the four countries mentioned above.

It is unknown how long this crisis might go on for. The opposing countries sent a list of 13 demands to Qatar in order to end the dispute; however, these have been formally rejected by Qatar and the blockade remains in place.

A list of the 11 countries that have cut or limited diplomatic ties with Qatar is as follows: Bahrain, UAE, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Yemen, Libya, Maldives, Mauritania, Senegal, Jordan, Djibouti. If you plan to export any goods to Qatar, be prepared for massive delays and very high costs, as routes into Qatar have become very restricted. Imports have been limited to food and other urgent supplies, which are being flown in.

 

 

Exporter Services Sponsor John Duncan Racing

John Duncan Racing – Mini Cooper Cup Championship 2017

Exporter Services is proud to sponsor John Duncan Racing this year in the Celtic Speed Mini Cooper Cup Championship.

Round 1 was held on 9th April at Knockhill Racing Circuit, and despite a few problems, John did well to get a podium finish on the final race, qualifying in 6th place overall. Well Done John! We wish him the best of luck in his next race.

You can find out more about the weekend of racing and find some great photos on John’s Facebook page

 

2017 Changes to Lithium Battery Regulations

As we settle in to 2017 we’re already seeing changes in some of the regulations that affect our day to day shipping procedures. For those of you who ship lithium batteries by air, a change in freight operators’ attitudes to certain parts of IATA packing instructions (PI) could affect the way you move your goods.

As of January 1st this year, many freight operators no longer allow lithium batteries to be shipped under reduced regulations, which cover the following PI:

Section II of Packing Instruction 965 for UN3480 lithium ion batteries.

Section II of Packing Instruction 968 for UN3090 lithium metal batteries.

 This means that any packages that would normally meet the specifications of Section II of either of these packing instructions are now treated as Section IB, and are consequently subject to all the regulations associated with Class 9 hazards, including the requirement for a Shipper’s Declaration.

Although the IATA regulations have not yet been changed to reflect the above, the freight operators are entirely within their rights to refuse any packages that do not meet their own safety regulations, so it is important to always check with freight operators for any additional requirements when using them for hazardous shipments.       

We have moved!

 

Exciting times in Exporter Services land! We have now moved into new premises in Castle Donington, which will allow for us to grow and progress even further. The whole team is very excited and we look forward to what this move will bring with it. Feel free to come and visit us, we have some beautiful views and lots of cafes around! 

Brexit – Keep calm and carry on!

brexit

 

 

The decision has been made to exit the EU, however in the case of moving freight within the EU, nothing has changed for the time being.

Please let your customers know, as soon as you can, that we are still trading in the same way as we were before the referendum. This will at least give them some reassurances. We are seeing that some of our customers in Europe are feeling anxious and asking for clarification.

From your perspective as the suppliers, you must still insist on proof of export to satisfy HMRC requirements just as you did before.

Should you require support or information please don’t hesitate to contact us. 

Further information to follow as developments arise.