British businesses exporting to Europe can access one-to-one advice via a recently launched phone and online service - the Export Support Service (ESS)
From queries around rules of origin, to guidance on recognising professional qualifications and entering new markets, the Export Support Service from the Department for International Trade provides a single point of contact. It will help exporters navigate a range of complex information simply and quickly. The service has been welcomed by representatives from the Confederation of British Industry, the Federation of Small Businesses and the Food and Drink Federation.
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. The Export Support Service comes ahead of the upcoming launch of the UK government’s Export Strategy which aims to drive economic recovery and level up the entire country.
Businesses can access the Export Support Service by visiting www.gov.uk/ask-export-support-team or calling 0300 303 8955 to speak to a UK-based member of the export support team.
Other ways that exporters can benefit from support include:
- Taking advantage of trade support: From Export Academies and trade shows to sector-specific programmes, the DIT has packages of support for UK exporters that are regularly reviewed.
- Speaking to specialists and experienced exporters: International Trade Advisors (ITAs) develop long-term relationships with businesses to build their exporting credentials. In 2018/2019, ITAs supported over 7,000 businesses across the UK. The DIT also has a community of experienced exporters who share their expertise with UK businesses looking to export. As of 30 June 2021, it included 427 individuals from businesses with a wealth of experience, sharing their exporting know-how with new and inexperienced exporters. They provide informal advice through DIT events and campaigns.
- Applying for funding: The Internationalisation Fund, is open to SMEs in England that have significant potential to grow international sales. The Fund has facilitated £4m of support to SMEs attending Trade Fairs. The fund is supported by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and is managed through four regional projects: The Northern Powerhouse Internationalisation Fund, Midlands Internationalisation Fund, South Internationalisation Fund and London Internationalisation Fund.
- Finding out the facts: GOV.UK is home to accessible information to make exporting easier. From rules and restrictions to what exporting documents companies need.
- UK Export Finance (UKEF): The government’s credit agency aims to ensure that no viable UK export fails for lack of finance or insurance, while operating at no net cost to the taxpayer. It has recently backed a range of UK exports across Europe, including fishing trawlers to Ireland, a solar power plant in Spain and aircraft maintenance services to Estonia, and has billions of pounds worth of available capacity to support more deals on the continent.