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Half of UK exporters not confident with new customs rules


More than half of exporting businesses within the UK say they’re unconfident with current customs documentation and procedures. 

According to a poll of 330 exporters as part of an IOE&IT webinar event, just 49% said they did feel confident, whilst just 5% said they felt ‘very confident’ with their understanding of the new trading arrangement with the EU. 

There was further bad news on trade with Northern Ireland too, with just 4% of attendees saying that the new Northern Ireland Protocol had benefited their business. 

“Changes that have been introduced can be quite difficult to navigate”

The new rules for trade between the UK and EU, as defined by the EU_UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement in the wake of Brexit, had been hailed as a great benefit of the UK’s departure from the European Union and Single Market. 

However, exporters have been faced with increased paperwork, procedural requirements, costs and delays. 

And worryingly for the future of UK exports,  more than half of those attending the IOE&IT webinar stated that they didn’t feel they had the knowledge to benefit from the UK’s current and future trade deals – including new free trade agreements with new and emerging markets which the government is actively working to pursue. 

The issue that presents for UK firms, as well as the economy as a whole, is that export volumes may continue to decline compared to where they could have been had Brexit not have happened, as SME firms struggle to capitalise on new global opportunities for trade. 

Suzanne Alecrim of the IOE&IT said of the poll results that: The changes that have been introduced can be quite difficult to navigate, so I can understand why some traders aren’t too confident.”

And confidence, as we’ve seen from the recent upheaval following the now infamous mini-budget, is critical to business, markets and economies. 

What exporters can do

One of the greatest challenges to any business is successfully mitigating and growing through periods of change, and Brexit saw huge upheaval for both importing and exporting firms across all sectors. New procedures and requirements forced new ways of working, new knowledge and extra processes to upskill in – not something which every exporting firm can easily accommodate. 

At Go Exporting, we’re helping businesses to adapt and thrive in the new trading arrangement with the EU through our customs and compliance reports

What processes do you need to follow? Do you need licences or approvals? Is there any duty or quotas? Is there a Free Trade Agreement in place? Rules of Origin to consider?

Our customs and compliance report covers all aspects of your trade with a specific country or trade bloc – including the EU. 

Learn more about how we can help your business grow internationally here.

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