Exporting goods after Brexit: Guide for UK businesses

Brexit left the UK in an uncertain situation. In order to ensure that imports and exports weren’t affected, the UK government worked together with countries in and outside of the EU. 

Many smaller and medium sized businesses (SME) have faced challenges as a result of the political changes caused by Brexit and may not have the means to implement the necessary changes. 

Working with experts in international markets such as RSM can help businesses manage trade and exports and avoid problems from occurring as a result of the new Brexit trade agreements. 

Which challenges has Brexit caused for UK companies that rely on trade?

The trade agreement that was developed between the UK and the EU has brought many changes. Especially for smaller businesses it can be highly confusing and time-consuming to develop new ways to implement the changes and adapt to all the new rules and regulations. SME businesses that rely on trade with EU countries are often at a disadvantage. In a competitive market, in addition to dealing with the additional strain of the pandemic, smaller firms are facing more and more challenges and need to find ways to cope. 

Some of the rules make it increasingly difficult for UK businesses to export products into the EU. Firms may now need an Economic Operators Registration and Identification (EORI) number, which needs to be supplied by the government of the EU member state. This is the same rule that applies when exporting goods in countries outside of the EU. In order to receive an EORI number certain requirements need to be met, which can be harder for small businesses to achieve, putting them at a disadvantage. Considering they may be looking to reach a smaller customer base; it can be hard to justify spending the time and resources to achieve this. 

What businesses can do to make exports easier

Market research is now even more important. The better companies in the UK understand their customer base, the easier it will be to develop the right products to meet their needs. Businesses also need to understand the competition very well in order to find ways to compete in a highly competitive marketplace. Marketing plans should be tailored to the customer base, including developing translations of product descriptions and localizations. 

The new laws have made exporting products more complicated by making the process more bureaucratic. It is vital for UK businesses to follow all of the new requirements closely. HM Revenue & Customs and the UK embassy in the country in which companies are planning to do business in, can provide helpful guidelines on how to fulfil the requirements.