Please see below the current status of the Arab embassies. The Qatar embassy will reopen from the 1st June 2020 for certification and legalisation.
Please see the current status of the embassy closures.
The BCC in conjunction with HMRC have negotiated with the Turkish Customs authorities for electronic ATRs to be accepted with immediate effect. This now means that you can apply for an express ATR and this will be certified and returned to you, for you to print on a blank ATR form. The Turkish authorities have agreed that the electronic documents will be accepted as long as they can be verified by them. In order for them to verify this, the applicant must ensure box 1 on the ATR includes the Exporters email address.
At this moment, unfortunately standard applications for ATR forms will still need an original signature from the applicant. Please make sure the Chamber hold sufficient amounts of ATR forms pre - signed by you and others who will be applying for standard ATRs.
The Government has launched a new tool to help your business navigate through the various Coronavirus support measures for employers and the self-employed who may be eligible for loans, tax relief and cash grants.
You can also find up to date information on the Coronavirus business support pages which give you access vital information. On this site you will find further details about the full range of business support measures that are now in place for UK businesses and employees, as well as how to access the support, who is eligible, when the schemes open and how to apply.
This site is frequently updated with additional information and changes.
Anyone in England with coronavirus symptoms who either has to leave home to go to work or is aged 65 and over will now also be able to get tested.
Find out if you’re eligible and how much you can claim to cover wages for employees on temporary leave ('furlough') due to coronavirus (COVID-19) here.
Find out how to calculate 80% of your employee’s wages, National Insurance Contributions and pension contributions if you've furloughed staff due to coronavirus (COVID-19) here.
This guide explains the information that employers need to provide to claim for their employees’ wages.
15/4/2020 – Embassy closures
14/04/2020 - Current embassy closures
14/4/2020 - Mexican Customs Update
Please note that with immediate effect, Mexican Customs have now agreed to allow the use of an electronic signature on EUR1 movement certificates.
7/4/2020 - Current embassy closures
6/4/2020 - UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office Update
The Foreign and Commonwealth office have confirmed they will reopen 7/4/2020. This now means that if you have any documentation that need legalising or Apostille by the FCO, this can now be carried out. Please note, new working days have been put in place, the FCO working week will now be Monday to Thursday, please also expect delays on processing documents due to backlog.
1/4/2020 - Embassy Updates
Please note that in these unusual times, the Arab British Chamber of Commerce will be operating a limited service to continue supporting the Exporting community. Documentation may take longer than usual, please advise your customer of potential delays.
Below is a list of the current embassy status, any changes will be updated accordingly.
In the case of a wide span embassy closure, the Arab British Chamber will operate a certification only service. On this occasion, the Exporter and Importer must ensure that certification only will suffice.
We have been informed by the Arab British Chamber of Commerce that with immediate effect, the Qatar embassy is closed until further notice. This means that any legalisation has been suspended.
The Arab British Chamber have confirmed that they can provide certified documentation, which will be produced using a wet stamp for authenticity. This has been confirmed by the Government of Qatar to be acceptable.
UK Foreign & Commonwealth office
We have been informed that with immediate effect, the UK Foreign and Commonwealth office are no longer operating a legalisation service or able to apply apostilles to documentation until further notice due to Covid-19.
Please contact the Export department on 01484 483 665 or firstname.lastname@example.org for further guidance if you have documentation needing to go to the UK Foreign and Commonwealth office.
Switzerland & Chile
The British Chambers of Commerce have been notified by HMRC that both Switzerland and Chile on a temporary basis will accept documents issued using our online platforms.
This now means that EUR1 documents will temporarily print your electronic signature on to the form, instead of needing to be originally signed. The Express service can now be used for these countries, only on a temporary basis.
Please contact the Export team if your formal undertaking is due for renewal and you are struggling to obtain signatures due to the current pandemic.
We recognise that Exporters will be working from home and may also not be able to send the form to us. If you find yourself in this situation, please email email@example.com with information regarding your current working situation.
Egyptian British Chamber of Commerce
Please note that due to the pandemic, the EBCC are open as normal but with reduced staff. This may cause delays in the return of your documentation. If you do have Egyptian documents to be certified or legalised, please contact the Export team so we can alert our colleagues at the Egyptian British Chamber.
For the latest updates from Kirklees Council click here.
For the latest updates from Calderdale Council click here.
For the latest updates from Wakefield Council click here.