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More free support for businesses following EU exit

Cumbria Local Enterprise Partnership (CLEP) has organised two more free online 'clinics' to help businesses manage the changes to trading with the European Union following the UK's exit.

Two events have already taken place, focused on some of the issues identified by businesses as being amongst the most pressing following the end of the EU transition period.

Two more have now been added to the CLEP calendar of events, starting next Wednesday (March 17) when the theme will again be VAT and Duties. Then on Thursday, March 25, the focus will switch to Origin, Trading and Customs.

One session has already been held looking at VAT and Duties, under the Trade and Cooperation Agreement, and a second dealt with intellectual property, trade mark and design rights.

The clinic on Wednesday, March 17 (11am to 12 noon) will be delivered by Mark Hetherington, International VAT Specialist and Partner with UNW, a leading independent firm of chartered accountants that delivers a wide range of accountancy and business advisory services to its clients.

Mark will cover a variety of topics relating to VAT, including the impact of EU exit and the lessons learned. The discussion will also cover the experiences that businesses have had, the difficulties that they are still facing, and solutions to those problems.

Mark will dedicate half of the session to answering specific questions from participants relating to issues around exporting and importing from Europe. Cumbria LEP's EU Transition Business Advisors, Peter Fleming and John Cairns, will facilitate the session.

Spaces at the event are limited (10-12 businesses at each), so that businesses can ask and receive a response to their specific issues. Ideally, questions should be invited in advance.

Businesses that are interested in taking part can register at: After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

CLEP’s fourth and final free online advice clinic takes place on Thursday, March 25 (2pm to 3pm) featuring a workshop on Origin, Trading and Customs.

This workshop will provide attendees with an overview of the key considerations and risk areas that clients need to be mindful of in terms of:

  • Origin and the EU/UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement;
  • Customs Classification;
  • Trading with Ireland;
  • Practicalities of completing import and export declarations;
  • Customs reliefs and special procedures.

The session will help attendees identify when there is a potential risk, who to go to for assistance, answer specific questions and set businesses on the right path.

KPMG, a global network of professional firms providing Audit, Tax and Advisory services, will be hosting the session. Leading the conversation are Iain Prince, Associate Partner, Lorenzo Rossetti, Director of KPMG UK Trade and Customs Practice, and Paul Casey, Director.

Cumbria LEP's EU Transition Business Advisors, Peter Fleming and John Cairns, will again facilitate the session.

CLEP Chief Executive Jo Lappin said: “We’ve been very pleased to be able to host these free advice sessions and it has been gratifying to provide help and support to our businesses at a challenging time.

“Cumbrian businesses have shown great resilience in the face of COVID-19 and EU Transition but a helping hand is always welcome. If any of the issues covered in the remaining two free clinics apply to you, I would urge you to register quickly via the links provided as spaces are limited.”

Once again, spaces at the event are limited (10-12 businesses at each) and specific questions should ideally be submitted in advance.

Businesses interested in this session can register at: Again, after registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

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