Red Tape, Regulation and Costs Holding Back Exports
Almost half (49%) of businesses say current customs checks and declarations are a barrier to exporting. This rises to 62 per cent for manufacturers. You can find out more about the latest trade survey results by reading the article below and signing up for the free webinar taking place on Tuesday 12 December.

Please note our key documentation dates below ahead of the festive break. Whilst the office is closed between Christmas and the New Year we will be processing online documentation on 29 December.

If you get chance, please answer our short survey to help us find out which Arab League States you would like to know more about. This will help us shape our event in 2024 with the Arab-British Chamber of Commerce.

If you have any international trade queries please email or telephone the team on 01223 237414.

Karen Cash
International Trade Team Leader
01223 237414
Key documentation processing over the Christmas Break

The last date for submitting consular documentation is 11.00am on Thursday 14 December. Documents submitted after this time will not be processed until Tuesday 2 January.

The Chamber will close at 4.00pm on Friday 22 December and re-open at 9.00am on Tuesday 2 January. 

We will process online documents on Friday 29 December from 10.00am-1.00pm. Please ensure you upload all supporting paperwork to enable us to process these applications or email
Red Tape, Regulation and Costs Holding Back Exports

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

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 per cent a year between 2024 and 2027.

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.” 

Liam Smyth, Managing Director of the BCC’s brokerage service, ChamberCustoms, added: “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.

“That’s why the shift to an on-line system can ensure that checks can be carried out away from the border, removing a big chunk of the uncertainty for traders. 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.”

If you need help with your Customs Declarations, please give Karen a call on 01223 237414.
Unlocking Trade: Latest insights and analysis from the BCC
Tuesday 12 December, 12.00-1.00pm

Chamber members are invited to this exclusive free-to-attend BCC webinar that will explore the latest macro trends from our Trade Survey research and delve into the BCC’s latest thinking and policy analysis.

The deadline for bookings is 12.00pm on Friday 8 December.
Entries close on Sunday 14 January 2024.
NEW! Export Strategy: Food & Drink
Thursday 14 December, 9.30am-1.00pm

Richard Bartlett, Chair of our International Sector and course trainer, will be joined by Nicola Thomas who brings a wealth of experience and knowledge in the food and drink sector.

Throughout the workshop, we will explore a range of topics related to the export process, including understanding international regulations and requirements, exploring potential target markets, developing an export plan and best practices for managing an international supply chain.
You can view the full list of all our training courses for 2024 on the Chamber website.

Courses can also be tailored to meet your company’s specific requirements. For more information about a bespoke course for your company, which can be delivered remotely or in person, please contact the Chamber on 01223 237414.
Automotive Mission to Ghana
23-26 January 2024

The mission will present a unique opportunity for delegation to engage with:

  • OEMs and local assemblers
  • High-level Government of Ghana officials and Policy makers
  • EVs
  • Govt agencies
  • Spare parts importers and dealers
  • 2/3 wheeler segment
  • Standards
  • Industrial park and free zones
  • Regional and local auto associations
  • Ecosystem players
  • Skills.
Global Annual Conference 2024
Thursday 27 June 2024, QEII Centre, London

BCC Global Annual Conference 2024 will bring together business leaders, policy experts, media and government representatives to tackle important business issues and create lasting change.
The BCC met with the Canadian High Commission last week to discuss UK and Canada economic prospects, the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) accession, plus the current UK-Canada trade negotiations.

They also met with the US Embassy economic and trade team to exchange views on UK-US trade and current global trade matters, as well as considering how bilateral trade and investment links can be improved in the next 12 months.

Also last week, they engaged with MPs who are members of the joint UK-EU Partnership Parliamentary Assembly ahead of its forthcoming meeting to consider priorities for improving UK-EU trade.

The first meeting of the new Forum briefing stakeholders on latest updates on UK trade negotiations took place on Tuesday. This week, we will be briefed further on the latest progress on trade talks with India.

The UK Deputy Chief Negotiator for trade with Turkiye, Alex Mulchrone, joined the BCC Trade Policy Committee meeting last week. The call for input ahead of negotiations next year with Turkiye continues until 5 January 2004.

Changes to duties on a selection of products originating in Russia and Belarus will come into effect on Monday 4 December, including 35 per cent rises in duty. See the full list here
Contact the Chamber

Cambridgeshire Chamber of Commerce
Clifford House, 2 Station Yard, Oakington, Cambridge, CB24 3AH