Support for exporting businesses based in Mendip

As we get more information about whether the UK will secure a deal, extend the transition period or enter into a no-deal scenario, Mendip District Council is adapting services to support businesses.

The council is keen to ensure that exporting businesses based in the district are supported and encouraged to develop their international trade in preparation for the UK's departure from the European Union (EU).

Mendip District Council's Cabinet recently agreed to support the anticipated need to provide export certificates to local food businesses in preparation for the possibility of leaving the (EU).

As a result a new simplified fee structure has been put in place following a review of the all the current fees and charges relating to exports and health certification.

Cabinet agreed a new fee of £95 plus VAT for export certificates for food products of animal origin and approved the revised and consolidated existing fees, reducing the current export certificates fee for food of non-animal origin slightly.

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) anticipate an unprecedented increase in requests for export certificates for Products of Animal Origin (POAO) as free trade within the EU becomes unavailable. Estimates have indicated that within Mendip alone there will be the need for an additional 600 export certificates a year. DEFRA are seeking assistance from Local Authorities to visit business, inspect the consignments and sign the export certificate to ensure businesses can continue to export without delays, a service not currently supplied by Local Authorities.

Cllr Heather Shearer, Portfolio Holder for Community Health, said; "It is essential that we support and encourage businesses to develop their international trade following the UK's departure from the EU. By offering this support we hope to build on the good relationships we have with Mendip businesses and develop more services to support them in the future.

Further to the council looking at export certificates to support Mendip business, the council is assisting in signposting information and events to help with their Brexit planning.

A workshop taking place in Bridgwater later this month is offering a practical session to help exporting businesses prepare for Brexit.

The event will take place at the Somerset Energy Innovation Centre, Woodlands Court Business Park on Bristol Road in Bridgwater, from 8.30am - 11.30am on Tuesday October 22. More details about the event and details of how to register, can be found on the council's web page:

Cllr Peter Goater, Portfolio Holder for Economic Development, said; "Mendip is home to some 4000 businesses and offers a superb working environment in Somerset for business and employees. Mendip District Council's Economic Development team are on hand to support businesses with a range of topics. 

"As information becomes clearer on Brexit and the impact it will have on businesses, the team will adapt to offer and signpost the most relevant and up to date information to make the transition smoother for Mendip based businesses."

Mendip District Council is continuing to work closely with the Heart of the South West Growth Hub and Avon and Somerset Resilience Forum, local business and community groups and neighbouring local authorities to better understand the potential impacts of Brexit on its services, residents and businesses.

Details of how Mendip residents and businesses can prepare for Brexit is available on the council's website the page signposts relevant information from the Government and Heart of the South West Growth Hub.