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Dreadful news coming out of Ukraine. All of us at the Chamber hope there will soon be a peaceful resolution. Our thoughts are with all those affected in Ukraine and across our Global Network.
The Department for International Trade (DIT) recommend that concerned companies trading with Ukraine and Russia contact the Export Support Service (ESS) on 0300-3030-8955. The ESS helpline hours are being extended between now and the end of the weekend, from 08:00 – 22:00 Thursday-Sunday inclusive.
DIT will review this on Monday to examine the case for out of hours provision. Alternatively, companies can access the ESS landing page which also features a dedicated link for Ukraine and Russia enquiries.
The British Chamber of Commerce team is assessing the business impact and we have written to the UK government yesterday to ask about the support available for business.
What we know so far is:
• Asset freeze on major Russian banks
• Legislation banning Russian govt & companies from raising money in UK
• More oligarchs sanctioned
• Sanctions on major Russian companies including Rostech
• Aeroflot ban
• Ban on high tech exports to Russia
• Limiting deposits Russians can hold in UK bank accounts
• Bringing forward parts of economic crime bill
• Will the UK Government establish a consultation process with business and other stakeholders on the operation of the sanctions and any future extension?
• We welcome the announcement of additional helpline hours over this weekend, but can the capacity of ESS be enhanced from next week to provide greater hours of coverage for telephone support for affected companies which have traded with Ukraine or Russia?
• Will the Cabinet Office and other Departments provide renewed co-ordination and engagement with business on near-term, medium-term, and long-term cost and supply chain challenges, in particular in sectors such as foodstuffs, steel, semi-conductors, and energy, in which a prolonged crisis in this region will affect UK imports?
• What forms of guidance and communications will the UK Government provide to ensure businesses receive clear and precise information on trade in the Eurasian and Eastern European areas?
• Can the case for financial support (including cashflow support) for UK companies who face immediate loss of revenue through inability to trade with Ukraine or Russia under pre-existing contracts be urgently considered?
We will provide further information as and when we receive it from UK government

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