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HMRC urges business owners in Merseyside to make sure they are ready for no deal

LAST week we asked the question:- "Are small businesses ready for 'no deal' Brexit?" and now NM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) have gone on record and are urging business owners on Merseyside to prepare now and consider 3 steps to ensure their businesses can continue to trade with the EU, if the UK leaves the EU without a deal.

The 1st step businesses need to take is to register for an Economic Operator and Registration Identification (EORI) number. UK businesses that have only ever traded inside the EU will not have an EORI number. In the event of a 'no deal exit,' businesses will be unable to continue trading with the EU without an EORI number; however, HMRC figures show that so far just 17% of these businesses have registered.

After getting an EORI number, businesses need to take the 2nd step and consider how they want to make customs declarations. Businesses can appoint a customs agent if they want someone else to do it. Most businesses with customs obligations choose to use a customs agent.

For businesses that import goods into the UK from the EU using roll on roll off locations, they can take a third step and register for new Transitional Simplified Procedures (TSP). TSP will allow businesses to import without having to make a full customs declaration at the border, and postpone paying any import duties. For imports using other locations, and for exports, standard customs declarations will apply.

Financial Secretary to the Treasury Mel Stride MP said:- "We want local businesses in Merseyside to be able continue trading with minimal disruption in any scenario but we also know that people tend to leave things until the last minute and we would urge businesses to act now. We are specifically advising businesses to take some simple steps to be prepared; the 1st thing they need to do is register for an EORI number, it is free and takes less than 10 minutes. Step by step advice can be accessed via GOV.UK – the help is there, we just need business owners to take action."

In September 2018, December 2018 and January 2019, HMRC wrote directly to 145,000 VAT registered businesses that only trade with the EU advising them to start their preparations and apply for an EORI number. There are another estimated additional 95,000 non-VAT registered businesses that also need to take action. Despite these letters, only 40,973 have registered for an EORI number since October.

To help businesses make import and export declarations, HMRC has made ₤8 million in funding available for traders and intermediaries to support them with training and IT costs. There is still ₤3m remaining of this funding, so there's still time to put in a bid.

City Council calls time on unclean pub

A popular City Centre pub and eatery has been hit with more than ₤53,000 in fines and Court costs for failing to keep a clean kitchen and failing to keep pests under control. Stonegate Pub Company, owners of Yates, on Queens Square, Liverpool, admitted 2 food hygiene offences before Liverpool Magistrates.

The Court heard that the prosecution arose from an inspection of the pub by Officers with Liverpool City Council's Environmental Health team in September 2017. Officers found food waste and grease on the equipment and floors of the kitchen, with the surfaces around the cooking area in an unclean condition. The team also found evidence of mice in the premises, with droppings being found amongst the food debris on the floor and on equipment surfaces.

Officers found a toilet brush being stored in the kitchen and more evidence of mice when they investigated other areas of the premises, such as the cleaner's storeroom and customer seating areas. Mice are known to carry contagious diseases such as salmonella and listeria.

The team presented its findings to the management and determined that the conditions posed an imminent risk to public health. The Court heard that a lack of routine cleaning was an ongoing issue at the pub. Yates' was given a food hygiene rating of zero and Stonegate agreed to close the pub until improvements were made.

At the hearing, District Judge Andrew Shaw said the staff were blind to the problems in front of them. Whilst representatives from Stonegate said the company was:- "extremely embarrassed and disappointed" with what had happened.

Stonegate was fined ₤50,000 and ordered to pay ₤3,743 in costs.

The Court heard that a subsequent inspection of the venue had found many improvements. The premises were no longer deemed a risk to health and were allowed to re-open. Yates has since been awarded a 5 Star Food Hygiene rating by the City Council.

Liverpool City Council's Cabinet Member responsible for Environmental Health, Cllr James Noakes said:- "The appalling state of these premises were clearly unfit to be serving food to the public. It is clear the actions of the environmental health team have undoubtedly prevented someone from becoming seriously ill as a result of eating there. Whilst it is reassuring that the company has since cleaned up its act at Yates, it is inexcusable that standards were allowed to slip so far in the 1st place.  The severity of the fine involved sends a clear message that unclean conditions that pose a risk to public safety will simply not be tolerated."

News Report Audio Copy


Deceased estates notice - Lilian May Jackam

Pursuant to the Trustee Act 1925, any persons having a claim against or an interest in the Estate of Lilian May Jackam (also known as Lillian May) Jackam (Deceased), late of Birch Abbey Rest Home, 55 Alexandra Road, Southport, Merseyside, PR9 9HD, UK, who died on 04/10/2018, are required to send particulars thereof in writing, to the undersigned Solicitors, on or before 24/05/2019, after which date the Estate will be distributed having regard only to claims and interests of which they have had notice. Churches Solicitors, 12 High Street, Fareham, Hampshire, PO16 7BL, UK. Ref:- 'T553015.'

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