Most notably, the three-month extension for such vehicles previously extended to the end of August will now remain in place until March 2021.
Meanwhile, the safest goods vehicles and those under two years old will receive a 12-month exemption from MOT testing. Both changes are aimed at keeping goods moving, while also helping clear the backlog of vehicles requiring MOTs following the suspension of testing in March following the coronavirus lockdown.
Operators that have achieved the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) earned recognition operator status or operators with an operator compliance risk score (OCRS) for roadworthiness that is green as of 27 July 2020 will receive a 12-month extension for their vehicles regardless of age.
Road fund licence fees still need to be paid when due, the MOT exemption will continue to allow you to tax your vehicles.
For LCVs and other vehicles, a six-month exemption was originally agreed in March as the UK went into lockdown. The Government advice hasn’t changed since the initial announcement.
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Certificate of Professional Competence certification changes
Changes have also been announced to the Certificate of Professional Competence (CPC) certification scheme. As of 22 July, amendments to qualifications and standards have been introduced with exemptions for those working in certain industries.
Now, up to 12 out of the required 35 hours training can be carried out as e-learning, while more tailored training programmes will be available, for example in relation to transporting dangerous goods or passengers. More information is here.
Rebrand for Freight Transport Association
The organisation formerly known as the Freight Transport Association (FTA) has now rebranded as Logistics UK. Its strategy will remain focused on supporting its 18,000-plus members across the road, rail, air and sea transport sectors.
Meanwhile, HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) has extended support for businesses importing medical supplies and PPE, with the VAT and import duty exemption now due to run until the end of October. More information is here.
The Government is also seeking industry views in developing its 2025 UK Border Strategy. This will concentrate on the long-term changes that could or should be introduced to give Britain a world-leading border. The consultation, which can be accessed here, is open until 28 August.
HMRC is encouraging businesses to take advantage of the £84m funding available to support training and recruitment in relation to customs procedures, ahead of the UK’s departure from the European Union at the end of 2020. Here is more information on ways to apply. We have companies in place who can support your business with the application process. For more information please get in touch.
Shipping demand set to rise
Capacity on the Asia-Europe trade lane has dropped to its lowest level in six years, with volume down 2m TEU (twenty-foot equivalent unit) in July on the same month in 2019. However, a number of brokers are now reporting higher demand.
According to Alphaliner, 62 vessels with 300,000 TEU of capacity have been reinstated over the past few weeks – with just 313 ships, representing 6.6% of the global fleet, still out of service. This is significantly lower than at the peak of the pandemic in May when 524 ships were not in service.
Rates on Asia to Northern Europe routes fell last week, with spot rates down 1.2% to $896 per TEU. CGM, the French container transportation and shipping company, has announced a peak season surcharge of $150 per TEU for August. This will apply on all Asia to Northern European ports including those in the UK.
Recent International Air Transport Association (IATA) figures show that global demand for air freight dropped 17.6% in June, year-on-year an improvement on May’s 20.1% fall. Belly capacity, down 70% on 2019, was hit particularly hard by the lack of scheduled passenger services.
Thankfully, many of these services are starting to be reinstated, with capacity now above 60 million seats. While this represents just over half of what was available at the same point last year, air freight rates are continuing to decline from the peaks seen in May.
How Santander can help
All of the issues covered in this week’s update have the potential to impact our clients’ international supply chains. We work with a number of logistics companies with specialisations in particular markets or sectors. We’re especially keen to hear from any clients facing supply chain difficulties. Our partners are happy to provide impartial advice on a range of potential solutions that might help you overcome such challenges.
To discuss how Santander can help your business during the coronavirus pandemic, please contact email@example.com.