News & Blog

All the latest news from Blairs

COVID-19 Update: National Lockdown Procedure: 5th November – 2nd December 2020

We will continue to operate as closely as possible to business as usual during the second national lockdown, with Chambers of Commerce, the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office and most Embassies remaining open.

As during the previous national lockdown, we will continue to operate in a safe, efficient manner, enabling us to arrange the certification, notarisation and legalisation of our clients’ documents wherever possible. In keeping with the current public health advice, we would like to confirm:

  • We are continuing to operate our in-person collection and delivery service, subject to additional precautions to protect our employees and clients. Where our clients are working from home, we are still able to offer our collection and delivery service, which can be arranged on a job-by-job basis.
  • Quickcert can be used by our Export Shipping Documentation clients to raise Certificates of Origin, EUR-1’s and ATR-1’s online, with the facility to print certified documents at your desk within one hour.
  • We are still discouraging all but essential visits to our offices, and have secure drop off areas in place where visits cannot be avoided.
  • Face-to-face meetings are currently suspended, however online and telephone conferencing is in place to continue supporting our clients.

If you wish to discuss the above, please contact our Sales Team on +44 (0) 1784 254123 or .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

Chinese Visas – Important Update

The Embassy of China has advised that all visas which were issued before 28th March 2020 have been suspended until further notice and may be subject to cancellation. There has not yet been any announcement on the validity of visas which were issued after 28th March 2020.

It is advised that any upcoming travel to China is not conducted on a previously issued visa. All travellers are advised to apply for a new visa prior to travel to ensure entry into China is permitted.

Please contact our Passport & Visa Department on +44 (0) 1784 254123 or .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) for assistance in applying for a replacement Chinese visa.

COVID-19 UPDATE—CONTINUED PROCESSING OF KEY ESSENTIAL DOCUMENTS

Further to our previous update, we are continuing our efforts to provide our services with minimal disruption during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Foreign & Commonwealth Legalisation Office is no longer able to provide legalisation services due to office closures. We are still able to accept corporate legal and regulatory documents, however these will be held pending the legalisation process restarting, and to this end we are working closely with the FCO to clear current backlogs and manage the situation when the Office re-opens.

At present, we are still able to provide all other services, and we are working closely with the authorities to continue to do so. We are also liaising with our network of Notaries, Chambers of Commerce, Embassies and other authenticating bodies, to ensure we are best placed to continue operating in the current climate. We are continuously reassessing our working practices to ensure the safety of our employees, customers and colleagues, and we appreciate your cooperation with this.

In order to provide optimum support to our client base during this time, we have arranged some additional services:

  • Collection and delivery service to residential addresses, as well as company premises, to allow those working from home to continue to use our services
  • Contactless collection and delivery, to ensure recommended social distancing measures are adhered to
  • Secure, full in-house 9 a.m to 5 p.m Chamber of Commerce support, despite widespread closures
  • Encouraging the use of our online platform, Quickcert, for our export documentation customers, to limit the movement of physical documentation and to minimise physical interaction with our staff.

If you would like to discuss how Blair can providing ongoing support during this time, please contact our Sales team on .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or +44 (0) 1784 254123.

From the Blog

London Export Orders Rise

The latest DHL/British Chambers of Commerce Trade Confidence Index report – which measures UK exporting activity and business confidence – shows that businesses’ confidence about future turnover and profitability is at its second highest level on record, and 40 per cent of firms are looking to hire more staff, the highest number on record.

Research revealed that export orders and sales in London increased by over 10 per cent for both manufacturing and service firms in the first quarter of 2014. The index number used to calculate the volume of trade documents, administered by Chambers of Commerce across the UK, now stands at the second highest figure on record.

The key findings from the report nationwide are:

• Confidence among exporters about future turnover (71 per cent) is at its second highest level on record
• More than one third of exporters said they expect to hire more employees over the next quarter, the highest level on record
• Half of exporters said their export sales increased, compared with only 6 per cent who claimed that they fell
• More than half of exporters (62 per cent) believe that their profitability will increase this year
• The BCC/DHL Trade Confidence Index – used to calculate the volume of trade documents administered by Chambers of Commerce across the UK – now stands at 117.03 – a 3.9 per cent jump on Q4 2013 and is the second highest figure on record

John Longworth, Director General of the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), said “these results give us many reasons to feel cheery. There is much to be happy with in these results. Our exporters are selling more, and hiring more, showing ambition and willingness to export and grow their business. They are taking advantage of the opportunities on offer when breaking into new markets and it is great to see that the volume of exports is now at an all-time high.

There is however so much more potential to realise. The government’s target of increasing exports to £1trillion by 2020 is a difficult target, but not insurmountable. But these businesses, while making every effort to expand into new markets, cannot do it alone. Government and civil servants must also play their part so we can make real in-roads into high-growth markets. And we simply must spend far more on trade support than our current 0.02 per cent of GDP, if we are to rebalance our economy towards net exports.

The British Chambers of Commerce is doing its bit, by accrediting overseas chambers of commerce and business groups in 41 countries across the globe, so that business people have a first port of call when they step off the plane, where they can receive practical advice and support on the ground. But we can and must all do more if we are to compete on a global scale in the months and years ahead”.

The 41 markets are all included in the Overseas Business Network initiative which are considered to be key destinations for UK exports and trade partnerships. The London Chamber of Commerce is part of the initiative and has appointed a regional coordinator, Marilise Saghbini, to liaise with the overseas chambers of commerce and business groups and link them to actual and potential UK exporters.

John Bains, DHL’s London Director, put the report results into context: “Exports in the capital have risen over 10 per cent from last quarters, which is the highest increase we’ve seen in the country. It demonstrates that businesses in the capital are dynamic and driving forward London’s growth.

Looking to new markets, such as Brazil, remains key for growth. The 2014 FIFA World Cup and 2016 Olympic Games also demonstrate a huge investment in this territory’s infrastructure”.