The Government has today launched a new phone and online service to help UK businesses export to the rest of Europe after Brexit.
The Department for International Trade (DIT) has created the free-to-use service to make it easier for exporters, and those considering exporting, to access the information they need, after feedback from businesses.
From queries around rules of origin, to guidance on recognising professional qualifications and entering new markets, the Export Support Service will provide a single point of contact. It is designed to help exporters navigate a range of complex information simply and quickly.
Europe is a key destination for high-quality UK goods and services. In 2020 alone, the UK exported £288bn worth of goods to Europe before the end of the transition period for the UK leaving the EU on 31 December 2020.
International trade secretary Anne-Marie Trevelyan said: “We are listening to the needs of businesses and that’s why we’re launching this fantastic new one-stop shop service, making it easier for British companies to export to Europe.
“We are focused on helping exporters fulfil their potential. Having a dedicated export support team at the end of a phone ready to help will ensure they can access the information they need and get on with the job of selling their world-class products and services abroad, in turn helping the UK to build back better.
Lord Frost, minister of state at the Cabinet Office, added: “We are continuing to support businesses across the UK to unlock trading opportunities with Europe and beyond.
“By launching this new online service, we’re equipping companies up and down the country with the support and tools they need in one place to successfully export their products – ensuring that the best of British goods and services can reach European towns and cities.”
The new service was welcomed by British business organisations including the Federation of Small Businesses. Its national chair, Mike Cherry, said: “In our recent export report we called for a single query point to help small businesses looking to either expand or begin their exporting journeys.
“So we are pleased that government is now creating just that. Done right, this will be a major boost for small firms raising their sights to new growth markets around the globe.
“One of the big barriers for small businesses trying to export has been access to key information and we hope this will provide welcome information and guide small exporters onto the market.”
Andy Burwell, international director of the Confederation of British Industry (CBI), said: “This new helpline and practical government support for UK exports to Europe is a real step forward, and in line with CBI calls to support firms with their exporting journey.
“A free-to-use service to help businesses navigate trading with the UK’s biggest market will be hugely beneficial, particularly to SMEs.
“If we are to transform the UK into a trading powerhouse, we need more companies exporting a greater range of products to an increasing number of markets.
“Our data shows supporting a new generation of SME exporters could boost UK export revenues by an additional £20bn by 2030.
“Businesses will want to step up work with the government to seize the opportunities that trade brings to the economy, both across Europe and around the world.”
The service comes ahead of the upcoming launch of the government’s export strategy which aims to drive economic recovery and “level up” the entire country by promoting UK business’s ability to sell goods and services around the globe.