New service to open overseas markets for UK businesses

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A new online tool launched today will allow British business to report issues preventing them from trading around the world.

Barriers include unnecessary, legal, regulatory or administrative requirements. This includes labelling restrictions, out-of-date regulations and licensing requirements.

The tool will ensure British businesses can flag these issues and the government’s trade experts can work with countries around the world to resolve them.

The online form allows any UK-based business to report a barrier that is stopping or hindering their trade and investment overseas.

Once a request is submitted, it is shared with the Department for International Trade’s global team of trade experts who assess trade barriers and work with other governments to resolve these issues. The Department will also collect feedback to improve the service offered to businesses.

Market access barriers make British exports less competitive than locally produced goods and services. In some cases, they can prohibit imports entirely.

A study by the OECD suggests all G20 economies could see increased exports by more than 20% in the long term, if trade barriers were halved globally.

The government has also announced today that it has resolved market access issues to:

  • Lift the Mexican government’s ban on British exports of food condiments and supplements containing beef.
  • Reduced restrictions on Vodka exports to Canada.

Other recent market access wins secured by the UK government include:

  • Lifting a ban on British beef and lamb exports to Japan in January 2019, allowing exports worth an estimated £130 million over 5 years.

  • Helping UK pharmaceutical company’s like GlaxoSmithKline win a £35 million contract in Bulgaria through securing changes to health procurement rules.

  • Lifting the ban on British pork exports to Taiwan in August 2018, allowing exports worth an estimated £50 million over 5 years.

International Trade Secretary, Liz Truss said:

Opening up new markets for British businesses is a top priority and the Department for International Trade has 1,000 people located around the world to help create more opportunities than ever before.

In the last 12 months, we’ve secured wins to sell beef to Japan, langoustines to China and pork to Taiwan – just to name a few.

I am delighted to announce today that we’ve secured new wins to lift the ban on exports of products containing beef in Mexico and reduce restrictions on Vodka exports to Canada.

I urge businesses to make full use of our new market access tool, which will help us to rapidly identify and knock down unnecessary trade barriers.

The Department for International Trade now has over 4,000 trade experts based in the UK and across 109 different countries worldwide.

One business already taking advantage of the opening of markets in Mexico is importer Impulsa.

Commercial Manager at Impulsa, Montserrat Cortina MP said:

Thanks to the support of the Department for International Trade in Guadalajara, over the last 2 years, the necessary procedures were carried out between Mexico and the UK at a government level to remove import restrictions on beef products from Great Britain. This means that, in 2019, we realised the reintroduction of products containing beef to Mexico after many years of absence in the market.

British businesses can now directly report barriers preventing them from trading online at great.gov.uk.

Notes to Editors:

Digital Market Access Service

In February 2019, DIT launched the new internal government digital market access service to collate a list of UK facing businesses, a sign of the close collaboration across Whitehall and with overseas missions that is allowing the government to better meet the needs of businesses.

Case studies

New opportunities for products containing beef in Mexican markets

  • DIT has secured market access for UK food condiments including condiments and supplements containing beef. The win will create new opportunities for UK food suppliers and manufacturers.

Reduced restrictions on Vodka classifications in Canada

  • DIT successfully encouraged a review of Canadian vodka regulations to allow for more flexibility in the compositional standard of vodka.

  • Previously, only spirits derived from potatoes or grains could be marketed as vodkas in Canada.

  • The new standards allow for vodkas to be produced from any products of agricultural origin. This increases the opportunities in Canada for UK distillers innovating with unique, cutting-edge spirit recipes.

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