News & Blog

All the latest news from Blairs

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.

COVID-19 Company Statement

Blair Consular Services will continue to operate as closely to business as usual in the current global situation with COVID-19 so that we can meet our clients’ ongoing requirements. However, given the challenging situation that we face and in keeping with the public health advice we are all receiving we would like to discourage all but essential visits to our premises. Where documents are to be dropped off and collected at our main offices we are providing secure drop off areas to minimise any contact between couriers and staff. Likewise, when delivering documents back to our clients we are encouraging our customers to operate a similar system.

We are currently still managing the processing of original documents in the usual manner and we are liaising closely on a daily basis with Chambers of Commerce, Government Departments and Embassies to ensure 1) all documents are still processed as efficiently as possible 2) we are protecting our staff and clients by minimising human contact wherever possible.

In cases where we would usually have face-to-face meetings with our clients we are happy to work with you to provide viable alternative solutions, for example audio and visual conferencing. We are following Government guidelines for our staff to self-isolate should that be necessary, however for the vast majority of our staff we will be working in the office on a daily basis. For those staff whose role allows them to manage documentation remotely we have supplied them with the necessary tools to work from home to ensure minimal disruption to our clients. If you have any questions regarding the above please contact our UK Head office +44 1784 254 123.

Brexit Update

The U.K is currently due to leave the European Union on 31st January 2020 under the terms of the Withdrawal Agreement negotiated with the EU. As such, there is not due to be any changes to the issuance of export documentation, such as Certificates of Origin, EUR1’s, ATR’s and ATA Carnets, until at least 2021.

It is anticipated that some changes will be made once the transition period ends, we will provide further information on this as the details are confirmed.

If you would like to discuss the potential changes, please contact our Sales team on +44 (0) 1784 254123 or .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

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”.