New Chamber services: HR, H&S, Legal & Tax

Now included in your Membership - Unlimited access to document library with
800 FREE downloadable templates PLUS 5 ADVICE LINES for help with key issues.

Add to home screen

Quick access to Chamber news, events and offers

Growing your business,
building our economy

Red Tape, Regulation & Costs Holding Back Exports

Red Tape, Regulation & Costs Holding Back Exports

A SURVEY of almost 650 UK businesses by the British Chambers of Commerce has shown that customs checks, tariffs and regulation are the top three barriers to exporting.

  • Almost half (49%) of businesses say current customs checks and declarations are a barrier to exporting. This rises to 62% for manufacturers
  • Taxes and duties, due to tariffs, are the next biggest stumbling block for two fifths (40%) of firms.
  • Regulations, such as product certification, cause problems for a similar proportion of businesses (38%)

The research also found that transportation costs (37%), volatile exchange rates (31%), political and economic uncertainty (27%) and rules of origin requirements (23%) were other obstructions.    

The findings come as the Office For Budget Responsibility’s (OBR) latest forecast said the UK’s trade volumes were expected to stagnate in the medium term, and UK trade intensity still remains below its pre-pandemic level. 

The forecast also predicted real exports to average growth of just 0.1% a year between 2024 and 2027. 

The Hull and Humber Chamber is working hard to reduce the impact of this red tape for our members and local exporting businesses by adding complimentary export related webinars to our events programme, as well as increasing our bespoke support and guidance provisions.

Although we can’t eliminate the paperwork requirements of export, we can help our businesses understand what they need to do and when, enabling them to reduce costs through being more efficient and compliant with customs processes and requirements.

The Chamber would also like its member businesses to benefit from all of the free trade agreements being signed, which actually open up world markets and make British businesses more competitive and attractive.

Commenting on the research, William Bain, Head of Trade Policy at the BCC, said:   

“The OBR’s forecast makes for pretty sobering reading on the challenges we face in the UK’s push to raise exports to the £1tn level. 

“But our findings highlight the key priorities for business that could make a difference, when it comes to UK trade negotiations and other related policy developments.  

“What they want to see are faster customs processes, removal of non-tariff regulatory barriers, tariff reductions where these could make a difference, fewer hoops to jump through and greater certainty. 

“With the UK Government involved in trade negotiations with so many countries right now, including India, South Korea, Canada and Mexico, these findings are a timely reminder of the important issues. 

“The push towards increasing the amount of trade we do digitally also has the potential to smooth the flow of global trade, but we need to get more international partners on board. 

“Boosting the UK’s exports is a crucial part of solving the country’s productivity puzzle and getting the economy back to greater growth. Although global demand is under pressure, there remain huge opportunities for us in key sectors such as advanced manufacturing and green innovation, if we get the framework right. 

“The BCC’s Trade Manifesto sets out a comprehensive list of steps that politicians and policymakers could take, both in the UK and beyond, that could make a real difference.”  

The BCC also commented: 

“With a stalling economy and a cost-of-living crisis it has never been more important to get Britain exporting. 

“But we face an uphill challenge in persuading more firms to trade overseas when so many of them are put off by red tape, costs and paperwork.

“This is especially important for smaller firms, given the challenges of the current economic climate. 

“The UK Government also needs to focus on pushing awareness of free trade deals, especially among smaller businesses, and take decisive action on reducing some of the removable EU red tape costs for traders.” 

Pattesons Glass Ltd
Aa Global
Gold patron
Hatfields Hull
East Riding of Yorkshire Council
Alan Boswell Insurance Brokers
Connexin Live, Hull
Andrew Jackson Solicitors LLP
Gold patron
Streets Chartered Accountants
We are My
SPS Group
University of Hull
Wilkin Chapman LLP