October 4, 2019
The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) and the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) will jointly open new consultation counters called “Service Desk on Preparations for Brexit” for the purpose of supporting mid-ranking enterprises, SMEs and other entities that have been developing businesses in the United Kingdom, about which global society has concerns over the impact of the U.K’s departure from the EU, commonly called “Brexit,” which should be carried out by the deadline of October 31, 2019. To address this situation, METI and JETRO will open the consultation counters across Japan and deploy nearly 200 personnel in charge to these counters.
1. Background to launching the Service Desk on Preparations for Brexit
The U.K.’s departure from the EU, commonly called “Brexit,” still presents uncertainty about its future. If the U.K. departs from the E.U. on October 31, 2019, without concluding a withdrawal agreement, or a “no-deal Brexit,” the withdrawal may cause negative impacts on Japanese companies and organizations developing businesses in the U.K. due to their incurrence of tariffs and other additional costs and the disruption of smooth distribution in the country caused by recommencement of the past custom clearance procedures.
As preparation for a no-deal Brexit, METI has been: encouraging the governments of the U.K. and the EU to avoid a no-deal Brexit taking advantage of a variety of opportunities; providing information to industrial players and holding interviews with them to ascertain current situations of businesses’ preparations for Brexit through a series of meetings of the Public-Private Session on the Departure of the United Kingdom from the European Union, a body inaugurated immediately after the U.K. national referendum on the departure in June 2016, in order to and bring forward preparatory approaches to help businesses, in particular, mid-ranking enterprises and SMEs.
In parallel with continuing these efforts, METI and JETRO, decided to jointly inaugurate new consultation counters called “Service Desk on Preparations for Brexit,” as an effort for further fortifying the current preparation framework, in order to provide businesses, in particular, SMEs and other entities, with proactive and meticulous support measures.
2. Outline of the Service Desk on Preparations for Brexit
- METI and JETRO will deploy nearly 200 personnel in charge, who are staff and experts of METI or JETRO, including those of domestic JETRO offices, to the consultation counters across Japan.
- They will collaboratively conduct individual-based, push-mode approaches to SMEs and other entities across Japan that have been developing businesses in the U.K. and will provide them with specific consultation services tailored to individual cases, such as: sharing information on the details of local laws and regulations and other latest situations; supporting them in completing procedures necessary for them to advance smooth business after Brexit; introducing local experts to them; and explaining to them appropriate case examples or knowhow on preparations for Brexit.
- Moreover, they will deploy personnel in charge and experts to JETRO offices across Europe and in the U.K. and will have such experts provide advice and support measures for preparations for Brexit to SMEs and other entities.
3. Consultation counters
The JETRO Headquarters in Tokyo will establish a Consultation Counter for the U.K.’s Departure from the EU (Brexit), as a new office exclusively for helping SMEs and other entities, and will deploy experts in issues in Europe in order to provide Japanese companies in a wide variety of fields with individual-based consultation services. Moreover, METI and JETRO will open consultation counters in 49 JETRO offices across Japan, including the JETRO Headquarters in Osaka, and these offices will provide consultation services to companies in collaboration with the JETRO Headquarters. For more information on the Consultation Counter for the U.K.’s Departure from the EU (Brexit), contact the following number:
JETRO: Consultation Counter for the U.K.’s Departure from the EU (Brexit)
Division in Charge
Europe Division, Trade Policy Bureau