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THE BUSINESS OF INTERNATIONAL TRADE

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Reducing Trade Barriers A Priority for Department for International Trade

According to the Department, 175 trade barriers have been removed during the 2019/20 financial year, improving access for UK exporters to over 60 countries

Published on September 24, 2020

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The Department of International Trade (DIT) has highlighted the importance of removing barriers to trade, whilst reporting that during the 2019/20 financial year, the Department was able to assist in the removal of 175 trade barriers, making it easier to trade with 61 countries located around the world.

Barriers, according to the DIT, relate to unnecessary, legal, regulatory or administrative requirements, including labelling restrictions, out-dated regulations and licensing requirements.

Removing barriers and easing the flow of trade could, according to the government, see an increase in British exports worth £7bn per year.

One example of a barrier which has been removed with assistance from the DIT is the exporting of beef and lamb to Japan. The export ban of beef and lamb to Japan was ended at the start of 2019, and now, UK exports of beef to Japan are anticipated to be worth approxiamately £75m over the first 5 years of market access, with the value of lamb exports at £52m over the same period.

Highlighting the importance of reducing trade barriers, the Minister for International Trade, Ranil Jayawardena, said that "Fewer trade barriers mean British businesses in every corner of the country have a golden opportunity to realise their full potential. As we take back control of our trade policy for the first time in almost fifty years, this shows how we can open and expand access to markets around the world, as we back businesses in pursuing their global ambitions."

Dominic Goudie, Head of International Trade at the Food and Drink Federation, explained that exports of food and drink are particularly vulnerable to trade barriers. Mr Goudie said that "British exports of food and drink are frequently constrained by market access barriers when entering overseas markets and we depend on the support of Government to help resolve these issues. We welcome the Government’s continued commitment to driving export growth by addressing longstanding issues that restrict trade and encourage businesses to report any trade barriers they experience via the Government’s online service."

The DIT are also keen to hear from exporters who have experienced trade barriers. The Department has a web form you can fill in to call attention to problems you're encountering.

To report a trade barrier to the Department for International Trade, go to www.gov.uk/guidance/report-a-trade-barrier

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