Event Summary: Session 4 - Working Internationally Amidst Covid-19 and Brexit
Throughout this unprecedented year, K2 have run multiple informative webinars in an attempt to stay connected as a community, and keep everyone as updated and informed as possible. Our webinars have focussed on global updates that we have been experiencing in real time, and our aim has always been to provide tangible takeaways that are relevant to daily life and work.
Our final webinar of 2020 focussed on Shipping / Household Goods, and both global and UK Immigration. These updates provided a snapshot of what we expect to see as we move into 2021, and the challenges and opportunities we can expect from Brexit. For a summary of the key takeaways from this final session, please see below.
K2 have been running a series of webinars, where we discuss the latest updates that we are experiencing concerning Brexit, Covid-19, International Travel and everything in between.
The summaries of sessions 1, 2, 3 and 4 can be found on our Insights page.
Session 4 Summary
For this session, updates were provided by the following K2 subject matter experts:
- Rob Lamb, European Commercial Coordinator and K2 Brexit Preparedness Lead
- Jesper Albrekt, Global Immigration Manager
- Simon Higson and Sandra Toppin, UK Immigration Managers
The session was facilitated by Huw Thomas, UK Business Development Manager, and Jo Wakeham gave an insightful update on the position of K2 and reflected on what a year 2020 has been.
21st December Update - Before the webinar summary content we want to confirm that K2 are aware of the latest situation at UK borders following Sunday evening’s announcement, where we are seeing significant delays to road moves due to temporary travel bans for travel to and from the UK.
We are monitoring the situation very closely, and are managing our clients moves and communicating any updates and potential impacts directly. If you have any concerns or would like any additional support - please get in contact and we can assist you.
In reference to the latest webinar, from a shipping perspective Rob Lamb gave an update on what we might expect over the next couple of months, with regards to both Brexit and Covid-19.
Rob began by reminding everyone that as from 1st January 2021- new customs regulations will be put in place for the movement of used personal and household effects, moving to, and from Europe.
Whether we get a deal or no deal, the UK will have left the EU Customs Union, and transit documents and customs clearance will be required.
Although the processes have not yet been absolutely finalised, Rob provided some guidance as to what we can expect. For example, the following are likely to be needed for a move to France from the UK.
- Job sheet with collection delivery notes
- Copy of passport photos
- An attestation form from the assignees company
- The inventory for customs, in France
- Proof of residence in France
- Document provided by a French vendor (non session certificate), which needs to be signed by an assignee mentioning that their effects have been used, and owned for more than six months and are destined for their personal use
- The transit form (this will be taken care by our vendor as a T-1 form. This document allows transport of the assignment across Europe to the country the job is delivered to)
For effects coming into the UK, we believe the assignee will need to apply for the TOR- Transfer of Residence, for shipments from the EC. At present, for shipments outside the EC, this is the UK customs requirement for customs clearance consignments when an assignee arrives in the UK.
An assignee will need to complete an online form and supply some additional information, such as a copy of a passport photo, an inventory, an employment contract, and the delivery address. HMRC will then provide a TOR number to the assignee, which is passed via K2 to arrange clearance.
As designated Brexit Preparedness Lead, Rob is regularly speaking to our clearing agent, WS logistics at Felixstowe who are providing the vessel arrival dates, as well as working closely with our UK and European vendors, making sure that they have required all the correct documentation in place and the manpower and vehicles available to make required collection or delivery services.
With Christmas soon and the Chinese New Year in February, Rob noted that we can expect the ports, globally to be busy and for there to be delays. The knock on effect from Covid-19 has additionally led to a lack of resources and reduced manpower at the ports. K2 are monitoring the situation closely on a daily basis with assistance of our partner network, as such short term storage may need to be applied if a backlog situation arises.
With regards to Covid-19, at present all of our European and UK vendors are able to carry out removals despite local restrictions and challenges. Great care has been taken at all assignees properties to be both compliant and safe- with the health and well being of all parties always being the central focus.
Jesper Albrekt, gave an update on the US election and travel bans, Brexit, and Covid-19.
To start, Jesper highlighted that with the recent changes in US politics, countries globally are hoping to expect a more welcoming international travel policy from the US, with the travel ban between the US and EU being lifted under the Biden administration. Looking into 2021 we hope that there will be a more friendly approach to business travel and immigration in and out of the US.
With regards to Brexit, Jesper highlighted that as Europe prepares for January 1st 2020, settlement schemes for UK Nationals are in preparation and some have already opened (such as Sweden, which opened on 1st December 2020). UK Nationals can start to process their residency as these schemes open. Jesper noted that as the systems will be new to the individuals, and to the authorities, they can be tricky to navigate, and reassured everyone that K2 is here to support.
Additionally, as Covid-19 continues to disrupt travel globally, Jesper explained that countries across the globe continue to battle with the virus, and although we now have a promising vaccine in the pipeline, we should not expect borders to open immediately in the new year. For example, Singapore will not be opening their borders, and they don’t expect them to open for a few months at least.
Jesper concluded by recapping how important it is for all global mobility professionals, and service providers such as K2, to remain flexible and treat each case individually- especially within immigration.
The session then heard a very top-line update from our UK Immigration Managers, Sandra Toppin and Simon Higson.
Sandra covered the impacts of Brexit- and reminded everyone that from the 1st January 2021, EU Nationals will require the right permissions to work in the UK. EU Nationals in the UK before the 31st December 2020 will qualify for the EU Settlement Scheme, and have until 30th June 2021 to do this - and obtain a pre-settled or settled status.
Sandra also introduced the Sponsorship Licence, and reminded everyone that free movement officially ends in January 1st 2021. All companies who wish to hire EU Nationals, to work in the UK, must have a Sponsor Licence, which K2 can assist with.
From the 1st January, under the New Points Based System a skilled worker will need to attain at least 70 points and for an intra company transfer (ICT) to the UK, there are requirements that must be met before the transfer can take place.
Sandra also highlighted that from the 1st December 2020, visa applications were opened for those who want to come to the UK from the 1st January 2021, to work under the New Points Based System. This includes applications for the skilled worker route. All certificates that are signed, are now in the new category- Tier 2 Skilled Worker.
For more information on Brexit and how K2 can assist you, please visit our Brexit page.
To close the session, Simon Higson also gave an update on UK Immigration with regards to Covid-19. Due to Covid-19, the Home Office have issued a variety of concessions, which we expect to continue into the new year, perhaps until around March. Applications are due to continue to take longer than usual, with premium processing routes not being available, so it’s worth factoring this in to assignment management timelines.
Simon explained that the new tester release scheme came into place on December 15th, whereby international travellers coming to the UK will only need to isolate for 5 days, and then take a private test, which if proven to be negative, you will be able to finish your 14-day isolation period early. Self-isolation starts from the day after you enter the UK.
To watch a recording of this webinar, please click here.
Thank you to everyone who has supported and participated in our webinar series this year.
We look forward to welcoming you to more of our informative webinars in 2021.
We are here to help in any way we can
Should you need any additional information, consultation, or guidance on any of the above, please do contact us as we would be delighted to assist you.
Additionally, if you would like to have a virtual coffee with any of our experts, please contact us we would be happy to arrange this.