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Dedicated hotline and online service launched for UK exporters

Following extensive engagement with businesses, the Department for International Trade (DIT) is making it easier for exporters and those considering exporting to access the information they need to export to the rest of Europe.

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 will 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 – with medicinal and pharmaceutical products and cars among the top five.

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.”

Minister of State at the Cabinet Office, Lord Frost said: “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.”

Andy Burwell, CBI International Director 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.”

Federation of Small Businesses 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.”

The Food and Drink Federation’s Head of International Trade, Dominic Goudie, said: “This new support from the Department for International Trade is most welcome and will help businesses that are facing challenges when moving goods into Europe.

“Businesses have been badly hit, as highlighted in the FDF’s Export Snapshot published in September, so it is essential to have this support in place to aid business recovery and a return to export growth for our industry.”

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.

The strategy will promote UK businesses’ ability to seize the opportunities to sell goods and services around the globe. It will ensure our most productive businesses can compete using our new independent trade policy, supporting jobs and prioritising the UK’s most dynamic sectors.