As part of its mission to help businesses across Northern Ireland prepare for new trading arrangements in 2021, Northern Ireland Chamber of Commerce and Industry (NI Chamber) has launched a suite of additional support services, delivered with the support of its International Champions A&L Goodbody, Grant Thornton and Queen’s University.
It includes expert one-to-one advice on export and customs documentation, technical training and events and a customs declaration processing service, in addition to NI Chamber’s established export documentation service.
In preparation, the membership organisation’s international team has been bolstered with the recruitment of more in-house experts who have extensive experience in logistics and freight forwarding.
Tanya Anderson, Head of International and Business Support at NI Chamber, is urging businesses to prioritise preparations for trading in 2021 by using the support it is making available now.
“The preparations which companies make will significantly impact the continuity of their supply chain, customer chain and business operations once new trading arrangements come into effect,” she said.
“We are ready to help any business with import or export requirements, whether within the UK internal market or further afield.
“Do not delay – each time new information becomes available, consider the implications for your business and take appropriate, timely action.”
She assures firms preparing amidst very challenging circumstances that they do not have to go it alone.
“With the introduction of new procedures for import and export, companies must ensure their staff have the capability to deal with these changes such that they can complete the necessary paperwork with a high degree of accuracy thereby avoiding delays, errors or financial penalties.
“To assist with this, NI Chamber offers a suite of technical training opportunities, including the British Chambers of Commerce accredited Foundation Award in International Trade, Customs Declaration and Commodity Codes courses.
“Further, you have the option for bespoke training, where the course content is aligned directly with your specific business needs.
“Our International Advisory Service is bespoke and enables you to benefit from a close working relationship with our international team, who have technical know-how and will understand your specific business need.
“Members can also avail of free one-to-one Brexit advice with our Brexit consultant.”
While the prospect of completing additional paperwork may be daunting for companies, the launch of NI Chamber’s new Chamber Customs service will provide processing capability for importers and exporters of all sizes.
Tanya explained: “Many companies will already be familiar with our export documentation service, which already processes on average 8,000 documents annually.
“Chamber Customs is a new service, a customs declarations service which is offered direct to businesses.
“With direct links to the HMRC Customs handling system and all inventory linked ports, it is staffed by our own team.
“Using Chamber Customs will mitigate against the risk of delays or errors caused by incorrectly completed customs documents.”
Next year will undoubtedly present challenges for businesses, but Tanya assures them that help is on hand.
She concluded: “NI Chamber has been a long-time partner of private sector business across the Province.
“We know the landscape well and have strong visibility of business challenges and solutions – 2021 will present both of these.
“Our team has the skill, insight, resource and experience to help firms trade and grow internationally in the years ahead.
“We are ready and available to help. We have
tremendous confidence in what companies here have to offer and look forward to helping them grasp every available opportunity in the global marketplace.”