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A Summary of Department for International Trade (DIT) Services for Exporters

DIT First Class Export Advice

As Accredited Trade Organisations, PetQuip works closely with the Department for International Trade to help members in our sectors to export. The following is an overview of some of the key services available from the Department for International Trade.

A starting point for an overview of the services available is the following website: https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/department-for-international-trade/about/about-our-services

See also www.great.gov.uk which has tailored support and advice for businesses on how to start exporting or increase the amount of goods and services they sell overseas. You can register on this website to enable access to services and information identifying whether you are a new or more experienced exporter. The site then links to services such as selling online overseas, creating an export profile to promote to potential buyers, details of DIT events, workshops, outward missions, webinars and more, finding export opportunities posted by embassies or international chambers of commerce and export finance.

DIT Export Advice

If you are not already working with DIT and making the most the wide range of services and funding opportunities that are available, you are strongly advised to get to know your local international trade adviser. https://www.contactus.trade.gov.uk/office-finder/ is the page where you can find your local International Trade team in English regions as well as the relevant contacts in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. They will be able to advise what advice and funding is available for companies in your area and which schemes might most benefit you. Your local trade specialist can help in arranging introductions to potential overseas buyers, agents and distributors. Formerly known as the OMIS service, this is a charged service, with work often carried out by international Chambers of Commerce or other third-party organisations, but arranged through your local DIT contact. Likewise they may be able to help with market visits etc. See also the DIT introduction to the benefits of exporting at https://www.gov.uk/starting-to-export.

DIT Business Opportunities Service

UK exporters can register to receive sales leads for their product areas. DIT publishes regular Business/Export Opportunities on their Exporting is Great website. These opportunities are issued by their commercial offices at British Embassies and Consulates worldwide and increasingly by third parties such as British Chambers of Commerce overseas. To register, see the main webpage https://opportunities.export.great.gov.uk/.  PetQuip will pass on any leads that we identify for our sectors to members as they arise. Whilst the majority of business opportunities tend to be for large project-based schemes, there are increasing numbers of leads being placed for consumer products, so we recommend that you sign up for alerts.

Events, missions and webinars offered by DIT

DIT and partner organisations offer a wide range of events in the UK and trade missions overseas. Seminars, workshops, training events and briefings etc.  are usually offered by DIT regional offices and can cover exporting topics, specific markets or relate to forthcoming trade shows. Missions are organised group visits to overseas markets and can be either sector-specific or multi-sector and usually offer a programme of activities and market information. See https://events.trade.gov.uk/ where you can search by a particular type of event and by region.

DIT also holds webinars on a wide variety of exporting topics and export markets – search for webinars at https://events.trade.gov.uk/. Where the DIT webinars have a particular interest for pet companies, PetQuip will try to keep members informed, but there are webinars on a whole host of markets and subject areas that may be of specific interest to you. This site will ultimately provide the central one-stop link to all the various trade shows, trade missions, seminars and other events supported by DIT. We recommend that you sign up for alerts on events, webinars and missions that may be relevant to your company. And if you cannot make a live webinar timing, as long as you have pre-registered, you will get the chance to view a recording at a later stage.

Open To Export Service and Export Savvy

The Open to Export Service is a free online community that gives small businesses the guidance and in-depth information they need to expand their business abroad. Companies will receive bespoke answers to meet their business needs in new markets, access practical information on export topics, connect and engage with a range of exporters and explore the latest international opportunities for their business. See http://opentoexport.com/.  Country guides can be found at http://opentoexport.com/countries/.

Export Savvy is an online tool for companies who want to learn about exporting. It can guide you through what you need to consider when planning, executing and evaluating export activity. See www.exportsavvy.co.uk

UK Export Finance

In recent  years the government has considerably increased the financial services and support available to exporters, though much of this is still primarily targetted at large scale projects. But where SME’s are having trouble getting short-term credit insurance, UKEF may be able to help. UKEF can also provide advice and assistance through its regional Export Finance Advisors on trade finance issues to companies of all sizes – see https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/find-an-export-finance-manager.  For details of the support that UK Export finance (UKEF) can offer exporters see; https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/uk-export-finance-products-and-services. Aside from the export insurance policy for certain markets where credit insurance is not readily forthcoming through private insurance companies, there are a number of other schemes including the Bond Support Scheme, Bond Insurance Policy, the Export Working Capital Scheme, Letter of Credit Guarantee Scheme, Buyer credit Facilities and Direct Lending Facility. For further details see the UKEF website https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/uk-export-finance. Some of these schemes are more relevant to capital financing and long-term projects rather than to sales of fast moving consumer goods.

Business Risk Reports from the FCO (Foreign & Commonwealth Office) are also available at the following webpage; https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/overseas-business-risk.  These cover political and economic risks, human rights issues, bribery, terrorism, cyber security, criminal activity, and intellectual property. You can search by continent/region and by country to establish which countries have individual business risk reports. The FCO also provides travel advice at https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice.

E-Exporting Programme

DIT’s E-Exporting Programme can help UK retail companies and brands sell products overseas through online channels. By joining DIT’s E-Exporting Programme, UK companies and brands can reach consumers overseas through e-marketplaces.

An e-marketplace is an online location that provides a platform for companies of all sizes to do business through e-commerce. Popular e-marketplaces include Amazon, Tmall and eBay. This service is targeted principally at retailers and leading brands who wish to reach consumers directly through the leading online platforms. For further details see; https://www.gov.uk/guidance/e-exporting or contact your local DIT export adviser. Each region also has a dedicated adviser on digital trade. See also https://selling-online-overseas.export.great.gov.uk/ which has details of some of the leading e-marketplaces and details of special deals negotiated by DIT. You can contact; e-exporting@trade.gsi.gov.uk for a free meeting on selling online.

Tradeshow Access Programme (TAP)

Many PetQuip members will be familiar with the DIT Tradeshow Access Programme (TAP) funding for SME’s at international trade shows such as spoga+gafa, Interzoo, Global Pet Expo and Zoomark and any other shows where PetQuip take DIT funded British exhibiting groups. We highlight these opportunities to you when recruiting British exhibiting groups and when featuring the shows themselves in Gardenex and PetQuip News but the following DIT web-page outlines the service in general terms - https://www.gov.uk/tradeshow-access-programme. In 2018, the level of funding for eligible SMEs started from £1,000 for European shows up to £2,000 for shows outside Europe. There are a number of criteria for receiving funding based on the size of the company, the number of previous grants that your company has received etc. Please call us if you need further advice on eligibility criteria, details of this year’s funding for individual shows and for details of how to apply.
To sum up, the Department for International Trade provides a range of funding opportunities and general practical advice and support to all UK exporters.

 

 

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