Overseas Trade: Small Businesses

Cabinet Office written question – answered am ar 15 Mai 2024.

Danfonwch hysbysiad imi am ddadleuon fel hyn

Photo of Viscount Waverley Viscount Waverley Crossbench

To ask His Majesty's Government what support they are providing to small and medium-sized enterprises to help them adapt to new import and export regulations.

Photo of Baroness Neville-Rolfe Baroness Neville-Rolfe Minister of State (Cabinet Office)

The Government published the final Border Target Operating Model (BTOM) on 29 August 2023. It outlines new policies and processes that importers, the border industry and wider stakeholders including EU exporters will need to go through in order to import goods. We are implementing the BTOM in stages throughout 2024 to help industry get accustomed to the changes.

We have worked extensively with small and medium enterprises to help us define and help them adapt to new controls and requirements. Since publishing the final BTOM, Defra’s ongoing engagement has included regularly contacting 30,000 importers with up-to-date information, delivering over 50 webinars to thousands of businesses, providing bespoke training and working with HMRC to issue communication to 150,000 businesses in the UK.

The risk-based model outlined in the BTOM supports businesses of all sizes by minimising costs and burdens for traders and consumers. For example, low-risk products of animal origin will not require an Export Health Certificate or routine border checks and medium risk goods will undergo reduced intervention at the border. We are also piloting new Trusted Trader schemes that will support groupage loads, which is how SMEs often transport their goods.

All businesses will benefit from using the Single Trade Window, saving time and cost for traders. When fully operational, it will make better use of data and remove duplication to make it easier to trade internationally. This can also limit the requirement to use intermediaries and helps to support small businesses through the user interface on the platform. As the Single Trade Window develops, more information will be provided as to how SMEs can be involved and utilise the service.

The Department for Business and Trade supports small and medium enterprises with national programmes such as the Growth Hub network and through schemes such as Help to Grow. The new Help to Grow Campaign includes a dedicated website, acting as a resourcing hub for business support and advice, as well as SME leadership training schemes, Help to Grow Management and Help to Grow: Management Essentials. UK businesses can access DBT’s wealth of export support via Great.gov.uk. This comprises a digital self-serve offer and our wider network of support including trade advisers, Export Champions, the Export Academy, our International Markets network and UK Export Finance.

Furthermore, since its launch in October 2021, to February 2024, the Export Support Service (ESS) Export Digital Enquiry Service has supported over 16,800 enquiries. The ESS International Markets (IM) service has been live in all nine HMTC regions since April 2022 and has received 23,500 market enquiries from 10,700 businesses (up to February 2024).

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