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This month's updates from the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC)

► The BCC participated in a briefing session with UK government officials on recent actions following business stakeholder meetings. The Department for Business and Trade (DBT) is planning to set up an EU hub to manage compliance issues arising with businesses when trading with EU customers.

► The BCC were briefed on the procurement agenda within the UK-India trade negotiations, which are set to continue into 2024. 

Minister of State for Trade Policy, Greg Hands MP provided a written ministerial statement on the latest developments in ongoing trade negotiations with India. 

► The BCC also met Shadow Trade Minister Gareth Thomas MP to discuss export support for SMEs, the Trade (CPTPP) Bill, potential future trade relations with key trading partners, and digital trade. 

► The BCC want to draw your attention to the Ministerial announcement of the creation of a new Office for Trade Sanctions Implementation (OTSI) within DBT. This aims to to better enforce and communicate UK measures on trade sanctions. It will also deal with civil enforcement of sanctions and provide guidance and assistance with compliance measures. The UK government has issued a General Trade Licence covering some goods affected by the Russian steel sanctions legislation. A 7th round of sanctions on Russia by the UK government has taken effect. Measures also now include a ban on diamonds and diamond jewellery imports from Russia.

► Read the BCC's reaction to the ONS UK trade data for November 2023 and the ongoing issues in the Red Sea and Suez Canal for seaborne trade. 

► The BCC took part in a Cabinet Office briefing on the Border Target Operating Model (BTOM), hosted by Minister Lucy Neville-Rolfe. The Minister indicated that all phases of rollout of inbound GB border controls on certain food and plant products is on target. She also emphasised the importance of maximising our contact with traders and their suppliers to ensure readiness for Wednesday 31 January.

► The BCC participated in the Taskforce on Export Support initiated by the Labour Shadow Business and Trade Team at Westminster, in conjunction with the FSB. A report is being drawn up by the end of February.


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