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London Chamber of Commerce and IndustryLondon Chamber of Commerce and Industry
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Trade Documentation: Customs Declarations Services Success Story

We interviewed LCCI Member Engineer Michael Cutler-Hodgson, Managing Director at British Middle East Corporation (BMEC), to find out how LCCI’s Export Documentation Team has helped BMEC. Michael has full responsibility for all operational and market development activities, initiating, structuring, enabling and the undertaking of all commercial activities, projects, sales and supply transactions. Generally managing and advancing all requirements in furtherance and pursuit of the company objectives and managing the network of global representatives.

BMEC is both a multi-faceted organisation and part of a Group of consolidated but legally separate internationally based corporations working primarily in the field of International Trade. Having several joint-venture, collaboration, and/or cross-representation agreements in place assisting the facilitation of both its own direct business activities as well as those within its relationship’s infrastructure, BMEC also has (18 countries at 2021) formal representation in a number of countries around the world.

1. How long has your organisation been trading internationally?
13 Years – plus.

2. How long have you been registered for our Customs Declaration Services?
We have been engaging with and accessing the LCCI services since March 2021.We make direct enquiries via our account manager or via membership support.

3. Are you satisfied with the Chamber’s Customs Declaration services you have received so far? Please share an example of a challenging situation where a team member went the extra mile to offer you support and you successfully overcame the issue.
In early April this year (2022) we requested some advice and assistance from the LCCI Customs Declarations team relating to HMRC & VAT requirements associated with importing and exporting precious metals (predominantly gold) into the UK, from different sources, in different countries, to be worked on or processed, and then exported, as appropriately verified new gold, according to specification, for either industrial use (dore gold) or for investment (bullion gold) purposes. Our concerns related to the prospects of duty and VAT payments on the imported metal and the Chamber’s team were able to check, advise and/or confirm as appropriate the process needed, and how best to go about that, in making the necessary application(s) to HMRC for inward processing relief on the duty and VAT until the processing activities had been completed and the final product then exported.

4. Would you like to recognise someone in particular in the Trade Documentation team?
Our account manager Dylan Jenear was instrumental in engaging with the TDT and given the nature and sensitivities of both product and task, finding the right person best able to assist, being Suvjeet Sibia. Following detailed discussions and clarification with Suvjeet, she was then able to undertake all checks as necessary to determine what could be done, which application type and basis thereof should be followed, and which forms were the one's specifically to be used to enable meaningful application and likely success.

5. Would you recommend the LCCI Customs Declarations services to other international traders and why?
Absolutely yes! They have access to a wealth of information, have undertaken multiple such case requirements, and can offer a range and depth of service appropriate to member or external trader needs. Very few businesses are able to have such necessary levels of internal knowledge and resource capability. Using the Chamber's services greatly expands what any business would otherwise be unable to undertake and likely (as in our case), saves a lot of unnecessary expense.

LCCI is the UK’s largest trade documents issuer, available online, by phone and in person. We provide a range of international trade documents, including ATA Carnets, Certificates of Origin and Customs Declarations. To find out how LCCI’s Export Documentation Team can support your organisation, visit here.