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Support for businesses to trade effectively following EU exit

Cumbria Local Enterprise Partnership (CLEP) is organising a series of free online 'clinics' to help businesses manage the changes to trading with the European Union following the UK’s exit and the introduction of the Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA).

A series of events are being organised, which are focused on the issues that businesses have identified as being the areas where support is most needed including Rules of Origin, VAT and Intellectual Property. The first takes place next week with the focus on VAT and Customs Duties.

On Wednesday, March 3 (10.30 am to 11.30am), guest speaker Richard Asquith, VP Global Indirect Tax at international taxation software specialists Avalara, will advise businesses on how to navigate VAT and duties, under the Trade and Cooperation agreement. The session will be chaired by Peter Fleming and John Cairns, EU Transition Business Advisors at Cumbria LEP.

Richard, whose role at Alvara includes helping businesses understand their compliance obligations as they grow globally, qualified as an accountant with KPMG in the UK, and went on to work in Hungary, Russia and France with EY.

CLEP Chief Executive Jo Lappin said: “CLEP is delighted to offer this free opportunity to our businesses to receive advice on how to manage the new requirements for trading with the EU. The clinics are designed to provide the opportunity for businesses to ask the direct questions that are affecting their business at this time.

“Participants can ask the experts about the new, post-EU exit rules on goods and services and learn what strategies and tactics some businesses are starting to adopt - and how they can also start benefitting from these.”

Topics covered will include:

  • What are the new customs documentation requirements?
  • Do I need extra VAT registrations?
  • Which countries are requiring a VAT fiscal representative?
  • How do I avoid import VAT losses?
  • What is the tariff situation, and ‘Rules of origin’ requirements?

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:

CLEP’s second free online advice clinic takes place on Wednesday, March 10 (10.30am to 11.30am) focused on intellectual property, trade mark and design rights.

Guest speaker will be Adam Turley, Managing Associate at Newcastle-based McDaniel’s Law, specialists in intellectual property law, with the session chaired once again by Peter and John.

Adam heads up McDaniel’s North West office in Carlisle and advises on all aspects of intellectual property law, whether contentious or non-contentious, with a particular focus on disputes around intellectual property ownership and infringement.

The session will be of particular interest to businesses who are:

  • Pending applicants for an EU TM right;
  • Pending international applicants for a Design right designating the EU;
  • Pending applicants for a Community Registered Design Right;
  • Pending international applicants for a Design right designating the EU;
  • Holders of an application for action under the Customs Regulation which covers the UK and EU Member States.

Jo said: “If any of the activities listed above apply to you and you wish your rights to be covered in the UK as well as the EU, you need to take specific positive action. The clinic will cover the main changes to be aware of and how to address them.”

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:

Details of the third and fourth clinics are currently being finalised.

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