Dream big with trade to EU and global markets
We are the West of England Combined Authority's Growth Hub. We provide free 360-degree business support for small and medium sized businesses in all sectors.
Funding is now available
The Government’s new £20 million SME Brexit Support Fund offers support to help small businesses like yours adjust to new customs procedures, rules of origin, and VAT rules when trading with the EU. It could give you up to £2,000 if your business has up to 500 employees, and no more than £100 million annual turnover.
If you trade only with the EU, and are therefore new to importing and exporting processes, you can apply for grants of up to £2,000, to pay for practical support including training and professional advice to ensure you can continue trading effectively with the EU.
For more information on the SME Brexit Support Fund, full guidance on how you can use the grant, who can apply and how to apply, click here.
What you need to know to trade successfully with the EU
If you are thinking about expanding your business by trading with the EU or other countries, have a look at this FAQ document. There's also a simple one pager which outlines the key information you need to know.
In short, you'll now need to:
- make customs declarations for any goods moved between Great Britain and Europe;
- pay the relevant tariffs on any goods moved between Great Britain and Europe; and,
- follow new processes for moving any goods into Northern Ireland from Great Britain.
Internationalisation Fund now open
The Department for International Trade has launched its new Internationalisation Fund for eligible businesses in England. Match-funded grants of between £1,000 and £9,000 will be available for future activity (subject to eligibility and availability). To secure a grant, you’ll need to fund a proportion of your costs yourself. This varies according to where your business is based and will be either 40 or 50% of the total cost.
The fund can be used to support areas including (but not exclusively limited to):
- Market research
- IP advice
- Translation services
- International social media/SEO
- Trade fairs (where no TAP funding is available)
- Independent market visits
- Consultancy and other international commercial services
Fear not, help is on hand. Let's get your business set up to trade
A pilot Export Academy scheme has been introduced to support smaller businesses in the South West begin their exporting journey. Applicable to a wide range of businesses, whether you want to start exporting, or you’re aiming to enter new markets, we’ll help you overcome many of the common challenges that small businesses can face.
The Export Academy will deliver a series of activities that will build your capabilities, creating a new cohort of confident businesses ready to trade. This pilot programme is designed for owners and senior managers of businesses, and to qualify your business must:
- have a turnover of up to £500,000
- be located in the Midlands, North of England or the South West of England
When you export goods to any country, you now need to submit a Customs Declaration. It can be complicated but ChamberCustoms delivers a Customs Declaration service that takes the hassle out of exporting and importing goods.
If you want to be able to accurately complete your own simple Customs Declaration, Business West offers Customs Declarations training to highlight how you need to do it. Read about the full offer from ChambersCustoms here.
- Department for International Trade’s Check How to Export Goods online tool, where you can find information on the UK border, and duties and customs procedures for over 160 markets around the world.
- VAT guidance about the conditions for zero rating VAT on the goods you export, and what you should do when you export goods in specific circumstances.
- The free Trader Support Service that you can sign up to, if you move goods between Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
- An online guidance package developed by DEFRA with HMRC to guide fish exporters through each step of the export journey. There’s a range of information and support available to help you make sure you’re following the new rules including the MMO One Stop Shop.
- HMRC’s Customs & International Trade Helpline which you can call and speak to an advisor on 0300 322 9434. The helpline is open from 8am to 10pm Monday to Friday and from 8am to 4pm at weekends. Or you can send HMRC your questions or use their webchat service.
- View the new on demand videos which focus on priority topics for businesses, such as exporting.
Trading with Northern Ireland
For Great British businesses moving goods into Northern Ireland, it’s important to act now to comply with the new rules. There are five key actions for businesses to take:
- Register for the Trader Support Service
- Get an EORI number
- Check Commodity Codes
- Check whether the UK Trader Scheme could help
- Check goods regulation: Manufactured and Agri-food Goods
The Explainer also includes a link to a Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy video which further unpacks key changes to the movement of goods into, out of, and through Northern Ireland, and the support available to traders.