The Department for International Trade (DIT) has launched a new export hotline and online service which aims to help more British businesses export to Europe.
It is hoped the Export Support Service will make it easier for exporters and those considering exporting to access the information they need to export to the rest of Europe.
Billed as a ‘one-stop shop’, it will bring together UK government information and provide a single point of contact, offering advice around rules of origin, as well as guidance on recognising professional qualifications and entering new markets.
British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) has welcomed this new service, but says that it must ‘add value’ for British companies.
William Bain, Head of Trade Policy at the BCC, said: “Business has been pointing out the daily difficulties firms, large and small, have had with the new trading terms for EU exports since they started on 1 January.
“Many have found themselves wrestling with issues around VAT, export health certificates, and origin certification for the first time.
“The Chambers Network and ChamberCustoms were ready on day one for this challenge and have continued to share their practical experience and knowledge of how to best facilitate trade and market access for our members.
“Every day we are working to make this happen in a way no-one else does. Our expertise allows us to offer advice, training, brokerage and documentation services for trade with both the EU and wider international market.”
Europe has long been a key destination for high-quality UK goods and services. Last year alone, the UK exported some £288 billion worth of goods to Europe – with medicinal and pharmaceutical products, and cars among the top five.
Mr Bain continued: “We are keen to work in partnership with Government to enhance this capacity to lift export-led growth for companies the length and breadth of the United Kingdom, using our Global Business Network to extend their reach.
“We look forward to working with the Europe Export Support Service and hope it will prove complementary to the unrivalled support the Chamber Network provides to exporting UK companies.
“Unfortunately, many firms have given up exporting to EU customers since January, while others have found the new barriers to trade in goods and services a massive financial and logistical burden.
“The essential test for this new service will be to turn that around and do it quickly, by adding value to the work of Chambers and not to further confuse UK companies. Rebuilding the economy after the pandemic requires turbo-charged export-led growth – especially with our largest trading partner – the EU.”