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Help and advice for chemicals businesses

29th Oct 2020 5 min read

The complexities of customs arrangements can be challenging – particularly in the chemicals sector, which depends on numerous imports and exports as products are manufacturers and during their subsequent lifecycle.


In this context, HM Revenue & Customs has launched a series of short videos explaining customs processes, the role of intermediaries and what businesses should know about importing and exporting goods. See here for details.

Separately, Santander works with a specialist partner who can support businesses with guidance on how they should approach the changing regulatory landscape, including specific action points. Our partner can also provide training across all areas of trade compliance. For more information, get in touch.

Elsewhere, the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy is planning to hold an introductory business webinar for chemicals companies at 11am on 2 November. The session should be particularly helpful for businesses as they work to ensure they can continue importing and exporting from and to the European Union once the post-Brexit transition period expires on 31 January.

The webinar is primarily aimed at businesses that manufacture and/or trade and import chemical products – from cleaning products to paints. But since it will cover regulations such as REACH and CLP, it may also be helpful for businesses in other sectors that import chemicals into the UK. Register to attend here


Manufacturing sector news

The 2020 Santander Trade Barometer, published on 8 October, is the latest instalment of our regular landmark survey of business sentiment and their views about international trade. This edition of the report suggests many businesses remain surprisingly optimistic about future growth, with 59% confident they will grow over he next three years, down only marginally from the 62% who said the same thing in the spring survey. Among manufacturers, however, this figure falls to 54%.

The report also charts a deterioration in performance, with just 32% of all businesses reporting an in improvement in performance (compared to 46% in the spring), falling to 22% among manufacturers. And worryingly for the sector, where productivity improvements are badly needed in this challenging environment, business investment remains depressed; just 39% of businesses intend to invest in product development over the next 12 months, while only 36% expect to take on new staff.

It isn’t only the Covid-19 pandemic that presents difficulties for businesses, with the ongoing uncertainties of Brexit also representing a challenge. However, the Trade Barometer suggests businesses do not intend to back away from exports – 26% say international markets are now more important to them in the wake of Covid-19, against only 5% who say less. 

This will require businesses to address obstacles to international growth, with the Trade Barometer highlighting areas including regulatory change post-Brexit, bureaucracy and the difficulty of finding trustworthy partners and connections. Then there are pandemic-related problems. Some 48% of manufacturers cite supply chain disruption from Covid-19, 44% point to falling demand, and 40% are concerned about the loss of opportunities for face-to-face meetings in overseas markets, or to attend events such as exhibitions and conferences.

To discuss how Santander can help your business during the Covid-19 pandemic, please contact