Annual Report & Accounts 2021


Notice of Annual General Meeting

Contents 2

Notice is hereby given that the 33rd Annual General Meeting of the British International Freight Association (BIFA) will be held on Thursday 26 May 2022 at 12:00pm by videoconferencing in order to: 1. Receive the Report of the Board of Directors. 2. Receive the accounts for the year ended 31 December 2021 and the Report of the Auditors thereon. 3. Appoint Auditors and authorise the Board to fix their remuneration. 4. In accordance with the Association’s Articles to note and approve the election of Officers of the Association. 5. Transact any other business which may properly be transacted at an Annual General Meeting.

N otice of AGM


President’s Report


National Chair’s Report Director General’s Report


6-8 Y ear in Review 9

R eport of the Board of Directors on the Accounts

10-11 R eport of the Independent Auditors 12-19 Financial Statements Back B IFA Structure Chart

Robert Keen BIFA Director General 30 March 2022

A BIFA Member may nominate an attendee although there will be a limit on numbers once a quorum is achieved. Please email r.keen@bifa.org Note: Any Member entitled to vote at the above meeting may appoint a proxy to vote on a poll in his stead. A proxy need not be a Member of the Association.

A form of proxy is available to download from the BIFA website www.bifa.org


BIFA Annual Report & Accounts 2021 | bifa.org

President’s Report

Sir Peter Bottomley, MP President

As the President of BIFA, I am delighted to present the trade association’s Annual Report for 2021 which provides a good opportunity to reflect on the issues that affected the sector and the work done by BIFA to help Members deal with them.

As BIFA President, I thank the Secretariat, Policy Groups and Regional Groups for the work that they did in 2021, much of which is covered in this Annual Report, which is once again an informative and useful read.

Our own qualified staff delivered live training sessions reaching all corners of the UK using videoconferencing, with over 400 delegates achieving BTEC certificates in 2021. There was also renewed impetus to encourage BIFA Members to consider recruiting youngsters onto the specific industry-related apprenticeship that the trade association played an integral role in developing. Another is that the Young Forwarder Network (YFN), set up in 2019 as part of BIFA’s ongoing efforts to attract youngsters into the freight forwarding sector, continued to go from strength to strength in 2021, developing an affinity for the Association from the grass roots, and driving a personal development agenda for individuals rather than the old ‘top down’ approach.

the issues that face the management of the supply chains that underpin the UK’s international trade, we did not underestimate the scale of the challenges that the trade association’s Members faced from both EU-Exit and the ongoing pandemic. Much of the year was spent in making plans and delivering advice about all the new rules and policies that came into place during the course of 2021, as well as those that would be introduced in 2022, concerning trade between the EU and Great Britain. Whilst 2021 was characterised by uncertainties, not least of which were those surrounding the phased roll out programme that will see CHIEF replaced by CDS in the customs entry processing environment, there can be no doubt about the success of BIFA’s CDS eLearning training programme, which launched in September 2021 to educate users on the main differences between CHIEF and CDS. 2021 presented us with a couple of other certainties: One is that the huge increase in BIFA’s training activities over the past few years continued unabated in spite of the difficulties

When I consider the issues that faced Members during the year, either in their private or business lives, I am reminded of that old saying: “Uncertainty is the only certainty there is.” What a tumultuous year 2021 was, in which Britain’s freight forwarding and logistics industry faced uncertainties; and a stream of challenges (many of which are covered in the pages of the 2021 Annual Report, providing a good reflection of the year that has passed) but proceeded as calmly as possible, delivering the goods. Whatever your view on Great Britain’s departure from the EU, there can be no doubting the dramatic effect that it has had, and continues to have, on the UK’s supply chains and the work the freight forwarding community undertakes to manage them. Coupled with the massive impact that the pandemic continued to have on all modes of transport in 2021, I am left wondering whether there was ever a more challenging time to work in the freight forwarding profession. Whilst BIFA remained committed to supporting the Government in shaping practical solutions to

presented by varying COVID-19 restrictions.


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National Chair’s Report

Rachel Morley National Chair

I was pleased to be elected to succeed John Stubbings as BIFA’s National Chair in May 2021, having been associated with BIFA for many years, and being appointed a director of BIFA in 2017. When I replaced John as

Chair, The Customs Institute Chair and the Secretary General post. We also had representation on Working Group Sea and the Advisory Body Legal Matters. As FIATA transitions its own profile and staff capabilities, this high level involvement is a nod of approval for BIFA and will help us influence FIATA policy, hopefully for the benefit of BIFA Members. Now, I would like to encourage you to read the Director General’s report before turning your attention to the Year in Review section of the 2021 Annual Report, in which you can find out how BIFA’s Secretariat, Policy Groups, Regional committees and Representatives continued to provide excellent services and support to Members, in a year during which they faced so many issues and challenges.

This was further discussed during the remainder of the year, and although BIFA’s exact approach remained to be finalised, as many large and medium Members already have sophisticated policies on these matters, it was agreed that this area of BIFA’s work needed to be strengthened. The trade association’s existing guidance is generic and covers a multitude of subjects such as re-usable packaging and return of such material to origin, environmental impacts of plastic packaging, installation of energy efficient light bulbs, better insulation, and so forth. measurement will be an ever more important subject for the membership over the coming years, it was agreed in 2021 that a sustainable logistics portfolio would be developed in 2022, under the management of a new recruit for the policy and compliance department. Another thing not covered elsewhere in this Annual Report is BIFA’s participation within FIATA, the freight industry’s global association. I am pleased to report that BIFA’s involvement is at its highest level since the mid- 1990s when Brian Kelleher was President and JimWhite was Multimodal Transport Institute (MTI) Chair. In 2021 BIFA held three senior FIATA posts: The MTI In light of BIFA’s belief that carbon footprint

Articles of Association, had their terms extended at the Board’s discretion until May 2023. The practical approach taken by BIFA to assessing the various issues that affect Members’ business activities in 2021 is clearly demonstrated in this Annual Report, which outlines the work done by BIFA during the year to facilitate discussions on issues and policy, communicating and providing information at various levels and delivering advice, guidance and support services that really help the membership. The impact of EU-Exit and the COVID-19 pandemic on Members’ work receives comprehensive coverage in this Annual Report and I will not repeat what is said elsewhere, but note that the twin issues continued to present significant time- consuming and complex challenges in 2021 for the trade association, its members and the wider freight and logistics sector, keeping the Secretariat and Policy Groups very busy. One thing not covered elsewhere in this report is what BIFA has been doing in regards to environmental and sustainability issues within logistics. At a meeting of the BIFA Council in May last year, there was recognition of the importance of developing an environmental portfolio for the trade association.

Chair, I felt that my ambitions for BIFA were very similar to those of chairs that have preceded me. I was confident that having many years of practical and successful experience in the freight forwarding and logistics sector would help me to assist the trade association in its efforts to develop clear strategies for continuing to fulfil its remit. I believe that the contents of the 2021 Annual Report demonstrate quite clearly that BIFA continued to provide effective and broad representation and support for the UK’s freight forwarding community during the year as that community continued to underpin the country’s international trading efforts. It contains comprehensive information about the interaction between BIFA’s Secretariat and Policy Groups with various stakeholder groups in government and elsewhere, on behalf of the membership. As well as my appointment at the BIFA AGM in May, Charles Hogg, commercial director of Unsworth Global Logistics, who is also a BIFA director and Chair of BIFA’s Maritime, Road and Rail Policy Group, was appointed deputy chair. Furthermore, four of the five Vice-Presidents (Clive Broadley, Philip Stephenson, Roy Baker and Ian Moran) who had completed their full terms in accordance with the


BIFA Annual Report & Accounts 2021 | bifa.org

Director General’s Report

Robert Keen BIFA Director General

As you will read elsewhere in this report, 2021 was a year during which BIFA continued to negotiate the combined effects of the pandemic and EU-Exit in our efforts to deliver a number of positive outcomes for Members.

public both the significance and magnitude of modern supply chains, as well as highlighting how vulnerable they can be. It also put the precarious balancing act of supply chain management into perspective and hopefully leads to a deeper appreciation from the consumer for end products, and the essential role of the freight industry in delivering them. More than four years after the referendum vote to leave the European Union, EU Exit became a reality in 2021. BIFA’s Policy and Compliance team spent 2021 providing constant advice to BIFA Members, analysing the changes in legislation and understanding the developing legislative impacts on a real time basis. There was a huge increase in communication with BIFA Members. An undoubted highlight was the webinar to hundreds of BIFA Members in the Autumn regarding the 2022 changes that were due. We received many plaudits and BIFA Members seem to have been very satisfied with the quality of service provided.

The IT requirements of all staff were upgraded so that we are all capable of fully remote working and, during the year, we ensured that BIFA’s compliance with relevant Health & Safety routines and regulations was fully up to date. Early in 2021, a prominent trade journal repeated the oft discredited old line that the traditional forwarding profession is doomed in the face of competition from digital platforms and container shipping lines investing in logistics service providers. Whilst we rebuked the writer for not providing a balanced view, it was a view that continued to gain airtime during the year. When October brought headlines that Christmas might be cancelled as a result of the ongoing supply chain challenges, it gave BIFA the opportunity to explain how its Members are preoccupied in finding solutions rather than indulging in scare-mongering headline writing. Both gave BIFA the opportunity to reinforce the message that its Members and freight forwarders across the world, that are responsible for managing the supply chains that underpin global trade, are moving hell and high water to address the issues. The crunch in global supply chains in 2021 was an opportunity for the industry to demonstrate to the general

recruit new Members using social media and direct approaches. A new edition of the BIFA Standard Trading Conditions (STC) was published in early 2021, as a consequence of the UK’s exit from the EU and in reflection of changes to Direct/Indirect Representation with HMRC. These replaced the previous version revised in 2017 and BIFA emphasised to Members the importance of ensuring the effective incorporation of the BIFA STC into their contracts with their customers. Staffing of the secretariat was also strengthened in 2021. Following the extension of the Government grant to train more Customs intermediaries to June 2021, as well as the greater workload that came with meeting the administrational requirements of increased online training, we at first used a casual worker, and then recruited Sharon Sampeys as a training administrator in August 2021. That led to more orderly processes in office administration being achieved in the year. Nezda Leigh also joined BIFA full time having previously been a contractor and we recruited Natalie Pitts from November to head up a newly created communications department. In 2021, the remaining upstairs offices at Redfern House were refurbished, and we made a substantial IT investment to upgrade our system to a cloud-based arrangement.

For me, of many notable achievements in 2021, BIFA led an education programme to help Members encourage and prepare their European customers that export to the UK for the 1 January 2022 deadline for full customs declarations and promoted the need for everyone to realise and understand that the UK government was serious about imposing border controls from the start of the new year. With industry promotion one of BIFA’s key roles, another notable achievement in 2021 was the trade association’s launch of a campaign to encourage its Members to work with schools to promote careers in logistics, forwarding and the supply chain. This was aimed at encouraging students to consider such careers as the first part of a wider industry inspiration programme that will help Members to highlight to students the available routes when making career choices, identify the core values and behaviours required when applying for jobs, and provide advice that may encourage young people to broaden their horizons. This also saw us sign a partnership with Think Logistics. At the end of the year, BIFA membership was the highest ever at 1566 (BIFA finished 2020 with 1467 Members, 2019 with 1431 Members and 2018 with 1366) and that achievement certainly benefited from the unstinting efforts of Sarah Milton to


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Year in Review

This section of BIFA’s Annual Report 2021 summarises the activities of the trade association’s Air, Customs, Maritime, Road & Rail, and Legal & Insurance policy groups over the course of the year, as well as the work undertaken by Secretariat staff. In 2021, BIFA continued to engage with its 2021 was, by general consensus, one of the

formulate a coordinated and consistent response and also initiating engagement with the Department for Transport. BIFA continued to liaise with the Road Haulage Association (RHA) over matters of common interest including the driver shortage and its impact on service levels, wages and costs. The trade association also circulated information relating to the implementation of Clean Air and Ultra Low Emission Zones, particularly in and around the UK’s gateways for air and ocean transport. The group continued to stress the implications of undeclared/ misdeclared dangerous goods shipments and continued to highlight the problems of cargo-related crime in its various forms. In the Customs Arena In 2021, this group continued to deal with wider frontier activities, which include engagement with DEFRA regarding the movement of foodstuffs and related products, as well as the Export Control Joint Unit (ECJU) for licences for strategic goods. The policy group held four formal meetings and BIFA facilitated numerous ad hoc meetings between Members and HMRC and DEFRA, which covered various issues.

Ongoing high demand, and shortages of tonnage and containers, as well as port and service delays, continued to create major operational problems for Members offering ocean freight logistics services. Ironically the deep sea maritime mode was the least affected by EU-Exit, whilst cross border road freight activities were the most impacted. For the latter, the year saw a re- engineering of the supply chain, which moved from a transport-focused to fully-fledged freight forwarding and Customs processing functionality. In cross channel ro-ro and short sea container shipping between the EU and the UK, BIFA explained the regulatory changes that would affect the sector and the importance of considering the wider supply chain as the nature of cross- border trade changed. Thinking globally, the secretariat constantly monitored the container market providing Members with information which could be relayed to their clients to provide evidence of disruption, including port delays; higher sea freight rates; as well as quay rent and demurrage charges. Throughout the year potentially anti-competitive shipping line activity was monitored whilst liaising with CLECAT and FIATA in order to

most difficult years for the freight forwarding sector in living memory. There were local issues such as staff shortages, especially of skilled Customs intermediaries and drivers, in addition to international issues affecting the work of BIFA Members managing global supply chains. The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic continued to create significant problems for BIFA Members and the trade association. Productivity was affected as local lockdowns created a global patchwork of delays and inconsistencies, and in the UK we had to contend with the increased workload stemming from the UK leaving the EU. BIFA continued to work hard to meet Members’ needs regarding the incredibly difficult operating circumstances and help them to devise recovery processes via the dissemination of information about national and international supply chain disruption. On the Surface The Maritime, Road and Rail Policy Group discussed a number of issues in 2021, a year in which an incredibly difficult international container shipping market continued to impact on Members’ work.

membership informally through the provision of a ‘Helpdesk’ function and more formally via the four main policy groups. At local level, there continued to be engagement via regional meetings. Also, regional consultants responded to Member enquiries as appropriate and liaised with the BIFA Secretariat to obtain specialist assistance or request that the matter be brought to government attention for a response. In 2021, the policy groups continued to assist with the delivery of guidance and direction for the Association and its Secretariat, under the management and administration of the Policy & Compliance team and the executive management of the Secretariat. The policy groups reported to the BIFA Council through their respective chairs. In offering their valuable time and knowledge on an entirely voluntary basis, the members of each policy group made an important contribution to the Association’s work in the year, which we acknowledge and appreciate. In 2021, due to the impact of COVID-19 restrictions, all meetings with Members, government departments and other organisations were conducted virtually.


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updates, in November 2021. The Border Operating Model continued to be central to the work of this policy group as it assessed and provided information on the implications and consequences of the rolling implementation programme for new Customs requirements and policies on the EU/GB border. Legal and Insurance Matters The most technically specialist of the Policy Groups, dealing with matters that largely underpin Members’ forwarding activities, met twice in 2021. Its main area of focus was a re-assessment leading to ‘technical amendments’ to the BIFA Standard Trading Conditions (STC) resulting from EU-Exit, leading to a new edition of the BIFA STC during the year. The ongoing impact of the Insolvency Act 2020 on Members’ ability to make use of a lien if a customer was covered by a moratorium under the Act, continued to exercise concerns for the Legal and Insurance Policy Group, the secretariat and the membership, as it had done in the previous year. Throughout 2021, the secretariat continued to field regular enquiries regarding the BIFA STC, the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Force Majeure, lost Bills of Lading, cargoes abandoned at destination and criminal activity, as well as scams and fraud within the supply chain.

In The Air The Air Policy Group held four formal meetings during 2021, discussing a variety of topics. BIFA expressed its support for FIATA’s discussions with IATA on the complex negotiations between the two organisations regarding the mechanisms by which airlines consult with freight forwarders; as well as a new agency agreement between airlines and freight forwarders. Throughout the year, BIFA has been actively engaged in supporting FIATA’s Airfreight Institute in its endeavours on both these issues. During 2021, BIFA engaged with the CAA and discussed the operation of the Aviation Security Regime in the UK; whilst facilitating dialogue between CCS (UK) Ltd and the BIFA membership to improve traffic flows, particularly relative to import and export collections and deliveries. Whilst monitoring the impact of EU-Exit on Aviation Security and the movement of air cargo between the EU and UK, BIFA noted that there was considerable concern about how goods moving under transit on a “flying truck”, to be loaded on a subsequent flight, would be affected by increased bureaucracy. In response to Member concerns to improve airline shed security procedures, BIFA engaged with the Airline Operators Committee for Cargo (AOCC).

Training and Education Despite predicting a slowdown in activities from 2020, training continued apace in 2021, with BIFA conducting more courses, and training more people, in a calendar year than ever. In response to EU-Exit, the appetite for Customs training remained as strong as in the year leading up to Great Britain’s departure from the EU. All courses, except for one, were delivered via video conference. The one classroom course took place in Manchester just as the new COVID variant raised its head, meaning others planned for London and the Midlands were unfortunately cancelled. The live online training continues to receive superb feedback, with most delegates saying all elements are very good or excellent. An incredible 99.8% of learners said they would recommend the course to others. In the first half of the year, BIFA designed and developed an eLearning course with our chosen partner ASM, outlining the main differences between CHIEF and the new Customs Declaration Service (CDS). The course went live in mid- September and has received positive feedback and a good take-up. With apprenticeship starts down by approximately 66% in 2020 due to the pandemic, we were encouraged to see an increase in 2021 in young people entering the sector through the apprenticeship pathway.

These included the ongoing provision of advice and guidance on the changes that came into force at the end of January 2021. This saw the policy group highlighting problems with specific issues such as the operation of the NI protocol; whilst discussing the operation and impacts of implementing new systems such as the Goods Vehicle Movement System (GVMS). There was considerable engagement with HMRC’s Customs Declaration Service (CDS) teams regarding the technical impacts of the new system and agreeing an implementation timetable. BIFA Members were also provided with information regarding Rules of Origin and how their customers should evidence that they are claiming preference. Ongoing information and guidance was also provided regarding Customs representation, especially relative to the freight forwarder’s liability when clearing goods under DDP terms. The policy group further considered whether freight forwarders, when acting as a Customs Agent, become a tax adviser; as well as Customs- related issues associated with the new freeports, enabling BIFA to respond to Government consultations on these matters. In addition, in September BIFA organised national events that focussed on the Customs and DEFRA changes that would take effect on 1st January 2022 and 1st July 2022; which were repeated, with additional


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...Year in Review continued

The YFN reached a significant milestone holding its 50th event in the first half of 2021 and by the end of the year, 65 events had taken place since its inception three years ago. We also added new members to the ‘Virtual’ YFN organising committee in 2021 and appointed a new chairperson. In October, the YFN provided five young panellists for the seminars at the Multimodal exhibition and conference, and they did themselves and their employers proud. During the same month, seven of them raised over £1,000 for industry charity Transaid, running around the London Olympic Park. Communications and Industry Promotion In 2021, BIFA continued to keep Members appraised of association and industry developments affecting their operations. The main platforms continued to be direct member notices, supported by the BIFAlink magazine, the website, the fortnightly eNewsletter, and the training eNewsletter, as well as a strengthened presence through various social media channels. The trade association’s communications activities were strengthened by the appointment of a communications manager in October and a reorganisation of the trade association’s activities in this area to create a formal communications department from January 2022.

schools close to the UK’s freight gateways for air and sea freight, and their associated logistics communities, and provide opportunities for Members to build-up their own relationships with these schools. In 2021, through these partnerships, we saw Members support mock interviews, speed networking, careers fairs, workplace visits and give specific careers talks. However, the idea behind the guidebook was to inspire Members to do their own convinced that there has never been a better time to promote the industry as a sustainable and stable career option with abundant opportunities. Our goal has remained to getting all to join forces and get out there to bring the sector to the attention of young people. Our aim? To banish the “oh, I fell into the industry” refrain and inspire young people to select the sector as a career of choice. thing locally as well. In 2021, BIFA remained

The increased profile of BIFA Members and the freight forwarding and logistics sector (already heightened by COVID-19 and EU-exit) was further enhanced in 2021 by the global supply chain crisis. In 2021, there was a substantial increase in BIFA’s involvement with the mainstreammedia and the trade press, and less excitable journalists from the likes of Bloomberg, Reuters and the Financial Times continued to see BIFA as a reliable, credible and quotable source. With non sector-specific journalists scrambling to understand the fundamentals of the freight industry, we had to carefully manage engagement due to the sheer volume of enquiries, often of no relevance or benefit to the work of BIFA Members. The 2020 Freight Service Awards ceremony was held virtually over four days in January 2021; and with the easing of lockdown rules, BIFA was able to proceed with plans for a freight forwarder village at the Multimodal event, which the organisers had to postpone several times from its scheduled 2020 date, eventually taking place in October 2021. It was very successful and BIFA had a high profile at the centre of the Forwarders’ Village as well as playing a leading role in the seminars during the event. In September, we produced a useful guide for Members, focussing on school and college engagement, as part of our aim is to establish partnerships with specific

The 12-month period July 2020-June 2021, saw 155 new apprenticeship starts on the International Freight Forwarding Specialist (IFFS) standard, with 82% being under the age of 24. However, BIFA remains convinced that in order to build a resilient industry, prepared for future challenges, more new starters are required. In 2021, there was still a huge skills shortage in the Customs sector, so with the IFFS standard requiring Customs as a mandatory module including a training qualification, this apprenticeship provides an opportunity for Members to develop individuals with Customs knowledge to support their businesses. In the second half of 2021, we reformed the IFFS Trailblazer group which is collaborating with us to review the content of the apprenticeship standard and ensure that it is still relevant following the changes in many freight forwarding processes and procedures of the last few years, particularly in relation to EU-Exit. Following on from its success in 2020 the ‘Virtual’ Young Forwarder Network (YFN) continued to thrive in 2021, with online events held every two or three weeks. Clearly young people continued to see the value of the network, which enables them to broaden their industry knowledge, and the wide variety of topics provided by our guest speakers makes attending for one hour, twice per month, a good use of their time.


BIFA Annual Report & Accounts 2021 | bifa.org

Re port of the Board of Directors

The directors present their annual report and financial statements for the year ended 31 December 2021. Principal Activities

from legislation in other jurisdictions. Statement of disclosure to auditor So far as each person who was a director at the date of approving this report is aware, there is no relevant audit information of which the company’s auditor is unaware. Additionally, the directors individually have taken all the necessary steps that they ought to have taken as directors in order to make themselves aware of all relevant audit information and to establish that the company’s auditor is aware prepared in accordance with the provisions applicable to companies entitled to the small companies exemption. On behalf of the board Robert Keen BIFA Director General 30 March 2022 of that information. This report has been

financial statements unless they are satisfied that they give a true and fair view of the state of affairs of the company and of the surplus or deficit of the company for that period. In preparing these financial statements, the directors are required to: • select suitable accounting policies and then apply them consistently; • make judgements and accounting estimates that are reasonable and prudent; • prepare the financial statements on the going concern basis unless it is inappropriate to presume that the company will continue in business. The directors are responsible for keeping adequate accounting records that are sufficient to show and explain the company’s transactions and disclose with reasonable accuracy at any time the financial position of the company and enable them to ensure that the financial statements comply with the Companies Act 2006. They are also responsible for safeguarding the assets of the company and hence for taking reasonable steps for the prevention and detection of fraud and other irregularities. The directors are responsible for the maintenance and integrity of the company website. Legislation in the United Kingdom governing the preparation and dissemination of financial statements may differ

The Association is the primary representational body of the international freight services industry and its objectives, amongst others, are to promote the interest and welfare of its members within the freight services industry. Directors The directors who held office during the year and up to the date of signature of the financial statements were

as follows: M Bromley R Keen R Morley F Osborn S Parker S Stevenson J Stubbings R Windsor S Oud C Hogg

K Baguley (Appointed 29 July 2021) C Hobbis (Appointed 1 April 2021)

Statement of Directors’ Responsibilities The directors are responsible for preparing the Annual Report and the financial statements in accordance with applicable law and regulations. Company law requires the directors to prepare financial statements for each financial year. Under that law the directors have elected to prepare the financial statements in accordance with United Kingdom Generally Accepted Accounting Practice. Under company law the directors must not approve the


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Report of the Independent Auditors

Opinion We have audited the financial statements of British International Freight Association (the ‘company’) for the year ended 31 December 2021 which comprise the income and expenditure account, the balance sheet and notes to the financial statements, including significant accounting policies. The financial reporting framework that has been applied in their preparation is applicable law and United Kingdom Accounting Standards, including FRS 102 The Financial Reporting Standard applicable in the UK and Republic of Ireland (United Kingdom Generally Accepted Accounting Practice). In our opinion the financial statements: • give a true and fair view of the state of the company’s affairs as at 31 December 2021 and of its surplus for the year then ended; prepared in accordance with United Kingdom Generally Accepted Accounting Practice; and • have been prepared in • have been properly Basis for opinion We conducted our audit in accordance with International Standards on Auditing (UK) (ISAs (UK)) and applicable law. Our responsibilities under those standards are further described in the Auditor’s responsibilities for the audit of the financial statements section of our report. We are accordance with the requirements of the Companies Act 2006.

Matters on which we are required to report by exception In the light of the knowledge and understanding of the company and its environment obtained in the course of the audit, we have not identified material misstatements in the directors’ report. We have nothing to report in respect of the following matters where the Companies Act 2006 requires us to report to you if, in our opinion: • adequate accounting records have not been kept, or returns adequate for our audit have not been received from branches not visited by us; or • the financial statements are not in agreement with the accounting records and returns; or • certain disclosures of directors’ remuneration specified by law are not made; or • we have not received all the information and explanations we require for our audit; or • the directors were not entitled to prepare the financial statements in accordance with the small companies regime and take advantage of the small companies’ exemption in preparing the directors’ report and take advantage of the small companies exemption from the requirement to prepare a strategic report.

other information contained within the annual report. Our opinion on the financial statements does not cover the other information and, except to the extent otherwise explicitly stated in our report, we do not express any form of assurance conclusion thereon. Our responsibility is to read the other information and, in doing so, consider whether the other information is materially inconsistent with the financial statements or our knowledge obtained in the course of the audit, or otherwise appears to be materially misstated. If we identify such material inconsistencies or apparent material misstatements, we are required to determine whether this gives rise to a material misstatement in the financial statements themselves. If, based on the work we have performed, we conclude that there is a material misstatement of this other information, we are required to report that fact. We have nothing to report in this regard. Opinions on other matters prescribed by the Companies Act 2006 In our opinion, based on the work undertaken in the course of our audit: • the information given in the directors’ report for the financial year for which the financial statements are prepared is consistent with the financial statements; and

independent of the company in accordance with the ethical requirements that are relevant to our audit of the financial statements in the UK, including the FRC’s Ethical Standard, and we have fulfilled our other ethical responsibilities in accordance with these requirements. We believe that the audit evidence we have obtained is sufficient and appropriate to provide a basis for our opinion. Conclusions relating to going concern In auditing the financial statements, we have concluded that the directors’ use of the going concern basis of accounting in the preparation of the financial statements is appropriate. Based on the work we have performed, we have not identified any material uncertainties relating to events or conditions that, individually or collectively, may cast significant doubt on the company’s ability to continue as a going concern for a period of at least twelve months from when the financial statements are authorised for issue. Our responsibilities and the responsibilities of the directors with respect to going concern are described in the relevant sections of this report. Other information The other information comprises the information included in the annual report other than the financial statements and our auditor’s report thereon. The directors are responsible for the

• the directors’ report has been prepared in accordance with applicable legal requirements.


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the audit procedures required to identify non-compliance with laws and regulations to enquiry of the directors and other management and the inspection of regulatory and legal correspondence, if any. Material misstatements that arise due to fraud can be harder to detect than those that arise from error as they may involve deliberate concealment or collusion. A further description of our responsibilities is available on the Financial Reporting Council’s website at: https://www.frc.org.uk/ auditorsresponsibilities. This description forms part This report is made solely to the company’s members, as a body, in accordance with Chapter 3 of Part 16 of the Companies Act 2006. Our audit work has been undertaken so that we might state to the company’s members those matters we are required to state to them in an auditor’s report and for no other purpose. To the fullest extent permitted by law, we do not accept or assume responsibility to anyone other than the company and the company’s members, as a body, for our audit work, for this report, or for the opinions we have formed. of our auditor’s report. Use of our report Stephen Meredith BA FCA DChA Senior Statutory Auditor For and on behalf of Alliotts LLP Chartered Accountants Statutory Auditor, Friary Court, 13-21 High Street, Guildford, Surrey GU1 3DL

company’s financial statements to material misstatement, including obtaining an understanding of how fraud might occur, by: • making enquiries of management as to where they considered there was susceptibility to fraud, their knowledge of actual, suspected and alleged fraud; and • considering the internal controls in place to mitigate risks of fraud and non-compliance with laws and regulations. To address the risk of fraud through management bias and override of controls, we: • performed analytical procedures to identify any unusual or unexpected relationships; • tested journal entries to identify unusual transactions; • assessed whether judgements and

non-compliance with laws and regulations. We design procedures in line with our responsibilities, outlined above, to detect material misstatements in respect of irregularities, including fraud. The extent to which our procedures are capable of detecting irregularities, including fraud, is detailed below: Our approach to identifying and assessing the risks of material misstatement in respect of irregularities, including fraud and non- compliance with laws and regulations, was as follows: • the engagement partner ensured that the engagement team collectively had the appropriate competence, capabilities and skills to identify or recognise non-compliance with applicable laws and regulations; • we identified the laws and regulations applicable to the company through discussions with directors and other management, and from our commercial knowledge and experience of the sector; • we focused on specific laws and regulations which we considered may have a direct material effect on the financial statements or the operations of the company, including the Companies Act 2006, taxation, employment, environmental and health and safety legislation; • we assessed the extent of compliance with the laws and regulations identified above through making enquiries of management

Responsibilities of directors As explained more fully in the directors’ responsibilities statement, the directors are responsible for the preparation of the financial statements and for being satisfied that they give a true and fair view, and for such internal control as the directors determine is necessary to enable the preparation of financial statements that are free frommaterial misstatement, whether due to fraud or error. In preparing the financial statements, the directors are responsible for assessing the company’s ability to continue as a going concern, disclosing, as applicable, matters related to going concern and using the going concern basis of accounting unless the directors either intend to liquidate the company or to cease operations, or have no realistic alternative but to do so. Auditor’s responsibilities for the audit of the financial statements Our objectives are to obtain reasonable assurance about whether the financial statements as a whole are free frommaterial misstatement, whether due to fraud or error, and to issue an auditor’s report that includes our opinion. Reasonable assurance is a high level of assurance but is not a guarantee that an audit conducted in accordance with ISAs (UK) will always detect a material misstatement when it exists. Misstatements can arise from fraud or error and are considered material if, individually or in the aggregate, they could reasonably be expected to influence the economic decisions of users taken on the basis of these financial statements. Irregularities, including fraud, are instances of

assumptions made in determining the accounting estimates

were indicative of potential bias; and • investigated the rationale

behind significant or unusual transactions.

In response to the risk of irregularities and non- compliance with laws and regulations, we designed procedures which included, but were not limited to: • agreeing financial statement disclosures to underlying supporting documentation; • reading the minutes of meetings of the board of directors; • enquiring of management as to actual and potential litigation and claims; and • reviewing correspondence with HMRC. There are inherent limitations in our audit procedures described above. The more removed that laws and regulations are from financial transactions, the less likely it is that we would become aware of non-compliance. Auditing standards also limit

and inspecting legal correspondence; and

• identified laws and regulations were

8 April 2022

communicated within the audit team regularly and the team remained alert to instances of non- compliance throughout the audit.

We assessed the susceptibility of the


bifa.org | BIFA Annual Report & Accounts 2021

Income & Expenditure Account For the year ended 31 December 2021

2021 £

2020 £

2,528,890 (439,130)


2,544,674 (534,333)

Cost of sales

2,089,760 (1,351,056)

Gross surplus



Administrative expenses Other operating income




Operating surplus




Interest receivable and similar income


Surplus before taxation




Tax on surplus

Surplus for the financial year




BIFA Annual Report & Accounts 2021 | bifa.org

Balance Sheet As at the year ended 31 December 2021

2021 £

2020 £


Fixed Assets Intangible assets Tangible assets

26,362 322,915

3 4 5








Current Assets Debtors

250,026 2,571,109 2,821,135


259,290 2,001,270 2,260,560

Cash at bank and in hand

Creditors Amounts falling due within one year






Net Current Assets

Total Assets Less current liabilities



Provisions for liabilities



Net Assets



Reserves Income and expenditure account



Members’ Funds



These financial statements have been prepared in accordance with the provisions applicable to companies subject to the small companies’ regime under FRS102 section 1A.

The financial statements were approved by the board of directors and authorised for issue on 30 March 2022 and are signed on its behalf by:

Robert Keen BIFA Director General

Company Registration No. 00391973


bifa.org | BIFA Annual Report & Accounts 2021

Notes to the Financial Statements For the year ended 31 December 2021

following bases: Software Over 10 years Training materials 33.33% on cost 1.4 Tangible fixed assets Tangible fixed assets are initially measured at cost and subsequently measured at cost or valuation, net of depreciation and any impairment losses. The fixed assets are included at cost less aggregate depreciation. The rates of depreciation are as follows: Freehold property - buildings Over 20 years Fixtures, fittings & equipment 10%/20%/25% on cost Computer equipment 33%/50% on cost The gain or loss arising on the disposal of an asset is determined as the difference between the sale proceeds and the carrying value of the asset, and is credited or charged to surplus or deficit. 1.5 Fixed asset investments A subsidiary is an entity controlled by the company. Control is the power to govern the financial and operating policies of the entity so as to obtain benefits from its activities. The dormant subsidiary exists under the name The Institute Of Freight Forwarders and is registered under the same registered office as the parent. 1.6 Impairment of fixed assets At each reporting end date, the company reviews the carrying amounts of its tangible assets to determine whether there is any indication that those assets have suffered an impairment loss. If any such indication exists, the recoverable amount of the asset is estimated in order to determine the extent of the impairment loss (if any). 1.7 C ash and cash equivalents Cash and cash equivalents are basic financial assets and include cash in hand, deposits held at call with banks, other short-term liquid investments with original

maturities of three months or less, and bank overdrafts. Bank overdrafts are shown within borrowings in current liabilities. 1.8 Financial instruments The company has elected to apply the provisions of Section 11 ‘Basic Financial Instruments’ and Section 12 ‘Other Financial Instruments Issues’ of FRS 102 to all of its financial instruments. Financial instruments are recognised in the company’s statement of financial position when the company becomes party to the contractual provisions of the instrument. 1.9 Taxation Deferred tax liabilities are generally recognised for all timing differences. Such liabilities are not recognised if the timing difference arises from goodwill or from the initial recognition of other assets and liabilities in a transaction that affects neither the tax profit nor the accounting profit. The carrying amount of deferred tax assets is reviewed at each reporting end date and reduced to the extent that it is no longer probable that sufficient taxable profits will be available to allow all or part of the asset to be recovered. Deferred tax is calculated at the tax rates that are expected to apply in the period when the liability is settled or the asset is realised. Deferred tax is charged or credited in the profit and loss account, except when it relates to items charged or credited directly to equity, in which case the deferred tax is also dealt with in equity. Deferred tax liabilities are offset when the company has a legally enforceable right to offset current tax liabilities and the deferred tax liabilities relate to taxes levied by the same tax authority. The tax currently payable is based on taxable profit for the year. Taxable profit differs from net profit as reported in the profit and loss account because it excludes items of income or expense that are taxable or deductible in other years and it further excludes items that are never taxable or deductible. The company’s liability for current

tax is calculated using tax rates that have been enacted or substantively enacted by the reporting end date. 1.10 Employee benefits The costs of short-term employee benefits are recognised as a liability and an expense, unless those costs are required to be recognised as part of the cost of stock or fixed assets. The cost of any unused holiday entitlement is recognised in the period in which the employee’s services are received. Termination benefits are recognised immediately as an expense when the company is demonstrably committed to terminate the employment of an employee or to provide termination benefits. 1.11 Retirement benefits Payments to defined contribution retirement benefit schemes are charged as an expense as they fall due. 1.12 Government grants Government grants are recognised at the fair value of the asset received or receivable when there is reasonable assurance that the grant conditions will be met and the grants will be received. A grant that specifies performance conditions is recognised in income when the performance conditions are met. Where a grant does not specify performance conditions it is recognised in income when the proceeds are received or receivable. A grant received before the recognition criteria are satisfied is recognised as a liability.

1. Accounting Policies Company Information British International Freight Association is a company limited by guarantee and incorporated in England and Wales. The registered office is Redfern House, Browells Lane, Feltham, London, TW13 7EP. 1.1 Accounting convention These financial statements have been prepared in accordance with FRS 102 “The Financial Reporting Standard applicable in the UK and Republic of Ireland” (“FRS 102”) and the requirements of the Companies Act 2006 as applicable to companies subject to the small companies regime. The disclosure requirements of section 1A of FRS 102 have been applied other than where additional disclosure is required to show a true and fair view. The financial statements are prepared in sterling, which is the functional currency of the company. Monetary amounts in these financial statements are rounded to the nearest £. The financial statements have been prepared under the historical cost convention. The principal accounting policies adopted are set out below. 1.2 Income and expenditure Income represents amounts after discounts and excluding V.A.T. for membership with the association in the year and for attending events/training occurring within the financial period. Expenditure represents the cost net of V.A.T. for services or goods which were incurred during the activities of the company in the year. 1.3 Intangible fixed assets other than goodwill Intangible assets acquired separately from a business are recognised at cost and are subsequently measured at cost less accumulated amortisation and accumulated impairment losses. Amortisation is recognised so as to write off the cost or valuation of assets less their residual values over their useful lives on the


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