10 UK Export News You Might’ve Missed - Week 16

week 16

In this edition of Export News from Expordite, we’ll cover the top 10 UK export news and headlines from week 16 of 2024 — April 15th-21st, 2024.

Key News

General Export News

1. Heads of G7 Export Credit Agencies — 2024 meeting statement

“The leaders of official export credit agencies (ECAs) from the G7 nations (Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States of America) met on 16 April in Tokyo, hosted by Nippon Export and Investment Insurance (NEXI), to discuss recent business trends and challenges.

In light of the increasing global geopolitical risks, the G7 ECA Heads have reaffirmed their role in protecting and promoting international trade and investment, and have recognised the importance of risk management for ECAs.

The G7 ECA Heads recognise the need to enhance resilience to the impacts of climate change and to support businesses in responding to global climate issues. Acknowledging the need for urgency, the G7 ECA Heads agree to continue to proactively engage in a review of climate-related provisions under the framework of the OECD Arrangement and the Common Approaches for Officially Supported Export Credits and Environmental and Social Due Diligence.”

Source: GOV.uk

2. Update on AUKUS export reform progress

“The UK and the US are not only assisting Australia in acquiring nuclear-powered submarines, we are working closely trilaterally to strengthen and improve interoperability and innovation in areas such as hypersonic and counter-hypersonic capabilities, electronic warfare, quantum technology, artificial intelligence and automation, cyber, and additional undersea capabilities.

In March 2023, our three Leaders met in San Diego to inaugurate the AUKUS partnership. Since then, we have been working tirelessly to advance the practical aspects. As part of this, to support and sustain our work, and to maximise the potential of technological advances, the 2024 US National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) allowed exemptions to the US International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) for the UK and Australia.

Yesterday, 18 April, the US Commerce Department also announced an expansion of the scope of licence-free trade to AUKUS nations under the Export Administration Regulations.”

Source: GOV.uk

3. US to reduce licensing by 80% for UK, Australia to boost AUKUS

“The U.S. Commerce Department is scaling back export control requirements for Australia and the United Kingdom to foster defense trade under the three countries’ AUKUS security pact, reducing licensing burdens for trade valued at more than $7.5 billion.

Under a rule changed posted by Commerce on Thursday, U.S. export licensing for the UK and Australia will be nearly the same as Canada. AUKUS, formed by the three countries in 2021, is a partnership to enhance security and defense cooperation and address common concerns related to China.

The new rule allows Commerce-controlled military items, missile technology and hot engine items to be exported to Australia and the UK without a license, including certain satellite related items, the Commerce Department’s Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) said in a statement.

The streamlined controls will reduce licensing requirements for exports to Australia and the UK by 80%, or more than $7.5 billion annually, BIS said.”

Source: Reuters

4. UK and U.S. to clamp down harder on the trade of Russian metals

“The UK and the U.S. have together announced joint action to clamp down harder on prohibited Russian metal exports, by today bringing the world’s two largest metal exchanges into the scope of the existing bans.

The London Metal Exchange (LME) and the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) will no longer trade new aluminium, copper and nickel produced by Russia. Metals are Russia’s largest export commodity after energy, though their value has been decreasing since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. In 2022 they were $25 billion, dropping to $15 billion in 2023 due to the efforts of the G7 and allies to curtail the market.”

Source: GOV.uk

5. UK and US sanction leading Iranian military figures and entities following the attack on Israel

“Today (Thursday 18 April) the UK has sanctioned a further 7 individuals and 6 entities who have enabled Iran to conduct destabilising regional activity, including its direct attack on Israel.

This adds to the 400 plus sanctions already imposed on Iran. Previous sanctions include the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) in its entirety and many of those responsible for the attack on Israel.

In 2023 alone, the UK made 154 new designations. The UK continues to tighten the net on actors involved in the Iranian UAV and missile industries. Last year the UK introduced trade measures prohibiting the export of specific UAV components and services to Iran. The UK has also designated a wide range of companies involved in production of Iranian UAVs, including the Shahed-131 and Shahed-136 drones — models which Iran has supplied to Russia. These types of drones were also used by Iran in its attack on Israel.”

Source: GOV.uk

6. Statement on the UK — U.S. SME Dialogues — Northern Ireland

“On 16 April 2024, the 8th UK — U.S. SME Dialogue was held in Belfast, Northern Ireland with over 85 UK and U.S. small and medium-sized businesses and business organisations participating.

During the Dialogue, attendees discussed the opportunities for SMEs in the Creative Industries, Intellectual Property and how SMEs can harness digitalisation to expand their business and grasp the opportunities of the digital economy. Attendees also discussed the barriers that SMEs face in exporting and importing, including access to SME finance.

During the Dialogue, we announced the launch of the UK and U.S. Intellectual Property (IP) toolkits, which have been produced to inform UK and U.S. SMEs about protecting their IP within the other country and the tools available to help them.”

Source: GOV.uk

7. Government ramps up work to secure supplies of medicines and smartphone chips

“Government has taken further action to help secure the UK’s supplies of critical goods such as medicines and smartphone chips with the launch of a new Critical Imports Council today (17 April).

The Council is made up of 23 industry leaders and brings together expertise from business, academia and government to advise on securing resilience in supply chains for items critical to the UK’s economic prosperity, national security and essential services.

The events of recent years have shown the world we cannot afford to take for granted the resilience of the global supply chains we rely on for our critical imports. Recent attacks in the Red Sea, the COVID-19 pandemic, Russia’s illegal invasion of Ukraine, and environmental disasters have all demonstrated the potential impact of global events on the reliable flow of vital goods.”

Source: GOV.uk

8. India seeks UK carbon tax exemption in free trade deal talks

“India is demanding an exemption from the UK’s planned carbon tax as part of negotiations aiming to finalise a free trade deal before the UK election.

India’s negotiating team have spent this week in London in a surprise set of talks to try to overcome the remaining hurdles to an agreement.

Rishi Sunak is eager to get the trade deal over the line and had hoped to clinch it last month.

The UK government official, who has been briefed on progress in the talks, said India was asking to be exempted from the UK’s planned carbon border adjustment mechanism (CBAM) on the basis that it is a developing country.

India had raised concerns about the application of a CBAM — a planned tax on the import of carbon-intensive goods such as steel, glass and fertiliser — at an earlier stage in the talks. The tax would affect Indian steelmakers looking to export to the UK.

Any decision to exempt India from a carbon tax would be controversial. The plans are designed to reduce emissions and support UK steel producers by levelling the playing field with countries that have a lower or no carbon levy.”

Source: The Guardian

9. UK will not ‘turn on’ post-Brexit checks of EU goods for fear of border delays

“The UK government has told the country’s port authorities that it will not “turn on” critical health and safety checks for EU imports when post-Brexit border controls begin this month because of the risk of “significant disruption”.

In a presentation seen by the Financial Times, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) outlined a plan to avoid queues of lorries at ports, revealing that if the new border measures were implemented as planned big delays could follow.

Since announcing new border controls on plant and food products last year the government has promised it would “phase in” checks, which trade groups have warned will hurt small businesses and drive up the price of food.

However, just over a fortnight before physical inspections are set to begin, the presentation last week made clear that the new border systems will not be fully ready.”

Source: FT

10. FDEC to Hold Event in Wales to Boost Food and Drink Businesses

“Food and drink businesses in Wales are set to benefit from an event held by the Food and Drink Export Council (FDEC) designed to help them start or expand their exporting journey.

The event, which will be held on Tuesday 23 April at the Vale Resort in Pontyclun, is the third or a series of peer-to-peer events being held by the council to encourage UK businesses to grasp the global opportunities that exist for our food and drink produce.”

Source: Business News Wales


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