Support for UK businesses trading internationally

Published by Andrew Wallis on 22 March 2020

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Last updated 22 March 2020

Whilst the spread of Coronavirus has impacted all businesses, the effect has been particularly acute for businesses that trade internationally.  Although no special measures have specifically been put in place to help support international traders it is worth considering the existing support that is available, especially where you have not sought this before.

Department for International Trade

The Department for International Trade (“DIT”) can support British businesses on a number of fronts where they are facing business continuity issues. These include helping, for example, with customs clearances and finding alternative suppliers where supply chains have become interrupted.

The DIT has set up a dedicated business support team which can be contacted by emailing COVID19@trade.gov.uk.

Further details can be found here.

UK Export Finance

UK Export Finance (“UKEF”), the UK government’s export credit agency, can provide guarantees, loans and insurance on behalf of the Government in order to protect exporters from delayed payment or transit restrictions etc. Specifically, the following schemes are available:

  • Export Working Capital Scheme
    This scheme guarantees bank loans to made to exporters in order to help ease cash flow constraints where they suffer from late payments.
  • Export Insurance Policy
    It is possible to obtain an export insurance policy from the UKEF where there are concerns about payment for your exports and help provide protection where export orders are terminated by events outside of your control.
  • Direct Lending Facility Scheme
    This is a scheme where the UKEF can provide finance to your overseas customers to enable them to continue to purchase your export goods or services.

The UKEF can be contacted by emailing customer.service@ukexportfinance.gov.uk.

For further information and guidance, please get in touch with your usual Kreston Reeves contact or contact me here.

 

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