Businesses lack export ambition

Most businesses don’t currently export and don’t intend to start, according to research by the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW).

69% of businesses have never traded overseas and have no plans to do so in the future despite high-profile government campaigns.

Important findings:

  • 66% haven’t heard of UK Trade and Investment (now replaced by the Department for International Trade)
  • 87% don’t use any services offered by the department
  • 34% don’t plan on expanding their business in the next 12 months.

Stephen Ibbotson, director at ICAEW, said:

“It is clear that Brexit is not to blame for UK businesses having no ambitions to explore the international markets and it is the responsibility of key policy makers to encourage the UK to be a more export-driven economy following its impending withdrawal from the EU.

“Initiatives such as export vouchers would help businesses to kick-start their ambition to grow globally.”

Starting exporting

There are a number of procedures to follow if you export overseas. The rules differ depending on where in the world you want to export to.

For example, sales of goods and services to EU countries are free of export duty and customs checks.

If you are exporting outside of the EU, you may need to pay taxes and customs duties depending on the country.

Similarly, VAT rules will vary according to where you are exporting.

It is also possible to use a freight forwarder or commercial agent to act on your behalf if you don’t want to deal with export procedures yourself.

We can advise on export duties and VAT when trading overseas.


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