SANDWELL BUSINESSES AND CHAMBER MEET WITH BUSINESS MINISTER
At a recent virtual roundtable event hosted by Shaun Bailey MP, the Chamber highlighted the challenges and pressures facing local businesses to Paul Scully MP, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State and Minister for Small Business, Consumers and Labour Markets.
Echoing the sentiments of many businesses on the call who spoke about the support they received from the government during the pandemic and issues they still faced; the Chamber updated the Minister on its work during this period which included greater support for business travellers, highlighting structural obstacles in systems and processes following Brexit and concerns around local supply chains.
BREXIT RULES DELAYED AFTER BUSINESS PRESSURE
Businesses have been given an extra year to comply with product safety marking rules that came in with Brexit.
Originally, the deadline for compliance was 1st January 2022. Firms were required to switch from Europe's CE mark to the new UK conformity assessed (UKCA) standard.
But, following pressure and campaigning from by the Chambers of Commerce and businesses, the deadline has been delayed until 2023.
Neil Anderson, Director of External Affairs at the Black Country Chamber of Commerce said, “The British Chambers of Commerce has led business calls for an extension of at least a year on the easement for CE markings on imported industrial goods, spare parts, and components.
“Businesses will welcome this reprieve until 1 January 2023, which will protect supply chains and make a huge difference to consumers on the availability of items such as phones and laptops.
“There is currently a lack of testing capacity to enable the retesting of decades worth of CE marked items for the new UKCA specification, so this measure will be hugely important in allowing time for that capacity to be built and for retesting to take place.
“A wider problem does still exist, however – complex supply chains such as those in the automotive industry still face having to duplicate markings on certain components and incurring large costs for testing as a result.
"This could compromise the output of these industries, limit the availability of goods for consumers and create mounting cost pressures on British businesses and will therefore be a continued focus for our campaigning activities.”