SCOTLAND TRADE SHOW SPRING

Scotland Trade Show Spring

GREAT BUZZ OF CONFIDENCE AT SCOTLAND’S TRADE FAIR SPRING

With the air buzzing with order-making and new relationships being forged, Scotland’s Trade Fair Spring 2019 heralded a confident start to the new season. 2018 witnessed another busy tourist season which kept footfall moving in many of Scotland’s independent shops and in particular those serving overseas visitors. There is great confidence this will continue in 2019 despite domestic political upheavals and concern over the global economic outlook.

With the largest number of exhibitors for both the Trade Show and Scotland’s Speciality Food Show for a decade, there was plenty of variety for buyers with a massive range of gifts, homewares, jewellery, textiles, craft and speciality food and drink on offer. Buyers relished the quality and range of products making it a highly successful Show.

 

Helen Crawford from The Old School, Beauly said: “We always think of the Scottish Show as an opportunity to cement already existing supplier relationships, meet the “new kids on the block” and touch base with our fellow retailers. This year we doubled our orders with some key suppliers, placing our confidence 100% in Scottish made product.  If you want the best of commercial, good Scottish products, this trade show is an unmissable date in the buying calendar. The icing on the cake is that it is also the friendliest show you could possibly imagine attending!”

As well as buying and sourcing products, the Show increased its additional content this year with among other events, the introduction of Nessie’s Den. Six new exhibitors pitched their products to three key buyers in a fun and entertaining session. In addition, Minister for Trade, Innovation and Investment Ivan Mckee MSP visited the Show and presented one of the Best Product Awards.

The Best Product Awards were a highlight of the Show with some very talented exhibitors winning, and a superb range of high quality, mostly Scottish products, taking the top awards. Julie Pearson from Cloudberry Gifts and one of the judges added: “The range and quality of the products on display was fantastic and we were impressed by not just the winning products but their packaging and price points too. This Show is a great source for finding new suppliers. There was a wide choice of categories and new products on offer and it seemed all companies no matter how big or small had put extra effort into adding to their ranges and seemed to really enjoy the show, which came across to buyers.”

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Seminars and workshops on a wide range of topics from social media to success secrets for retailers, were well attended and many commented on how useful these extra events are for retailers who often struggle with time to learn new tips.

Exhibitor Fiona Ritchie from Siabann said: “This Show has been so busy for us with many existing and new customers coming to our stand. We need to be here in person to showcase our new products and re-acquaint with existing customers so it’s a must attend Show.”

Mark Saunders Show Director said: “There was a real air of optimism at the Show from exhibitors and buyers. Foreign buyers were also plentiful from predominantly the US, Canada and Europe, who were searching out high quality Scottish made products which are world renowned for their excellence and commercial appeal. We are hoping that the 2019 season will be a profitable one for Scotland.”

The Best Product Winners are:

Launch Gallery

Gold – Clarabella Christie – range of interiors products  (LG58)

Silver – Kushboo Soaps  – soap (LG74)

Bronze- The Wee Book Company  – book (LG24)

 

Clothing & Textiles

Gold – Eribe Knitwear  – jumper (C66)

Silver – BAKKA – scarf (CG42)

Bronze – Brook Taverner – tweed jacket (C71)

 

Home & Giftware

Gold – Highland Stoneware  – bowl (A46)

Silver – My Little People  – picture (E18)

Bronze – Siabann  – home fragrances (E42)

 

Jewellery & Fashion Accessories

Gold – Rarebird Design – bag (D83)

Silver – Karen Duncan Jewellery – necklace (E111/F115)

Bronze – Zoe Davidson – jewellery set (E111/F115)

 

EU EXIT – ENCOURAGING EORI REGISTRATION

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The UK will be leaving the EU on 29 March 2019. Leaving the EU with a deal remains the Government’s top priority, however, the government and businesses should continue to plan for every possible outcome including no deal.

In December HMRC wrote to VAT-registered businesses that trade only with the EU advising them to take 3 actions to prepare for a no deal EU Exit, including registering for an UK Economic Operator Registration and Identification (EORI) number.

Business that only trade with the EU will need an EORI number:

  • to continue to import or export goods with the EU after 29 March 2019, if the UK leaves the EU without a deal; and
  • before they can apply for authorisations that will make customs processes easier.

We are writing to ask for your support in encouraging your members and clients that have yet to register for an EORI number to do so. Businesses can register for an EORI number at www.gov.uk/hmrc/get-eori.

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In the coming weeks, HMRC and wider government communications activity will continue to encourage businesses to take action to prepare for leaving the EU, including registering for an EORI number.

If you would like more information then please get in touch with The Giftware Association at enquiries@ga-uk.org

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MAKING TAX DIGITAL – PILOT SCHEME LAUNCHED

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The HMRC has today launched a pilot scheme for the new online VAT service. The Making Tax Digital scheme, which The Giftware Association has attended meetings in its initial phases, will bring all but the smallest businesses to self-manage their tax affairs in a real time online relationship with the HMRC. Today over half a million businesses are invited to try out the new system before its roll out in April 2019.

Making Tax Digital (MTD) for VAT will make it easier for businesses to manage their tax and will save them, and their agents, time which can instead be devoted to maximising business opportunities, encouraging growth and fostering good financial planning.

Sarah Ward, CEO of The Giftware Association said:

“This is great for the productivity of many SME’s, as an association we speak to so many of our members who are struggling to manage every aspect of their businesses. The MTD will help with basic tax processes and takes away human error and delay, giving more time to focus on other aspects of their businesses. As a trade association, it’s one of our jobs to educate our members and champion brilliant schemes like this and a move towards digital engagement”

From 1 April 2019, under MTD, around 1m businesses registered for VAT with a taxable turnover above £85,000 will need to keep their VAT records digitally and file their returns using MTD-compatible software.

The pilot will be made available to company whose taxes are straightforward and or tax affairs are up to date. It will have a phased roll our to more businesses throughout the year.

With many companies now using online portals for banking and stock-taking, the digital skills gap is closing and this new way of recording tax is set to narrow it further, especially amongst SME’s as it offers them the greatest opportunity to maximise the success of the MTD and the benefits it can present for UK productivity.

Theresa Middleton, Director for Making Tax Digital for Business, said:

“Millions of people are already banking, paying bills and interacting with their suppliers and customers online. Using digital tools to help businesses manage their business income and expenses and get their tax right builds on this momentum and will also help them get more control over their finances.”

Find out ore here at the HMRC website here GOV.UK. or get in touch with us at The Giftware Association.

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BREXIT UPDATE – IP AND TRADEMARKS

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The Giftware Association has been researching the rights of EU and community registered trademarks after Brexit. Brexit has brought with it many questions in relation to trade, import and export and with no clear answers yet and a back and forth between Brussels and the UK, one question that has been prominent amongst the minds of many of our designer members or members who have registered designs Is, ‘Will your EU wide IP rights still be protected if they were issued in the UK, after Brexit’? Fortunately ,we now have a bit more clarity on the subject, as on the ‘draft agreement’ of the terms of withdrawal of the UK from the EU, whilst this is still very much a draft there was a lot to be hopeful about in terms of trademarks and community designs following the UKs exit on 29th March 2019. Here are the key findings that will affect your rights and you will need to know

  • A Transition period until 31 December 2020 will ensure that EUs intellectual property regimes will continue to apply within the UK. This transition period will mean ‘business as usual’ for intellectual property rights until the end of 2020.

 

  • After the transition period, the UK has promised there will be an equivalent or ‘cloned’ version of EU trademarks and community designs registered or granted on or before 31 December 2020 without the need for re-evaluation. This should carry the same amount of protection as the current EU ones.

 

  • EU trade mark or Community design applications which are pending at the end of the transition period will not be automatically cloned. The applicant will have a period of nine months from the end of the transition period during which it can file an application in the UK with the same filing and priority dates as its EU counterpart.

 

  • The cloned UK trade mark shall not be revoked on the grounds that the corresponding EU trade mark has not been put to genuine use in the UK before the end of the transition period.

 

  • The UK shall take measures to ensure that owners of international trade marks or designs registered through the Madrid system for the international registration of marks designating the EU or through the Hague system for the international deposit of industrial designs and obtained before the end of the transition period, will continue to enjoy the same protection in the UK.

 

  • Following the transition period, the EU Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) will not recognise the reputation of an EU trade mark which is based on use in the UK. Likewise, the UK IPO is unlikely to recognise a reputation claimed in respect of a UK trade mark if the reputation is claimed on the basis of the original EU trade mark outside of the UK. However, until the end of the transition period, a reputation claimed in respect of an EU trade mark will still apply to the UK.

 

  • IP rights which were exhausted before the end of the transition period will remain exhausted both in the EU and in the UK.

 

  • The cloned UK trade mark or design will enjoy the same protection period like its EU counterpart.

This draft has been largely welcomed by the IP community but there are still important issues that remain, the main one being that this is still a draft document, so in its very nature anything in it could live and die within the document as it goes through changes, and as Brexit is still very much up in the air, at least there are processes in place that cover IP and trademark rights.

To read more about the stance on IP issues then visit the official government website dedicated to letting you know any updates and the current state of the issue.

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BREXIT CUSTOMS UPDATE

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The Giftware Association is proud to bring you the latest news on Bexit, as much as we know of it and how it will affect our members. As there have been a couple of changes to the government over the last few weeks and new deals now on the table. Our customs expert Barbara Scott, from Customs Associates has very kindly provided us a piece on a no deal Brexit and to be prepared for any outcome.

With time running out for the UK and the EU to decide on the basis of a new arrangement for trade in goods when the UK leaves the EU on 29th March next year, businesses should be considering what the consequences may be should there be “no deal”.  Of course, we are hoping for a transition period, during which everything remains as it is today for trade both within and out with the EU, but the European Commission wishes that to end before 2021.

Currently, goods traded between the UK and EU are not subject to any import duty and, for supplies to VAT registered businesses, import VAT charges.  In the worst case scenario, ie with no deal, when you sell goods customers in the EU, they would have to pay import duties at the same rates that currently apply to non-EU imports.  Also, the goods would require an export declaration to leave the UK and an import declaration to enter the EU – this would be additional cost for your customer who may also, depending on the type of goods and the applicable rules within the EU member state of arrival, need to pay import VAT.  Similarly, for goods received into the UK from the EU, you would have to pay import charges which, initially at least, would be the same rates as those applied to goods imported from non-EU countries today.

Of course, this is not a position that either the UK Government or the EU wants, particularly because of the Irish land boundary where border controls would be unacceptable. So, what is likely?

Everything is still open for negotiation for “Day 1”, be that next March or the beginning of 2021.  It is now recognised that a “soft border” between the UK and EU facilitated by technology is not going to be available in the required timescales. The Government White Paper published last week proposes that there should be a free trade arrangement resulting in little change and certainly no customs clearances on goods moving between the UK and EU.  But, if EU or UK duty rates change (for example if the UK no longer applied high tariffs on Chinese ceramic kitchenware) there would be a complex system for dealing with imports into the UK which are destined for both the UK and EU markets; there would be the option for businesses that are authorised by HMRC as trusted traders to pay the higher rate of duty on the goods but then claim a repayment of the duty on the goods that are placed on the UK market.  The White Paper proposes that the mechanics for obtaining the repayment should be simple but clearly there would need to be robust audit processes for ensuring the correct duties are paid.

However, we need not get too excited about the detail just yet as the proposal has to get past the UK and EU politicians first!  In the meantime, we are told that HMRC is preparing for no deal as, just in case it should happen, they want to minimise disruption as much as they are able.  The European Commission has also issued a paper this week urging the customs authorities and businesses in the EU27 countries to make preparations for the worst outcome in March next year.  GA members must consider this too, especially those that have only traded within the EU before.  HMRC has promised that, as soon as it can, it will publicise what business needs to do – it’s just that, unless our politicians get a move on, there may not be much time for business to carry out those preparations.