Q & A - Your COVID-19 Questions Answered 

 

Do you have Questions about COVID-19 and the shipment of your goods? How will this pandemic affect your distribution channels? We have compiled some of the questions our customers have been asking.

With the Coronavirus now a pandemic will I still get my cargo?


All of the WTA Companies are able to process all of our clients shipments at this present time. Your WTA representative will keep in contact to notify you of any changes to your shipments. 

How can the  WTA companies handle my shipments if the offices are closed?


All of the WTA Companies are set up in such a way that we have secure remote working in place without it impacting any of our logistical operational processes. The safety of our people is paramount and all of the WTA companies have been following the relevant government guidelines.

As stipulated by the UK government all WTA UK personnel have been classified as essential workers and are at hand to help you with your supply chain requirements. We have solutions on hand to ensure that we are able to keep your supply chains running as efficiently as possible.

What happens if a UK port closes?


In the unlikely event that a UK port must close for a period of time, we have contingency plans in place to reroute your cargo to other UK ports. 

I’ve heard that distribution centres are turning away cargo deliveries, what will happen to my cargo?


Should you have a scenario where you cannot store your cargo at its intended destination WTA UK does have storage solutions available. An alternative is to  consider origin warehousing and WTA China has origin warehousing solutions in place. Speak to your local WTA representative and they will be able provide you with the best solution for your requirements. 

Will there be increased border security for my cargo?


There are pretty stringent measures in place at all ports, airports and country borders etc and all of the WTA Companies are up to speed on all security measures in place. 

Is China back up and running?


We are seeing that all manufacturing plants/factories are nearly back to normal. It is understood that Wuhan might be opening up next week and perhaps rail services from Wuhan will commence once again. However it is always best to check with your WTA representative for the latest updates. 

Can my cargo be contaminated with the Coronavirus?


BIFA released a good infographic explaining that your cargo won’t be infected with the Coronavirus. View The Infographic Here

 

What WTA locations are affected by the Coronavirus?


Currently WTA UK and WTA USA are affected by the Coronavirus in terms that everyone is working from home. WTA China offices are open and everyone is back working in the offices. 

Please refer to our WTA Group Coronavirus blog which we update on a regular basis outlining the operations of our offices. 

 

COVID-19 and the Potential Impact To Your Supply Chain

 

Is Airfreight moving between Europe and the USA or from China to Europe?


All Airfreight capacity has been slashed over the last couple of weeks which means that rates are extremely high. Should you have air freight requirements please contact your WTA representative.

Are there major delays with European road freight?


There are delays with European road freight and the EC are pushing for the implementation of Green lanes at the European borders to keep shipments moving. 

Sixfold has an interactive map that highlights the delays at the European borders. 

 

Coronavirus and the Impact on European Road Freight?

 

The government have announced all sorts of holidays regarding re-payment of VAT, PAYE etc, is there anything to defer VAT and Duty on Imports?

The government will introduce a relief for import duty and import VAT for medical supplies and equipment, protective garments and similar goods imported from non-EU countries to combat the impact of COVID 19, under specific conditions. The relief will apply until 31st July 2020.

You can read the rules, restrictions and information on how to claim here.

The holiday on VAT does not apply to any other imports goods at this time, it’s for VAT return submission only, Import VAT and Duties are still payable (and recoverable on their usual return when the C79 is issued).

The latest information on Deferrals of VAT payments can be found here

Are there any key government updates relating to customs?

The government post regular updates on these two links outlined below. 

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/moving-goods-through-customs-during-the-coronavirus-covid-19

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/customs-authorisations-during-the-coronavirus-covid-19

Be aware of Fraud Risk during the COVID-19 pandemic

Unfortunately we are seeing quite a few reports on the increased risk of fraud during this time. The TT Club has a good article on what to look at for and is worth a read

 

If you have any urgent enquiries relating to your shipments or you need to place an urgent booking, please email urgent@wtagroup.com and we will get back to you as soon as possible.