Partner Events


Europe is our largest trading partner (as of June 2022) according to the ONS.  The UK-EU Trade Cooperation Agreement offers now the basis of our new relationship with our European neighbours and covers over £550 billion of trade.  Following the UK’s withdrawal from the EU, it is essential that UK businesses understand the diversity of markets Europe is composed of - and the challenges involved - before making financial or resource commitments. 

Sign up for free here.

You can join the UK Export Academy and selecting a session during sign-up.  By joining the Academy you will gain access to a calendar of free events that can support you in starting out or growing your exports.


As a business already engaged with the Department for Business and Trade's support, we wanted to alert you to a series of upcoming events, hosted by the UK Export Academy (events now listed are through to the end of June 2023).

Sign up for free and you will have access to a calendar of events to support your export strategy, from the fundamentals of international trade to specific sector masterclasses, we have a session for every step of your export journey.

All you have to do is register for an account and select your preferred sessions.  We’re adding new events all the time, so keep checking back to see the latest.

What's the UK Export Academy?

The UK Export Academy is a free training programme for UK businesses looking to grow their international sales. Brought to you by expert speakers, these export workshops are delivered through a hybrid of online and face-to-face learning. 

Join hundreds of businesses like yours as we explore the benefits and challenges of trading outside of the UK.

Explore the full events calendar here.


Discover events in your area

International Trade Week 2022 will be hosting 30+ in-person events across the UK, with content exploring the unique challenges and growth opportunities for exports from your local area. 

Highlights include:

  • Export Academy LIVE!

  • Green Trade and Investment Expo

  • Growing your Agri-Tech Business – Does your business have what it takes to take flight?

  • Protecting your Brand in Overseas Markets

  • DBT Education Day

  • DBT Global Entrepreneur Programme: Inform, Inspire, Connect - Going Global Masterclass

Explore in-person events near you.

Get in-person export support

Ahead of attending events during International Trade Week you can:

  • Get in-person export support

  • Get advice from our Export Support Service

  • Arrange to talk to one of our expert International Trade Advisers (ITAs)

Some events will have ITAs speaking or attending for one-to-one meetings.  Check the descriptions for details and how to join.

Find information on exporting opportunities here.

Contact the Export Support Service here.


The Department for Business and Trade is delighted to present this exciting opportunity to help support your business' growth; the UK Government's 'Help to Grow: Management' Course.

Help to Grow: Management is a training course for business leaders. Designed and delivered by industry experts and entrepreneurs at world-class business schools, this leadership course will help you learn how to take your business to the next level, increasing profitability, innovation and growth.

As part of the course you will:

  • learn from experts and entrepreneurs at accredited business schools

  • get 10 hours of 1-2-1 mentoring support to help you apply the learning to your business

  • learn about topics like developing a marketing strategy, financial management, and more

  • develop a plan to help your business grow

  • become more confident leading your business through current and future challenges.

The course is designed to fit around existing work and personal commitments.  It is 12 weeks long, with around 4 hours of training each week. It is 90% funded by the Government, meaning you'll pay £750 per person.

Click here to register your place on the course.

For more information about what you can expect to learn on the course, frequently asked questions and dates of upcoming courses near you, please visit


Masterclasses, workshops and conferences to drive your business forward digitally.

Keep an eye out for future events.


Digital Drive County Durham, UMi Commercial Limited, Spectrum 6, Spectrum Business Park, Seaham, County Durham, SR7 7TT

Telephone: 0191 716 0960

If you have any questions about these events, you can also contact us at


Growing a business isn’t always easy, it often needs more than a smart strategy. 

That's why we've added a range of specialist advisers to UMi Sat Nav to help you achieve your growth ambitions with personalised and actionable support. 

If you are looking to generate real growth, why not get in touch with my colleague and Growth Consultant, Dave Jones

With a wide breadth of experience supporting businesses combined with running his own, he has a particular passion for business finance, process improvement & project planning. 

Speak to Dave and he'll offer you specialist one-to-one support with how to: 

  • Refresh & evolve your business plan

  • Improve your sales & marketing techniques

  • Retain & attract a talented team

  • Build resilience in your supply chain 

Book your free 30-minute consultation with Dave Jones now for straight talking advice on how to grow your business.


Create your DABS Programme account here.

Please note that the DABS programme ended on the 31st January 2023.  You are still welcome to apply however the level of mentoring and events that is available may be reduced.


Thursday, 31st August 2023 (12:30-16:00) - Social Media for Business Workshop - Online meeting via Zoom

Organised by TEDCO Business Support Ltd

Tik-Tok, Instagram, Clubhouse, Snapchat, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter . . . so many to choose from but . . . which is best?  Which is right for you?

Covering points of designing a social media strategy:

  • Review current marketing

  • Recognise your goals

  • Figure out your ideal customer

  • Investigate the competition

  • Create a mission statement

  • Identify key success metrics

  • Choose your channels

  • Create your posts

  • Invest in a social media management tool

  • Review and revise

We also look at the legalities and advertising standards for social media marketing

Essential dos and don’ts of social media marketing

Book now!


The Department for Business and Trade's Big in America LinkedIn series is now live.

Big in America is a first-of-its-kind documentary series on LinkedIn. It follows five UK SMEs that are determined to crack the American market and export their goods and services.  Each fifteen-minute episode sees television personality Alex Polizzi mentor the businesses as they learn the ropes of the US market in preparation for a pitch to a major US business in New York City.  You can get a taste of what to expect by watching the series trailer.

Episodes are released fortnightly from 12th September to 7th November at 1pm and you can sign up using the links below to watch live, or on catch up.

Episode 1 (Willsow) – Live on catch-up to watch now

Episode 2 (See.Sense) – airing on 26th September 2023, 1pm

Episode 3 (Collctiv) – airing on 10th October 2023, 1pm

Episode 4 (Artemis) – airing on 24th October 2023, 1pm

Episode 5 (Spice Kitchen) – airing on 7th November 2023, 1pm

There will also be live Q&As with each of the SMEs at 2pm, directly after transmission - viewers will be able to attend and ask questions to the businesses featured during these sessions.

Keep an eye on DBT’s LinkedIn page as there will be other Big in America related content, including blogs and polls, over the coming weeks.


Trade remedies in a new world order
Register Now - Limited Spaces
DATE: Thursday, 2nd November 2023
VENUE: The Congress Centre, Covent Garden, London

The Trade Remedies Authority (TRA) is delighted to invite you to attend its second annual Forum at the Congress Centre in Covent Garden, London, on Thursday, 2nd November 2023.

Confirmed speakers: 

  • Ministerial address: Minister Nigel Huddleston MP, Minister for International Trade will be delivering a keynote speech.

  • Ming Du, Durham University

  • Meredith Crowley, Professor of International Economics Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge

  • William Bain, British Chambers of Commerce

  • David Collins, TRA Audit and Risk Assurance Committee Legal Advisor

  • Gianpiero Mattera, Senior Trade Expert, Directorate for Science, Technology, and Innovation

This event will bring our valued domestic and international stakeholders with an interest in trade together with our TRA experts to consider how the UK, post Brexit, is using trade remedies to defend its economic interests in a new world order.

What to expect:

  • Keynote speeches from UK government, TRA and influential industry leaders

  • Views from legal, media and academic speakers addressing topical issues in global and economic trade policy

What attendees said about the TRA Forum:

  • Over 70% of last year's delegates agreed that the TRA undertakes fair, impartial, rigorous and efficient investigations.

  • 56% of delegates agree that the TRA Forum demonstrated that the TRA is living its values of integrity, inclusion, expertise and transparency.

  • 81% of delegates felt that they had a better understanding of the TRA’s mission and vision.

Our invitation is open to:  

  • UK producers who may need trade remedy measures to stay competitive in the UK market

  • Trade associations and industry group representatives

  • Legal and academic experts in trade related areas

  • Overseas exporters, UK importers and anyone interested in bringing goods into the UK

  • Trade experts and commentators, legal experts, parliamentarians and government officials

To RSVP, and for more information please visit our event website.

If you have any questions, please contact us by emailing You can also subscribe to our new TRA newsletter here.


The Department for Business and Trade’s 2024 Made in the UK, Sold to the World Awards will open for entries on Friday, 10th November 2023.

We are pleased to confirm this year's categories will be: 

  • Agriculture, Food & Drink 

  • Consultancy & Professional Services 

  • Creative Industries

  • Education & EdTech 

  • Financial Services & FinTech

  • Healthcare 

  • Infrastructure & Engineering 

  • Low Carbon Energy 

  • Manufacturing, Advanced Manufacturing & Construction 

  • Retail & Consumer Goods

Ahead of this year’s awards opening, we have added some useful information to help support your entry, including information on previous winners and FAQs.

To find out more visit our website.

Please note that entries close on Sunday, 14th January 2024.

We will continue to share the latest updates via email and look forward to celebrating your 2023 exporting successes.


Are you looking to unlock the immense potential of international markets? 

This month's new Hot Topic: Exporting gives you access to a collection of tools and resources designed to supercharge your exporting success. 

Whether you're a seasoned exporter or just starting out, this bundle will provide you with: 

  • Export Readiness Checklist

  • Export Support Schemes

  • Shipping Tool

  • Import/Export Procedure Tool

  • Exporting Success Podcast 

  • On-Demand Webinars 

Click here to find out more! 

If you are a business owner needing help in exporting, feel free to give us a call (0330 1247 305), email or book an appointment.


Ahead of the long weekend, catch up on our podcast series where we speak to industry experts and people just like you, who are on their own incredible business journey. 

In the latest episode we speak with founder and CEO of Just Williams, Jess Williams on how to unlock the secrets to sales and marketing success

Jessica shares her invaluable insights, strategies and experience to keep you ahead of the curve in this rapidly evolving landscape. 

Listen to find more from Jessica about:  

  • What led her to start Just Williams. 

  • The best decisions she made in her early stages. 

  • The challenges encountered and how she overcame them. 

  • Her best tips and advice to help improve your business sales. 

  • What’s next for her in her entrepreneurial journey.  

We have more than 25 episodes covering a range of business topics from entrepreneurship and leadership to marketing and innovation, so if you're want a bit of inspiration or to get some ideas to bring to your business, give them a listen.


There is a wealth of opportunity in export markets, but many business leaders are put off by the challenges, particularly those arising from a technology perspective. 

In this article, we introduce innovative TradeTech you can use to improve your international customer journey and make more global sales, by using technology to: 

  • overcome barriers to international trade

  • localise your offering to suit new international markets

  • communicate clearly with foreign customers

  • smoothing friction in your customer journey 

Click here to get started! 

If you’ve found yourself feeling frustrated by the complexities of digital trade, be assured you’re not alone. 

Get it touch and we can help you go further.

Telephone: 0330 1247 305




Diversity and equality are at the heart of building stronger, more innovative, and empathetic communities, both in the workplace and beyond. 

This month's new Hot Topic: Equality and Diversity will help your business drive positive change and foster an inclusive environment where diversity is celebrated and everyone's voices are heard. 

What's covered this month:  

  • Understanding the different types of discrimination

  • Top tips to avoiding discrimination

  • Disability Discrimination law in the workplace

  • Barriers facing Women in Business

  • Equal opportunities in the Workplace

  • How to engage young people in Business

Click here to find out more!

If you're looking at how to improve your business' equality and diversity, feel free to give me a call, email or book an appointment.

Call - 03302 01242 07305
Email -
Book an appointment here.


By transforming the wellbeing of your workplace, you can boost employee morale, improve staff retention and increase your overall productivity. 

This month's new Hot Topic: Wellbeing gives you a collection of valuable insights, tips, and best practices that will empower your team and foster a culture of wellness, including: 

  • Health & safety responsibilities as a employer

  • A guide to support your employees mental health

  • Mental health first aider: Does my business need one?

  • Mental health awareness in the workplace

  • Menopause in the workplace

  • Tackling stress in the workplace

  • How to implement resilience training

Click here to find out more! 

If you're looking to unlock the secrets to fostering a healthier, happier, and more productive work environment, feel free to get in touch!

Telephone: 0330 124 7305
Book an appointment here.


Stress, anxiety and burnout can all take their toll on your employees performance, impacting your business success. 

Mental health issues cost employers an estimated £45bn every year, which equates to around £1,300 for every worker in the UK labour force. 

To help you achieve a supportive and nurturing work environment, here's a guide to supporting your employees' mental health and wellbeing, with the insights and strategies so you can effectively: 

  • Create a culture of openness

  • Keep the conversation going

  • Listen to staff

  • Promote a healthy work-life balance

  • Encourage physical activity 

Find out more here

To speak to us about supporting your employees wellbeing within your business, give us a call, email or book an appointment.

Telephone: 0330 124 7305
Book an appointment here.


A diverse and inclusive workforce starts with equitable recruitment practices. 

In today's dynamic business landscape, diversity isn't just a buzzword; it's a driving force behind innovation and success. 

There’s also legislation governing discrimination that employers need to be mindful of, otherwise, you could face claims of unlawful discrimination. 

Award-winning HR services provider Croner, share their Top Tips to Avoid Discrimination in Recruitment to avoid getting in hot water, covering:

  • Advertising a Vacancy

  • Shortlisting

  • Interviews

  • Making an offer

  • Probationary Periods

Find out more here

To speak to us about creating a more brighter and more inclusive workforce, give us a call, email or book an appointment.

Telephone: 0330 124 7305
Book an appointment here.


There's never been a more crucial time to think about the environmental impact of your business. 

As well as benefitting the planet, sustainability can also help you build stronger customer loyalty, save on costs and ultimately boost your bottom-line. 

This month's Hot Topic: Sustainability, is full of tools and resources to help you make a positive impact, including: 

  • Cut costs with NatWest's Carbon Planner tool

  • Why is pays to be sustainable 

  • What is Net Zero, vs sustainability vs low carbon

  • How to reduce the carbon footprint of your business

  • How carbon offsetting can benefit your business 

Click here to find out more!

If you're a business owner looking to embark on your sustainability journey, feel free to give me a call, email or book an appointment.

If you're a business owner looking to embark on your sustainability journey, feel free to contact us:
Telephone: 0330 124 7305
Book an appointment here


For E-commerce sellers, Department for Business and Trade (DBT) have an exclusive offer for 25% off yearly subscription to ReplyCo with a DBT code.

ReplyCo is an ecommerce helpdesk platform that centralises all messages from marketplaces/platforms into one intuitive inbox.  Click here.

Please see the presentation to the right which includes details on the 25% discount.


We understand the immense potential and growth opportunities that exporting can bring to your business. 

If you're ready to expand your horizons through international trade, use our Export Readiness Checklist, a powerful tool designed to ensure your success in the global market. 

It will help you ask the key questions, including: 

  • Does your business have a well-established industry reputation?

  • Is your business financially stable?

  • Does your team have export experience?

  • Have you undertaken market research?

  • Do you have a contingency plan in place?

  • Do you have capacity to cope with demand?

  • Are your prices going to be competitive? 

Click here to get started! 

Once you’ve read through our checklist and believe you have a solid business case for exporting, then there is nothing stopping you from getting started. 

Get it touch and we can help you go further.




We are excited to introduce you to a powerful new tool that has the potential to transform your business and make a positive impact on the environment. 

NatWest is proud to present the Carbon Planner - a groundbreaking online resource designed to help you reduce your carbon footprint while simultaneously cutting your costs. 

There are many ways in which Carbon Planner could help your organisation, and not only in moving forward with your climate journey, but also to: 

  •  Understand the impact of your day-to-day activities.

  •  Prioritise actions you can take to reduce emissions.

  •  Share data with key stakeholders to help influence change.

  •  Reduce inefficiencies and costs across your organisations.

  •  Gain added confidence in your climate decisions.

  •  Inspire your workforce to get behind a focussed plan.

Click here to get started.

Watch this video for an overview of the Carbon Planner and what it does.  Get a feel for how it works and whether it could support your organisation to reduce emissions.

If you are a business owner looking to become more sustainable, get in touch and we can help you and your business go further.

Telephone: 0330 124 7305


In today's interconnected world, finding the right partner for international trade is crucial for success. 

However, navigating the complexities of global markets can be daunting.  That's why we've curated this insightful guide to help you make informed decisions and build relationships that will drive your business forward. 

In this guide, you'll find expert advice on the key factors to consider when selecting an international trade partner. It covers essential aspects such as: 

  • Complementary Products or Services

  • Financial Stability

  • Market Knowledge

  • Quality Standards

  • Communication and Support

  • Logistics

  • References and Reputation

Click here to get started!

Once you've researched and spoken with some potential partners, you will be able to negotiate your agreements. 

Get in touch and we can help you go further.

Telephone: 0330 124 7305


Businesses urged to Act Now to claim vital grant funding

Only a few months remain for firms to utilise the North East Business Support Fund.

Businesses are being urged to submit growth-based grant applications, as the deadline for a much-used fund approaches.

For over a decade, the North East Business Support Fund has provided a protective shield for business owners, helping SMEs de-risk investment in growth.

The fund’s success has been staggering, supporting nearly 5,000 SME businesses with over £9.1m in grants distributed across the region.

Grants are still available – subject to eligibility criteria - but only if businesses ACT NOW as Fund deadlines now loom – scheduled to finish in March 2023.  Focus remains on supporting the B2B sector however growth is also important to demonstrate to increase application success.

The programme will continue to offer grants for business improvement projects that use External Expertise and the financial support will remain the same:

County Durham businesses can access up to 40% of Grant Funding for projects costing between £2,500 and £8,000 with Northumberland and Tyne & Wear businesses accessing up to 35% funding for projects costing between £3,000 and £8,000.

Please note that this Fund continues to be an extension to the North East Business Support Fund and therefore are unable to provide funding to businesses who have already accessed support from the programme - this includes:

  • Businesses who have received a Grant from the North East Business Support Fund since February 2018.

  • Businesses in Northumberland or Tyne and Wear who have received a Covid Response (SME restart and Recovery / Kick-starting Tourism) Grant.

NBSL business support manager, John King, said: “The success of the North East Business Support Fund has been incredible and we are working hard to maximise the opportunity this grant offers to SMES across the region.  This tranche of funding must be allocated before the end of March 2023 and we want to see every penny spent on helping our regional business community evolve.

“NBSL prides itself in taking the hassle out of grant applications and are proud to be an ally to the North East’s plethora of exciting SMEs, champing at the bit to realise their potential.”

To ACT NOW and take advantage of the final months of the North East Business Support Fund, visit the fund website here or contact the experienced grant management team at NBSL on 01670 813 322 or contact us at




Discover the opportunities big sporting events can bring to your business

The Department for Business and Trade (DBT) is excited to be a partner in this year’s Rugby League World Cup.  You can be part of the action and get inspired as the women, men and wheelchair tournaments get underway throughout October and November.

Major sporting tournaments like the Rugby League World Cup (RLWC)  bring great international opportunities for UK businesses. So, DBT is thrilled to be partnering with this tournament and launching a programme of events that coincide with the three competitions. We have been inspired by dedication, motivation and drive of the teams participating in the women’s, wheelchair and men’s tournaments, and recognise those attributes can help UK businesses to build a global business and accelerate sales growth.

With the majority of fixtures being hosted in Northern towns and cities, we will be welcoming nations from across the globe, many of which have strong historical ties with the UK.  As we continue to pave our way as an independent nation through negotiating Free Trade Agreement, we are pleased to bring this global competition to your doorstep and provide you with opportunity to take advantage of the heightened exposure of the North.

Our programme of events will highlight opportunities in international markets and sporting events, inspire female business owners and drive innovation in sports technology, whether you are a small or large enterprise, we will have something for you.

For further information, please click here.


Taking smart, decisive action is your best route through the #CostOfTradingCrisis.

Since our survey a few weeks ago, we've been designing support specific to the challenges you've told us you're facing.

So, starting next week alongside our partners, we’re launching a FREE SIX-WEEK WEBINAR SERIES to help you:

  • Build Business Resilience

  • Stress Test Your Performance

  • Reduce Your Trading Costs

  • Minimise Energy Consumption

  • Maximise Your Income

  • Prepare Continuity Plans

  • Negotiate Better Deals

  • Retain Your Talent

  • Anticipate Business Recovery

Sign up and select which of the webinars you would like to attend.  Full details of the online events and how to book, can be found here.

Don’t worry if you can’t attend live. Register and we'll send you the recordings.

To speak to us about these events or a specific challenge, give us a call (0330 1247 305), email us ( or book an appointment.


As a business in the service industry we would love to invite you to our upcoming webinars specifically focused on selling services internationally. 

Now is a great time to join the UK Export Academy (UKEA) as we have just had a makeover and launched our brand new homepage and events calendar, meaning that our website is much easier to navigate - it's just waiting for you to explore!

What is the UK Export Academy?

The UKEA from the Department for Business and Trade (DBT) is a training programme delivered at no cost for UK businesses of all sizes looking to grow their international sales.  By signing up, you will gain access to a vast range of virtual and in-person workshops held across the UK for both goods and service businesses.

Click here to explore our full events calendar and to book your space!


Grow your export knowledge with our Essentials sessions or build on your existing skills with our Masterclasses, Sector and Market events.
Upcoming events include:

  • Understanding Export Controls

  • How to Sell your Services Overseas

  • International Marketing: a beginner's guide

Exporting can help you grow your business by finding new customers and increasing your sales.

Over 6,000 businesses have already joined the UK Export Academy, our free training programme designed to give you the confidence and know-how to sell overseas, in your own time.

How it works

  1. Register in minutes - Create your account, receive your own welcome pack and get new event alerts.

  2. Create your programme - Pick online and in-person events that are right for you.

  3. Learn from the experts - Benefit from live presentations from experts, workshops and networking opportunities.

What’s involved?

Whether you’re new to exporting or looking to develop your knowledge even further, there is an event for you and your business. Customise your learning journey at a pace that suits you, all designed and delivered by specialist trade experts.


  • for new exporters

  • learn the basics to get started

  • build your Export Action Plan


  • for more experienced exporters

  • build on your existing exporting skills

  • key topics delivered by industry experts

Sector & Market

  • join a sector-specific event

  • find opportunities in global markets

  • get export updates from sector experts

View all events here.


Embarking on your sustainability journey can seem overwhelming- how do you start?  How long will it take?  How much will it cost?

It might seem easier to ignore, but rising energy costs and increasing pressures from supply chains and regulations won’t just go away, so it’s essential to act now.

Join us on Wednesday 27th September for a free webinar with Leah Waterhouse from NatWest at our next UMi Makes it Easier . . .  To increase profitability by reducing your carbon footprint to learn how you can lower your businesses carbon footprint in a way that benefits profitability and planet.

Leah will share: 

  • The benefits of acting now rather than later.

  • Examples of real-life successes from businesses embracing decarbonisation.

  • How the NatWest Carbon Planner tool works and how it can support you.

Don’t miss out!  Book your FREE place today!

We hope to see you there!


DATE: Wednesday, 27th September 2023, 10:00–14:00
LOCATION: Grant Thornton, Leeds, LS1 4BN
COST: Free
ITA LEAD NPH: Paul Sparks

The Department for Business and Trade (DBT) and invites brands and suppliers to an interactive workshop, exploring how one of the leading online marketplaces can help you boost your exports around the world.

Designed for Northern Powerhouse based companies, the event will also offer the opportunity to meet with experts for a one-to-one meeting, providing the unique opportunity to receive tailored advice and insights specific to your product range.

For more information or to register, click here.


From 27th to 29th September 2023 we are inviting companies from the North of England to join us on this exclusive trade mission to Ireland.

The trade mission is the ideal starting place for any Services businesses which is new to exporting, to explore how to get started with selling internationally.

Unsure if this mission is for you?  We will hold a pre-mission webinar on Monday, 24th July (10:30-11:30) where our colleagues from the Department for business and Trade (DBT) in Ireland will highlight the key opportunities and market entry requirements.  Come along and ask your questions to see if this is the right step for your business  growth plans.  Further information here.

About the mission 

We will be visiting the Guinness Enterprise Centre, Ireland’s largest entrepreneurial hub with an international community of service orientated businesses, giving you the opportunity to meet companies and network with likeminded business professionals.

Why Ireland

Ireland is an important trading partner for the UK. Trade and foreign investment are encouraged, and growth is strong.  There is a long history of robust trade between the UK and Ireland. Irish consumers and businesses are very familiar with UK goods and services and see them as high quality.  UK companies receive positive support from local partners. 

Ireland is a great place for UK businesses to start exporting for the first time, as business practices, laws, systems of finance and broader culture are similar to the UK.  Ireland is the UK’s fourth largest export market, with a total of 54.7 billion pounds worth of exports recorded in 2022.

Cost and eligibility 

To qualify as a delegate you must be a business who has little to no export experience to date.  We only allow one delegate per company and will assess you suitability for the mission before conforming your place.

The trade mission is free to join and included all programme activities, however participating delegates will be required to pay for and book their own travel, accommodation, insurance etc.

If you would like to speak to a member of the team about your expression of interest or the mission, please contact


DATE & TIME: Thursday, 28th September 2023 - 15:00-16:00

Want to know how to expand your business' reach into North America but don't know where to start?  Hosted by Nicole Dunbar and Caroline Turkanis from OCO Global, our experts based in the North America market, who have supported thousands of UK exporters in partnership with the Department for Business and Trade (DBT), we will explore the scope of the US and Canada markets - and the challenges involved - before making financial or resource commitments.  We’ll also tell you about the types of support available through DBT to help you start selling your products or services to the North American market.

Book here.


Intellectual Property Series - all online meetings run from 14:00-15:00

  • Wednesday, 6th September - Protecting your brand at home and abroad

  • Wednesday, 13th September - Securing your business idea

  • Wednesday, 20th September - Commercialising your innovation assets

  • Wednesday, 27th September - How to resolve infringement disputes and ensure your online protection

Hosted by experts from the Intellectual Property Office, join this free series designed to equip you with the knowledge you need to protect your service business when selling internationally.

Further information and how to register for this series of online meetings can be found here.


PART 1: Thursday, 28th September 2023 - 10:00-11:00
PART 2: Friday, 29th September 2023 - 14:00-15:00

Do you have a services business that you want to expand to the world?  Join the first in a special two-part series focusing solely on selling services overseas, hosted by our UK Export Academy Adviser Mark Burkett.  We’ll explore the key challenges and practical considerations of selling your services to customers across the globe, and how to use to do further research to get you started on your journey in growing your services company on an international platform.

Join a special two-part series focusing solely on selling services overseas.  We’ll explore the key challenges and practical considerations of selling your services to customers across the globe including key topics such as:

  • market research

  • global opportunities 

  • target markets

  • marketing overseas

Reserve your free place now.


DATE: Monday, 9th October 2023 - 10:30-14:00
LOCATION: 1 Mann Island, Liverpool, L3 1BP  
COST: Free
ITA LEADNPH: Margaret Bourke
SUITABLE FOR: Companies from the Creative, Media, Sports Economy and associated sectors

Join the Department for Business and Trade’s (DBT) US-based team to learn about Creative, Media and Sports Economy programmes in North America, including:

  • South by Southwest (SXSW)

  • Game Developers Conference (GDC)

  • Realscreen

  • Kidscreen

  • The British Sync Mission

  • US Regional Sports Events for sport tech exporters

  • Live Design & XLive Las Vegas

  • Toronto International Film Festival

  • World Cup 2026

  • LA28 Olympics 

The US-based DBT team will be available for questions and one-to-one introductions following a short presentation that will cover an overview of the programmes and campaigns in North America.  Find out about the opportunities and how you can get involved. 

Register now:


DATE: Thursday, 12th October 2023, 10:00–11:30
LOCATION: Online, Workshop   
COST: Free
ITA LEAD NPH: Liz Collier and Jayne Pickersgill

The Department for Business and Trade (DBT) invites businesses from across the Northern Powerhouse to explore their opportunities in Africa. 

Join a virtual workshop on Thursday, 12th October 2023 between 10:00 and 11:30 to:

  • Hear about the UK Trade Policy in Africa and the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), and the benefits they can offer.

  • Receive an update on the latest business opportunities and market access in Ghana.

  • Discover the in-market support available to businesses through the Export Support Service in the Eastern Africa region.

Find out more or register, click here.


DATE: Monday, 30th October – Wednesday, 1st November 2023 

Businesses from across the North of England are invited to join the Department for Business and Trade (DBT) for a trade mission to Global Educational Supplies and Solutions (GESS) Dubai 2023.  The programme is designed for businesses in the Education, Education Technology (EdTech), and Training sectors. 

The mission provides Northern Powerhouse companies with an exclusive programme of activities and events to connect with key buyers and decision-makers in the education industry from across the globe. 

In association with the British Educational Suppliers Association (BESA), DBT will be exhibiting in the UK Pavilion at GESS Dubai. 
By joining this delegation, you will:

  • Gain a better understanding of the education sector in the Middle East and beyond 

  • Meet key decision makers from around the world

  • Attend an informal networking dinner with a select group of educational sector representatives 

  • Receive pre-mission support, including an in-market mission briefing 

  • Take part in a guided tour of the exhibition with sector and in-market specialists

  • Build your knowledge and gain industry insights at a leading educational conference and exhibition 

  • Get access to BESA's stand as a base for your business activities

  • Receive event support from BESA before and during the mission

Register your interest here.


Learn new ways to grow your business internationally at Going Global Live 2023.

The Department for Business and Trade (DBT) is excited to announce its partnership with Going Global Live, returning at the ExCeL London on the 22nd & 23rd November 2023.

Going Global Live is the one stop shop for all businesses looking to expand internationally and kick-start trade overseas, providing guidance for crucial elements such as legislation, payroll, documentation, importing and exporting, staffing, taxation and navigating the business world in a foreign language.

Over the two days, the show offers seminars and panel debates from industry experts, insights and information from renowned suppliers, face-to-face networking opportunities, and more.

Register below to exhibit your business.

Key benefits from exhibiting at Going Global Live:

  • Vast networking opportunities with potential investors and franchisees

  • Increased visibility for your business within the market

  • Multi-channel exposure for your brand

  • Opportunity to collect high quality leads and generate sales

  • Meet over 6,000 business owners and senior decision makers who are searching for innovative products/services to take their business to new markets

Register here.


The UK has signed over 70 trade agreements, the benefits of most of which can be enjoyed right now.  Each agreement is designed to make it easier for you to sell goods or services internationally.

A new Trade Agreement Utilisation page on was launched in November.  If your business sells, buys, uses, supplies, or receives goods or services from other countries, then you can benefit from using a trade agreement. If you don’t already trade with other countries, trade agreements can make it easier for you to start.

You can use this new page to find out more about trade agreements, how to use them, and why they will benefit your business.


The new quarterly international trade magazine - Horizon, was launched earlier in 2022 in the North East region.  Horizon aims to help exporters and importers by providing them with insight, guidance and support through articles from international trade specialists, supply chains, and regional support organisations.


North East Traders and Free Trade Agreements

As a key part of the UK's future trade strategy, the Department for Business and Trade (DBT) aims to ensure that business awareness of the UK's new and upcoming Free Trade Agreements is as high as possible.  This short survey will help guide the Department's understanding and future work on Free Trade Agreements.

Eligible businesses who respond to the survey will have the opportunity to receive FREE follow up advice and support.  A member of our Free Trade Agreements team will arrange a 30 minute call to discuss how FTAs may affect your businesses exporting processes.


After three years and supporting over 1,340 businesses, applications to the North East Business Support Fund in County Durham, Northumberland and Tyne & Wear have now closed.

The funding has been incredibly successful and we're hoping to have news about new grant funding programmes in the very near future - keep an eye out for our newsletters over the coming months and you'll be the first to hear about any grant funding programmes that could help to support your business. 

If you've got any questions about this, you can email and one of our team will get back to you.


Did you know that around half a million older people in the UK go at least five or six days without seeing or speaking to anyone at all?

The team at Silver Talk want to change this.  But to do it, they need your help!

They’re on the lookout for new friends on the phone volunteers to join the team and help bring companionship and a listening ear to one of their service users, through a 30-minute social telephone chat once a week.

For as little as 45 minutes a week, you could really change someone’s life.

You will be provided with a mobile phone to make the calls.

Full training is given to make sure you’re confident dealing with any situation that may arise.

Karbon will cover the cost of a DBS check which can come in useful in other areas of life.

Interested?  You can apply here, where you can also find a full volunteer role description.

Alternatively, you can reach the team either by email or by calling 0191 223 8662.


Digital Drive Grant Funding

Funding is up to 40% contribution.

Minimum spend is £2,500 excl. VAT.

We have no maximum project cap, however the maximum grant we could award would be £9,999.

Funding can be used for the following:

  • Digital consultancy: this can be any ‘one-off’ outside expertise relating to digital technology e.g. social media strategy, internet telephony, integration of systems, automation of back office systems, search engine optimisation etc.

  • Digital Equipment: Must be new to the business and help improve your own use of digital technology e.g. for remote working, increase efficiency, entering new markets/diversifying services etc.  We cannot fund basic office kit out, or buying more of the same item (e.g. for a new member of staff).

  • Website/software/apps: Building a website for those who don’t have one, adding new functionality, e-commerce (maintenance, basic design improvements, hosting and ongoing costs are ineligible). Software must be a one-off purchase to be eligible/owned outright by the business. We are unable to pay for ongoing subscriptions or yearly licences.

  • Broadband installation and equipment/improvements (excludes monthly subscriptions, building work/street works).

Anyone wishing to make an application needs to register their interest here.

If they are already registered, they can just email or contact Lee Wilson on 0191 716 0960 or email:


The Durham Business Recovery Grant is a £5million fund to help County Durham businesses to recover from the effects of Covid-19.

Who can apply for a Durham Business Recovery Grant

Eligible businesses are those businesses able to demonstrate that they:

  • have a significant operational base, but less than 250 employees in County Durham

  • were established before 11 March 2020

  • are set up for profit and registered to pay tax on profit (in any format, eg sole trader, limited company)

  • use a business bank account (separating personal and business finance)

  • can demonstrate a significant adverse impact from Covid-19

  • can demonstrate solvency

  • can outline a credible and costed recovery plan

  • can fund their share of the recovery plan

Social enterprises (for example, community interest companies) are eligible provided they meet the above and can demonstrate that they generate 51% or more of their sales from commercial activity (excluding income from donations, grants and contracts not won through a competitive process).

Who cannot apply for a Durham Business Recovery Grant

The following are not eligible to apply for a Durham Business Recovery Grant:

  • registered charities

  • organisations set up to provide:

    • local social welfare and community facilities, for example hospitals, hospices, nursing homes, fire stations, child-minding facilities, sports clubs and societies, parks, public libraries

    • housing rental as part of an investment portfolio

    • public services or activities to supplement public services, for example social housing or school age education.

  • businesses whose activities may bring the council's name or reputation into disrepute

If you're not eligible, North East Growth Hub's list of finance and funding provides a list of grants available, or see Business Durham Covid-19 business support brochure.

How to apply

Before you apply for a Durham Business Recovery Grant, please read the essential information - Durham Business Recovery Grant - essential information to help you prepare your application.  The quality of your application will reflect the decision turnaround time of the application process.

Apply for a Durham Business Recovery Grant online


CLLD uses structural funds from Europe to provide support to projects which will increase employment and skills and social enterprise.  There are two programmes operating within specific areas of County Durham. Click the links below to find out more.

  • North Durham CLLD covers areas Chester-le-Street, Pelton Fell, Whitehills and Pelton, Sacriston, South Stanley, Craghead around the outskirts of Annfield Plain and Harelaw.  Current calls are:

    • North ESF - open call

    • North ERDF non-capital - open call (with extended delivery time to December 2022)

    • North ERDF capital - currently closed

    • South Durham CLLD covers Bishop Auckland, Coundon, Leeholme, Shildon, Spennymoor, St Helen Auckland and West Auckland

    • South ERDF non-capital call - now open and delivery time has been extended until Dec 2022

    • South ESF - currently closed.


There is updated funding & support from DIT available for exhibiting or visiting selected Trade Shows, this is separate, and in addition to the current grant funding we have available.

Attached is a presentation for your information (DBT UK Tradeshow Programme Promotional Toolkit).

Also attached is a spreadsheet of events, these could change, so there is also an online version which can be found here (UK Tradeshow Programme supported events - July 2022 to March 2023).

To find out more, check eligibility and make an application, please visit here.

For further enquiries, the DBT trade show team can be contacted via


There are some significant changes to US Cosmetics regulations (the Modernization of Cosmetics Regulation Act of 2022 (MoCRA)) coming up this year. This is the biggest amendment of the U.S. Cosmetic Regulation since 1938. This will be important for cosmetics and beauty businesses selling into the US. 

There are significant changes planned to the regulation including: 

  • Concept of a Responsible Person (similar to the EU cosmetics regulation). International companies will require a specified US agent.

  • Site registration, product assessment and listing with the FDA.

  • New labelling requirements.

  • Changes to the Good Manufacturing Practice which products will have to be compliant with. 

The new requirements are currently evolving and consequently there will be more clarify and confirmation of arrangements over the coming months. However, the initial deadline for registration and listing is 29th December 2023. 

There is a webinar recording here from April this year from the FDA which provides an overview of the MoCRA. Regulation Corp are looking to plan a webinar in the coming months with more information on the subject. I will try to keep you updated as the regulation advances. 

More information sources/compliance support:


B2C E-Commerce: Global Fast Track Programme (16/02/2021 - 08/04/2021).  DBT North East are offering a fully funded in-depth virtual training programme, delivered by e-Commerce and digital specialists, and designed to help you fast track your international growth.  This programme aims to help you assess each area of your business performance and create an action plan for 2021 and beyond. The introductory webinar will be followed by a seven-week programme, click here for further information.

DBT North East would like your input in shaping our 2021/22 virtual events and webinar programme We’re asking North East businesses which topics they feel would be most beneficial to maximise export potential. Have your say with our short survey here.

Royal Mail are designing a “Delivered Duties Paid” (DDP) service that takes care of VAT and customs duties for EU buyers prior to delivery, this fulfilment solution means you don’t need to register in each EU country to be able to sell goods including all duties, ideal for shopify or ecommerce sellers, potentially launching Feb/March, find our more by clicking here here (this link also has a good explanation of the current VAT process and changes due in July).

HMRC are running Exporting Webinars.  The webinar explains what actions you need to take to export goods from Great Britain to the EU and move goods between Great Britain and Northern Ireland, key export processes, border controls, zero-rated VAT, customs declaration, using an intermediary as well as licences, certificates and authorisations that you’ll need.  Please click here for further details an to reserve your place.

Rules of Origin: Check your goods comply to trade tariff-free with the EU.  Many of the queries we are getting at DBT are about the new Trade and Cooperation Agreement with the EU which includes important changes for Rules of Origin.  Put simply, this is where a product was manufactured and determines the “economic nationality” of goods (think of it as a birth certificate for the goods).  You can trade with the EU without paying tariffs, but only if a product meets the relevant rules.  Check for details on how to claim preferential (zero) tariffs, and see the documentation you’ll need to complete. Also, read the full guidance on meeting Rules of Origin when trading with the EU.

DBT Internationalisation Fund – Grants up to £9k per business - Available now until early 2023 - 50% to 60% grants to be used for exporting advice from third party private sector experts /consultants to help prepare for international trade, which may include: market research, market selection and entry advice, advice on Intellectual Property Rights, cross cultural negotiation support and standards, translation and cultural advice, international trade legal advice, PR support, international social media and search engine optimisation, international marketing, routes to market/agency advice, overseas business environment, and due diligence.  Participation in Trade Fairs, Trade Missions and independent market development visits etc.  The application process is a discussion about proposed activities, then if suitable an export action plan is completed, then an online application link, it is then assessed and administered by a third party organisation on behalf of DIT.  Only one application can be submitted, but can include multiple activities.

Social Media – A big thank you to Paul for supplying us with this very useful information.  You can reach Paul on his LinkedIn page and/or his Twitter feed - he regularly post updates on DIT opportunities, exporting issues and support from other business organisations across the North East.

Further national and local DBT events can be found here.


Growth plans on hold due to spiralling business costs?

With all manner of operating costs on the rise, it’s crucial that businesses use any opportunity to maintain efficiency and ensure growth plans remain on track.

If you're investing in new processes, products or technology, take a look at just some of the ways we can support you.

North East Business Support Fund

Operating across Northumberland, Tyne & Wear and Durham, this Fund can help towards the cost of projects that help improve efficiency or growth.

We’re encouraging SMEs to apply without delay as the Fund enters its final year of operation.  Grants can be used towards the cost of a project that brings in any external expertise to help move the business forward - from marketing and web design specialists to financial or human resource consultants.

County Durham businesses can access up to 40% of Grant Funding for projects costing between £2,500 and £8,000 with Northumberland and Tyne & Wear businesses accessing up to 35% funding for projects costing between £3,000 and £8,000.

Funding will be proactively targeted at Business-to-Business organisations in the remaining months of the programme.  Due to a limit on the number of Business-to-Consumer organisations that can be assisted and the high level of recent demand, only the strongest Business-to-Consumer applications will receive support. It may be also worth noting that this is an extension to the current Fund and therefore we may be unable to provide funding if you have received a North East Business Support Fund grant since February 2018.  Visit the dedicated NBSF grant website here.

North Of Tyne Innovation Recovery Grant

With a 50% grant available, this Fund can support eligible projects costing between £10,000 and £20,000 (excluding VAT), meaning a grant of between £5,000 and £10,000 is available to eligible SMEs and social enterprises across Northumberland, Newcastle Upon Tyne and North Tyneside.

To be eligible for funding your project needs to be 'innovative' - all that means is that it’s changing something for the better in your business - it could be a new product, an improved service, or a new way of working, it just needs to be something you’ve never done before.

Perhaps you’re looking at new IT systems and software to improve efficiency or thinking about working with a marketing consultant to launch a new product?  Maybe you're buying new equipment to automate a manual process, move into a new market or manufacture a new product.  These and hundreds of other projects could be eligible for funding.

If you’re a business that regularly evaluates the value you deliver and are thinking of a project that will improve what you do - then you’re being innovative and we may be able to help with this grant.  Visit the Innovation Funding website here.

Control costs through your carbon footprint

How do we reduce costs, save money and protect the environment is the first question posed at our most recent skills programme now available: ToNetZero.

Funded through the North of Tyne Combined Authority, this jargon-busting programme is a new skills programme helping you recognise the impact you could have on your carbon emissions and how you can develop your skills to spot ways of making changes with the potential to save costs.

Providing you with skills to design and implement your own plans, we’ve also lined up specialist speakers to inspire and encourage your ideas.

The programme is a flexible, fully funded skills programme supporting micro/SMEs and key staff over the age of 19 living in the North of Tyne and aims to develop your understanding, knowledge and skills through interactive, online workshops with each participant receiving eight hours of 1-2-1 support to help implement their own development plan for the business.  Find out more about ToNetZero here.

Building resilience thanks to NEBSF grant

With 2022 starting strongly, business resilience and operational efficiencies have become business critical to most businesses at the moment.

Thanks to the support of the North East Business Support Fund, NECS have been able to bring in external expert, Absolute Quality Consultancy & Training Ltd (AQCT) to support the development of a Business Resilience Strategy.

With AQCT’s support, Gary accessed grant support from business support agency NBSL via the North East Business Support Fund - which is part financed by the European Regional Development Fund and the Northern Powerhouse. “It was stress-free to apply for the grant,” says Gary.  “NBSL led me through the simple application process, it was very straight forward and the team came back with a decision to approve the grant within days.”

“The support received from the North East Business Support Fund and NBSL has been excellent and the grant has empowered our team to turn adversity into opportunity - identifying and unlocking new possibilities and would recommend any business use this Fund to help build company resilience.”

Read the full NECS grant journey here and see if we could help your business build resilience for the future.

The North East Business Support Fund (NEBSF) is part financed by the European Regional Development Fund and Northern Powerhouse as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020.

The project is delivered by NBSL.


All the webinars are free to UK companies.

You can expect to:

  • receive help and advice to sell overseas with confidence

  • gain new skills and knowledge

  • discover solutions to specific challenges to exporting

  • get your exporting questions answered by the experts

How long are the webinars?

Our experts usually present for 25 minutes and allow 35 minutes for answering your questions and helping you find solutions to any barriers you may face.

Look through the list to find the webinars you would like to attend.

Each link will connect you to a webinar registration form so you can receive your unique link to join the upcoming webinar.


UKCA MARKING DELAYED - Requirement to adopt UKCA mark (rather than CE Mark) postponed by a year following industry pressure.  Click here to read more.

IMPORT CHANGES - Importing from the EU is changing, there are various stages between now and March, please read more here.

We haven’t reinstated in person meetings, and don’t expect to any time soon.  If you would like to discuss anything related to exporting then please continue to contact Paul Sparks, many thanks.


Join the Department for Business and Trade North East for a six-week online training programme, designed to give you the knowledge and skills to transform your business’s international digital strategy.

This is a free self-service programme with mentor support throughout from a digital specialist, who will tailor the advice and support provided to your business needs and discuss how to move your business forward.

What’s involved?

  • Introductory one-to-one appointment with a digital specialist.

  • Three weeks to complete the first three online training modules and handouts.

  • Follow up one-to-one appointment with the specialist.

  • Three weeks to complete the final three online modules and handouts.

  • Final one-to-one appointment with the specialist.

The modules:

  • Introduction to the Programme

  • Strategy and How to Create a Digital Footprint

  • International Website Optimisation for B2B Companies

  • Capturing International Audience with Social Content

  • LinkedIn – Creating International Business Opportunities

  • Pitching and Negotiating Online

Contact Details: Department for Business and Trade North East -

Website URL here.

Social Media URL's:
Twitter: @tradegovuk_NE


Join the Department for Business and Trade (DBT) North East’s Global Fast Track programme for a six-week online training programme developed specialists.  This programme aims to help you assess each area of your business performance to create an action plan.

This is a free self-service programme with mentor support throughout from an e-Commerce specialist to discuss advice and support available provided for your business needs and how to implement them going forward.

What’s involved?

  • Introductory one-to-one appointment with an e-Commerce specialist.

  • Three weeks to complete the first three online training modules and handouts.

  • Follow up one-to-one appointment with the e-Commerce specialist.

  • Three weeks to complete the final three online training modules and handouts.

  • Final one-to-one appointment with the e-Commerce specialist.

The modules:

  • Introduction to the Programme

  • Re-defining your e-Commerce Strategy in 2021 and Beyond

  • Optimising your Site for International Audiences

  • Generating Leads: Social Media Marketing

  • Logistics and Fulfilment

  • Pricing Strategy

Contact Details - Department for Business and Trade North East -

Website link here.

Social Media URL's:
Twitter: @tradegovuk_NE
LinkedIn link here.


The Export Academy from the Department for International Trade will help you grow your business by showing you how to sell to new customers around the world. 

The course is free, and you’ll learn directly from experts in international trade who provide support across a range of sectors and businesses, from selling children’s clothes to Spain, to providing PR services for clients in the US.

The programme is designed for owners and senior managers of businesses looking to grow internationally and located in the Midlands, North, South West, or East of England.

What does the programme include? 

You will graduate from the programme with a completed export action plan, enabling you to take your business direct to international customers. This plan will be the culmination of everything you have learnt on the programme, from online events including:

  • Webinars

  • Round tables

  • Mentoring sessions

Contact Details - Department for International Trade North East -

Website URL here.

Social Media URL's
Twitter: @tradegovuk_NE
LinkedIn link here.


The Department for Business and Trade and British Irish Chamber of Commerce are inviting businesses to join an interactive webinar, exploring new trading opportunities in the Irish Market.

Geographical proximity, common language, close cultural and economic links, and numerous transport connections by sea and air, make Ireland an ideal target market for first time UK exporters.  This webinar will highlight the attractiveness of the Irish market for new exporters and discuss the post-Brexit dynamics for doing business with Irish customers.

Why Join?

  • Discover opportunities in the market

  • Find out how to formulate a successful market entry strategy

  • Learn about the barriers and common pitfalls facing new exporters

  • Hear advice from experienced exporters

Who’s it for?  Ireland is a good place for businesses to start exporting for the first time.  This webinar is designed for Northern Powerhouse businesses, who are new to exporting, and are looking to hear about the in-market opportunities.

Contact Details - Department for Business and Trade North East -

Website URL here.

Social Media URL's:
Twitter: @tradegovuk_NE
LinkedIn link here.


Join Sam Myers, Her Majesty's Trade Commissioner for Asia Pacific, Matt Alabaster, PwC’s International Trade Lead Partner and host Emily Khan in this episode of PwC’s ‘Business in Focus’ podcast series to discover the growing trade opportunities between the UK and Asia Pacific, from clean growth to digital technology.

Listen to the podcast here.


Webinar: Exploiting Education Opportunities Overseas (including EdTech) - Intellectual Property and Contractual Considerations

For companies involved in the EdTech sector this introductory webinar focuses on entering new markets, protecting your technology, and contractual considerations.  This introductory session, with the opportunity for questions, will be looking at some of the key intellectual property and contractual considerations when trading in tech abroad such as:

  • Routes into international markets from direct selling, incorporation, franchising, agency and distribution

  • Internationalising terms and conditions

  • Navigating local regulatory compliance

  • The categories of IP

  • Myths and reality

  • Cost and risk

View recording here.


The DBT send on an updated version every few months, but for up to date information you can also use the following links:

For All DBT Events and Trade Missions -

For North East Events -

For Northern Powerhouse Events and Trade Missions -


New Helpline for EU Exports - DBT now have a national helpline to help with paperwork and regulations for exporting to EU.  Please see here.

Free Trade Agreement (FTA’s) Support - We have signed FTA’s with a number of countries and more will be signed next year.  This changes the export opportunities and can raise a number of questions for exporters.  So at DBT North East we have contracted out this support to “The Funding Forum” see here.  They have been issued with new internal email addresses and be part of our team.  Please send enquiries to Paul Sparks initially, then if relevant I’ll connect you with the correct person to continue FTA support.

If you export to FRANCE - Starting 1st January, VAT on imports in France will no longer be collected by the customs authorities but rather will be automatically reverse-charged on the importer’s French VAT returns.  This means it will not be possible to import goods into France without a France VAT number as all companies acting as importers of record in France will need to have a valid French VAT number and file VAT declarations.  Foreign companies can register for VAT in France even if they are not established in France or elsewhere in the EU. DBT France will be partnering with RM Boulanger, a company specialised in cross-border formalities and tax matters, if you need any support with this please let me know.

Paul Sparks International Trade Adviser, Department for Business and Trade.


DATES: Monday, 6th - Friday, 10th November 2023

Connecting business with opportunity - the UK’s biggest annual exporting event is back.

International Trade Week (ITW) is back for a third year, taking place from 6th to 10th November.  Building on last year’s success, which saw thousands of businesses from around the UK take part, ITW 2023 is set to be the biggest and best yet.  

Led by the Department for Business and Trade (DBT), in partnership with industry, ITW will feature a variety of activities for companies such as events, workshops and webinars. 

Whether you’re looking to secure your first export contract or expand your existing international sales, ITW will have something for you.  The week’s activities are for UK companies of all sizes and sectors - whether selling goods or services - you just need an interest in growing your business. 

Across the week, ITW will:  

  • develop your exporting knowledge and skills,  

  • showcase the wide-ranging support available from DBT and its partners, 

  • highlight global export opportunities,  

  • explain the benefits of the UK’s trade agreements, and 

  • enable you to hear from and speak to experts in international trade.

We’re also interested in hearing from organisations who are delivering international trade related activity and may be interested in being part of the week. 

Please register your early interest here to receive updates when further details on ITW are published and registrations are open for events and activities.  Or email to find out how you can be part of ITW 2023, either by hosting an event or partnering with DBT to host an event, or to help promote the week.   


The UK Services Roadshow from The Department for Business and Trade (DBT) is bringing a panel of experts and guest speakers to a town near you.  Attend a free event to build your knowledge, network with peers and get top sales tips. 

The UK is home to a world-class services sector and a rich source of skilled professionals.  If your company provides services such as accounting, consultancy, creativeeducation and traininglegal or marketing, did you know that they are in high demand abroad?

Yet UK service-based businesses often don’t realise that working for international customers is exporting and would not class themselves as “exporters”. 

Whether you are an accidental exporter, or are just looking to get started, join us on our free roadshow to learn how to take advantage of the opportunities available, explore new trends, and get top tips on winning business.  

Hear from service companies like yours, and government representatives, who will share tips on where to find demand and how to access free support.

LIVERPOOL - Wednesday 8 November 2023 - 10:00-13:30 at Aintree Racecourse, Ormskirk Road, Aintree, Merseyside, L9 5AS.

More dates to follow!  You can register here to find out when new dates are added.

More information here.


DATES: Monday, 13th - Thursday, 16th November 2023

VENUE: Düsseldorf, Germany

The Department for Business and Trade (DBT) is pleased to announce that we will be taking a delegation of companies from the English Regions to MEDICA, Düsseldorf, Germany.

MEDICA is the No. 1 global healthcare and life science exhibition and is the foremost meeting place for the whole industry.  The exhibition features experienced high-tech companies, start up as well as forums and conferences.  With over 4,500 exhibitors from 66 countries and more than 81,000 visitors from all over the world, MEDICA in Düsseldorf is one of the largest medical B2B trade fairs in the world.

A wide range of innovative products and services from the fields of medical imaging, laboratory technology, diagnostics, health IT, mobile health as well as physiotherapy/orthopaedic technology and medical consumables are presented here.  The extensive programme of first-class forums, conferences and special shows provides opportunities for interesting presentations and discussions with experts and politicians and also includes pitches of new products and award ceremonies.

Join our UK Regions Trade Mission:

We are taking expressions of interest from companies who want to be considered to join a UK Trade Mission and take advantage of the many opportunities on offer at the No. 1 global MedTech exhibition.

Pre mission activities to include:

  • How to get the most out of Medica and how to navigate MEDICA

  • Undertaking market research and routes to market

  • Culture and language masterclass; covering basic language skills, doing business and marketing collateral guidance

  • Optimizing your website for maximum exposure at MEDICA

  • Commercial officer market briefings

In market activities* to include:

  • Introduction to the local DBT team in Germany and other DBT overseas posts who will be able to provide an overview of current opportunities in the sector

  • Entrance to Medica exhibition

  • UK Networking Reception

  • Invite to other network events organised by stakeholders/partners

  • Invite to attend DBT organised seminars during MEDICA

  • Use of meeting tables on the DBT stand

  • Promotion of your company within UK marketing collateral

*Activities subject to change.

A full programme will be confirmed upon registering an expression of interest on the trade mission.

Register your interest

Places on this trade mission are limited so use the link below to register your interest in joining us today, free and without obligation.

The final closing date for registering your interest is Friday 6th October 2023.  Register your interest here.

Please note that your place is not guaranteed until you receive confirmation from us.

If you have any queries relating to international trade why not contact us.

Find your local office:


DATES: 2nd - 8th December 2023
LOCATION: Tokyo and Osaka

From 2nd to 8th December 2023 we are inviting companies from the North of England to join us on this exclusive trade mission to Japan.

The trade mission programme is designed for businesses who have exported previously and operate within the following four sectors:

  • Decarbonisation

  • Financial, professional, and business services

  • Life sciences

  • Technology, including cyber security

Why Japan?

Japan is currently the third largest economy in the world.  Due to the Comprehensive and Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) with Japan, we have entered an exciting new chapter in trading relations between both countries.  This agreement is projected to boost trade by £15.7 billion over the next 15 years.

As a stable country with a large, wealthy, and highly educated consumer market, premium high-quality goods and services are in demand.  Japanese companies are also extremely loyal and open to building long-term business relationships.

About the mission 

The programme has been created to maximise the opportunities that the Comprehensive and Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) with Japan can offer businesses.  Working closely with our team in Japan, we have identified the sectors most likely to benefit. We will visit Tokyo and Osaka, where our in-market specialists will be on hand to support delegates.

This mission will coincide with a visit by Greater Manchester Mayor, Andy Burnham and UK Trade Envoy, Greg Clarke MP, providing a platform for further brand exposure. Manchester and Osaka are working together on projects based around net zero.

Why join? 

  • Tailored pre-mission webinar support, focusing on the four key sectors

  • In-depth market insights from our market and sector specialists  

  • Collaboration with a high-profile delegation, offering further opportunities for exposure

  • In-market events to meet and connect with potential buyers and key stakeholders in the Japanese market

  • Discover key themes for Expo 2025 and the opportunities this will offer

For further information and to register your interest, please click here.


DATES: Sunday, 3rd - Thursday, 8th December 2023

The Department for Business and Trade (DBT) is pleased to announce that we will be taking a delegation of Sustainable Infrastructure companies from the English Regions on a Trade Mission to the UAE.

The mission is planned for the 3rd - 8th December 2023 and is a great opportunity to learn about the developments and opportunities in the wider construction sector in the UAE and across the Middle East region.

Both the BIG 5 exhibition and COP28 will be taking place in Dubai during the mission dates. If your business is in the construction sector and you are looking to grow internationally, can you afford not to be in the region this December?

About BIG 5 Global:

  • Since 1979, Big 5 Global has provided an unmatched platform for construction industry players from around the world to connect, grow, and succeed.

  • In 2022, Big 5 Global attracted over 2,200 exhibitors and 68,000+ visitors.

About COP 28:

The Conference of the Parties (COP) to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) is an international climate summit running from the 30th November to the 12th December at Expo City, Dubai.  COP28 believes that governments and the private sector must work closely together in order to address climate change.

Join our UK Regions Trade Mission:

We are taking expressions of interest from companies who want to be considered to join our UK Trade Mission and take advantage of the opportunities offered across the Middle East, Gulf States and beyond.

In market activity* could include the following:

  • Introduction to the local DBT team in UAE and an overview of current infrastructure and climate change opportunities

  • Visit to BIG 5 Global exhibition

  • Meet the Buyer event and business matchmaking

  • International networking reception

  • Site visits to live construction projects across UAE

Before the visit*:

DBT will host a series of virtual briefings prior to the event. The presentations will include:

  • An introduction on the UAE trade mission 

  • Briefings by country and market specialists from DBT

  • How to conduct market research (desk and field)

  • Language and culture session

  • Pre trade mission briefing

A full programme will be confirmed upon registering an expression of interest on the trade mission.

*Activity subject to change.

Express your interest here.

If you have any queries relating to international trade why not contact us.  With staff in offices across the globe, we can help you find the answers.    

Find your local office:


DATES: 28th January - 2nd February 2024

The Department for Business and Trade (DBT) is pleased to announce that we will be taking a delegation of companies from the English Regions to Arab Health, Dubai, UAE. 

The Arab Health Exhibition & Congress is the largest event of its kind in the Middle East.  Arab Health provides an unrivalled platform for the world's leading manufacturers, wholesalers and distributors to meet the medical and scientific community from the Middle East and beyond.

The exhibition will showcase more than 4,000 companies exhibiting their latest innovations to more than 130,000 healthcare professionals attending from 163 countries.  The show attracts visitors from all around the globe from The Americas to Africa to Asia and Europe including UK buyers. 

Join our UK Regions Trade Mission:

We are taking expressions of interest from companies who want to be considered to join a UK Trade Mission and take advantage of the many opportunities on offer at the No. 1 global Healthcare & Life Science exhibition. 

Pre mission activities to include*:

  • How to get the most out of Arab Health

  • Undertaking market research and routes to market

  • Culture and language masterclass; covering basic language skills, doing business and marketing collateral guidance

  • Optimising your website for maximum exposure at Arab Health

  • Commercial officer market briefings

In market activities* to include:

  • Introduction to the local DBT team in the UAE and other DBT overseas posts who will be able to provide an overview of current opportunities.

  • Invite to networking reception

  • Invite to other network events organised by stakeholders/partners

  • Invite to attend DBT organised seminars during Arab Health

  • Promotion of your company within UK marketing collateral 

*Activities subject to change. 

A full programme will be confirmed upon registering an expression of interest on the trade mission.

Places on this trade mission are limited so use the link below to express your interest in joining us today, free and without obligation.

The final closing date for registering your interest is Friday 24 November 2023.

Register here.

Please note that your place is not guaranteed until you receive confirmation from us.

If you have any queries relating to international trade why not contact us.

Find your local office:


The new Export Support Service (ESS) - New phone and online support for exporting to EU can be found here.

New UK Tradeshow Programme providing funding of £2k to £4k per tradeshow - more information here.

Launch of the ‘Made in the UK, Sold to the World’ campaign - further information here.


Join Sam Myers, Her Majesty's Trade Commissioner for Asia Pacific, Matt Alabaster, PwC’s International Trade Lead Partner and host Emily Khan in this episode of PwC’s ‘Business in Focus’ podcast series to discover the growing trade opportunities between the UK and Asia Pacific, from clean growth to digital technology.

Listen here.


You might not be aware of “UK Export Finance” (UKEF) which can help you with funding for exporting and overseas projects (see here) and also the information below which includes a number of links.  If any of this is of interest to you please let Paul Sparks know and he will put you in contact with the North East representative for a free chat.

The “trade finance” support is exclusively for businesses with a turnover of £6m or more.  Whereas “export insurance” can be companies of any size, (it’s the buyers finances & trading history that is crucial).

UK Export Finance (UKEF) is the UK’s export credit agency and a government department, working alongside Department for International Trade.

Having finance and insurance backing from HM Government through UKEF gives you the edge you need to win and fulfil contracts and withstand risk of non-payment in international markets. UKEF supports exporters to:

  • access export finance

  • manage payment risks

  • win export contracts by offering competitive terms to buyers. UKEF works with banks and other financial institutions to support exports for any size of company and across all sectors, from capital goods to services and intangibles such as intellectual property.

Access export finance

If the terms of a contract require a bond, such as performance guarantees or advance payment guarantees, UKEF’s Bond Support Scheme can guarantee a UK exporter’s bank up to 80% of the bond’s value, significantly reducing the size of the deposit needed.

UKEF’s Export Working Capital Scheme can partially guarantee to cover the credit risks for lenders associated with export working capital facilities.  This means UK companies can export if they win a contract higher in value than usual, or win more overseas contracts than usual.

UK suppliers to exporters can now also access UKEF financing, further spreading the benefits of trade.  Becoming part of an export supply chain can help smaller companies get their products and services into new markets.

Managing payment risks

UKEF helps exporters manage the uncertainties of trading overseas.  Export insurance is readily available in most cases from the commercial sector but securing the right cover can be a challenge in some markets.

UKEF’s Export Insurance Policy extends to cover exporters who are unable to uphold the contract for reasons beyond their control, such as country risk or issues within a supply chain.

Offering competitive terms to buyers

UKEF helps exporters win contracts by providing attractive financing for overseas buyers, either in the form of guarantees on commercial loans or by lending to them directly.  This competitive, long-term financing is particularly relevant to buyers in new and emerging markets, but is also used for larger and longer-term projects that the private sector does not have the capacity to support.  UKEF can offer support in over 60 pre-approved local currencies, enabling more overseas buyers to buy from the UK and pay in their own currency.


Help us shape the support available for the North East Defence & Security Sector to grow Overseas!

DBT North East are delighted to announce the newly appointed Defence & Security Lead for the region, Scott Duncan.  Scott will be leading on a project on behalf of DBT to develop a sector plan for the North East to identify the companies that operate in the Defence & Security sector, our regional capabilities and propensity to export our products and services.  All of which will inform DBT’s strategic thinking to identify international trade support that we can provide you in the future.

As part of this activity, we would like your input in shaping the support we might offer North East businesses in the Defence & Security Sector to grow overseas in the future.  Please spare no longer than five minutes to complete this short survey.  Your response, alongside the opportunity for more in-depth discussion via a follow up appointment with Scott, will be critical in informing and
shaping our sector plan.

Click here to complete the survey.


The UK has now left the EU single market and customs union.  Whilst many aspects of Brexit are still unknown there are some things that will happen whatever the final outcome of the negotiations.  We’ve attached some guides to help you with this, every business will be affected in some way, even if it is just the way you store and process customer details etc.

The central point of information for all official government announcements and guides is

As well as DBT there are other government departments providing information to help with the transition.  The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) have produced a range of webinars, access these live and on demand, scroll down the page after opening the page.

North East England Chamber of Commerce (NEECC) – Brexit Support Week starting 16th Nov, see this and other events here.

The North East Growth Hub has some great resources here.

DBT are getting a range of questions on how the end of the transition period will affect them, if you have any specific concerns about the end of the transition period please send email us and we will try to get you an answer or point you in the right direction.


The Department for Business and Trade Trade has added many new events, both recorded and future events, including trade missions, webinars, etc. some are region specific and others available to businesses across whole of UK, please see and keep checking this as new events added all the time.


Please see on the left the PDF which provides updated guidance on overseas business travel following Brexit, such as new visa systems, work permits etc and also updated guidance on Recognition of Professional Qualifications which you might need to get officially recognised in order to continue to provide services in EU or EFTA countries.


With the UK now an independent trading nation, DIT has online tools and resources which are the go-to source of information for all businesses who trade internationally.

They are also a great starting place for businesses looking to seize new global trading opportunities.

Exporting goods from the UK

If you export goods out of the UK, visit the Check How to Export Goods online tool to find information on UK borders, and duties and customs procedures for over 160 markets around the world.

To export dual-use controlled items from the UK you must have a licence issued by the UK, except if you are exporting from Northern Ireland to the EU or Channel Islands.  Find out if your items need a licence. 

Check which tariffs apply to imports into the UK

Use the tariff look-up tool to find the tariff information you need, including commodity codes, duty and VAT rates.

Where to find more information

If you have any questions about the new trading rules and can’t find answers online, fill out an enquiry form and one of our experts will point you in the right direction.


We have now left the EU single market and customs union and new trading rules apply.

Regardless of the outcome from negotiations with the EU, there are guaranteed changes and opportunities which businesses need to prepare for - including changes to the way you import and export goods with the EU and the process for hiring people from the EU.

To help you prepare, here are 4 things you should do:

  1. Visit GOV.UK/transition to take a short survey and receive a personalised list of actions that you and your business needs to take.

  2. Sign-up to webinars hosted by DITBEISHMRC and Defra to learn more about the actions you can take to ensure your business is prepared for the 1st January 2021. There are also recordings of sector-specific webinars.

  3. If you trade internationally, find out what you need to do to continue exporting goods to the EU and/or continue importing goods from the EU from the 1st January 2021.

  4. Sign up to email alerts to stay up to date with any further changes.

If you have any questions about preparing for the end of the Brexit transition period and you can’t find answers at GOV.UK/transition, fill out the enquiry form and one of our experts will point you in the right direction.

If you trade with countries outside of the EU, information is also available on the steps you need to take when importing and exporting goods.


To help employers prepare for the points-based immigration system, the Home Office has created a podcast episode in partnership with Intelligence Squared.  The discussion covers what you need to know if you are thinking of hiring anyone from outside the UK from 1 January 2021.

Listen now to Business and the Future of Immigration in 2021.

Also available on Spotify and Apple.


The UK has left the EU.  The transition period ended on the 31st December this year and the UK left the single market and customs union.  Businesses should take action now.

Here’s what you need to know if your business imports goods from overseas.

What is the UK Global Tariff (UKGT)?

The UKGT is the UK’s independent ‘Most Favoured Nation’ tariff.  This is a schedule of taxes to be paid on goods imported into the UK from January 2021.  The UKGT will replace the EU’s Common External Tariff.

The UKGT will not apply to goods imported from a country that the UK has a trade deal witha country that is part of the Generalised Scheme of Preferences or where an exception applies.

What should I do next?

  1. Learn more about the UK Global Tarif

  2. Plan ahead by looking up the tariffs you will need to pay using the tariff look up tool.

  3. If you import goods from the EU, learn more about the import process and border controls with the EU from January 2021.

  4. Visit GOV.UK/transition for more information about what you need to do to prepare for the changes coming into effect from January 2021.

You can also find information and advice about trading internationally (outside the EU) here.


The UK has left the EU, and the Brexit transition period has ended.  There are new rules for businesses doing business with the EU from 1st January, and you need to take action now.  All information on Brexit can be found at here.  This bulletin is issued by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and provides the latest information for businesses.

NEW £20 million SME Brexit Support Fund

The new £20 million SME Brexit Support Fund offers support to help small businesses adjust to new customs procedures, rules of origin, and VAT rules when trading with the EU. 

SMEs who trade only with the EU, and are therefore new to importing and exporting processes, can apply for grants of up to £2,000, to pay for practical support including training and professional advice to ensure they can continue trading effectively with the EU. 

You can use the grant for training on:

  • how to complete customs declarations

  • how to manage customs processes and use customs software and systems

  • specific import and export related aspects including VAT, excise and rules of origin 

It can be used to help you get professional advice so your business can meet its customs, excise, import VAT or safety and security declaration requirements. 

Your business may be eligible if you have up to 500 employees, and no more than £100 million annual turnover. 

Applications for the SME Brexit Support Fund will open soon.  For more information on how you can use the grant, who can apply and how to apply, click here.

Importing and Exporting

NEW: Step-by-Step guides to importing and exporting goods between Great Britain and the EU: There are new rules for importing and exporting goods between Great Britain and countries in the EU.  Whether you’re completing customs declarations yourself or have an intermediary to do it for you, these guides will take you through each step and set out your options.

NEW: DEFRA’s Trader showcase sites for the latest information on exporting and moving goods from GB to the EU and NI: DEFRA's Showcase sites are a one-stop-shop of useful information and documents for traders who export live animals or animal products.

UPDATED: Importing from and re-exporting union goods to the EU Resources such as trader support packs and flowcharts, have been updated to include a new ‘Importing and re-exporting union goods to the EU – Flowchart'. For more information, click here.

UPDATED: Report goods arriving at a UK port on a commercial vessel:  Guidance for the ship’s master or ship’s agent of commercial vessels on reporting goods arriving in at a UK port, has been updated with information about ‘an account of stores held on board’. For more information, click here.  

UPDATED: List of customs agents and fast parcel operators: The list of agents and operators who can help submit customs declarations has been updated. For more information, click here.

Marketing goods

UPDATED: Using the UKCA marking: Guidance has been updated to include further instructions regarding the height of the UKCA marking.  For more information, click here.  

UPDATED: Using the UKNI marking: Guidance has been updated to include further instructions regarding the height of the UKNI marking.  For more information, click here.


UPDATED: UK trade agreements with non-EU countries: The list of trade agreements has been updated to reflect the fully ratified UK-Egypt and UK-Singapore agreements.  For more information, click here.

Business Support Helplines

NEW: Brexit transition helplines: A list of government helplines organised by theme and key actions for businesses has been published.  To view this, click here.

There are new rules for businesses doing business with the EU from 1st January, and you need to take action now.  To help you, a helpline has been set up.  For English businesses, the Business Support Helpline can help you identify the actions you need to take.  Similar helplines are available for Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales.

For more information for:

  • businesses in England, call 0800 998 1098

  • businesses in Scotland, call 0300 303 0660

  • businesses in Wales, call 0300 060 3000

  • businesses in Northern Ireland, call 0800 181 4422.

For more information, including opening hours, click here.

Webinars and Podcasts

  • NEW: The National Cyber Security Centre is running a series of free cyber security webinars and talks aimed at UK businesses of all sizes, educational institutions and charities. For more information, click here.

  • NEW: Exporting goods from Great Britain to the EU via the short straits: A webinar and Q&A session on the issues arising from goods moving from GB to the EU, via the short straits, has been published.  To view these, click here.

  • Video content to keep your business moving: short on-demand videos covering the new rules on exports, imports, tariffs, data and hiring are available to view here.

  • DEFRA are hosting a series of webinars covering importing food and drink, including composite food and fishery products from the EU to Great Britain (GB) from 1 April 2021.  For more information and to register for relevant webinars, click here.

  • Webinars for businesses that trade with the EU: Click here to view a list of webinars you can sign up to watch live or on demand. 

Sector-specific guidance

Emissions Trading

UPDATED: Participating in the UK Emissions Trading Scheme (UK ETS): Guidance explaining who the UK ETS applies to, and what is required of businesses that are covered, has been updated.  Information on auctioning has been updated to include information on the Auction Reserve Price, the Cost Containment Mechanism and the Auctioning Regulations. For more information, click here.  

Fishing & Fisheries

NEW: Scottish seafood taskforce to solve ongoing problems with exports: A new seafood taskforce has been established, drawing together senior political figures, industry representatives and UK Government officials, all working to solve ongoing problems with exports.  For more information, click here.  

UPDATED: How to export wild caught marine fishery products to the EU from 1 January 2021: The latest edition of the ‘One-stop-shop' guidance is now available. For more information, click here.


Government departments are hosting a series of webinars to help businesses understand the support available:


The Export Support Service is a new government helpline and online service where all UK businesses can get answers to practical questions about exporting to Europe.  It gives access to cross government information and support all in one place.  If you are a UK business you can use this free service, no matter the size of your business or which part of the UK you are based.  DBT will continue to work with businesses and business representative groups from all sectors, in all parts of the UK, to help make the service as useful as possible for businesses.  You can access the Export Support Service here or by calling 0300 303 8955 where you will be put in touch with a member of our dedicated export support team.  You can also ask a question online.  The export support team will reply within 3 working days.  They might ask for more information.


Claim up to £2,000 towards training and advisory services

To help you adapt to new rules for trade with the EU, the IOE&IT has launched a SME Brexit Support Package of training and support, fundable by new government grants.

The government this week announced an additional £20 million available through the SME Brexit Support Fund.  Provided you meet certain eligibility criteria, you can get £2000 funding towards the costs of training and/or professional advice, to help you with changes to trade rules with the EU.

To help you adapt to new rules for trade with the EU, our SME Brexit Support Package is a good place to start.

One of our experts will provide a day's in-house training for your business (via virtual classroom), looking at the specific impacts new rules and regulations could have on your business.  They will create a one-page action plan with you to help ensure you're ready to continue EU trade.

The one-day training will cover the following core topics to help you, as an SME, continue trading:

  • EU:UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA)

  • Exporting to the EU

  • Importing from the EU

  • Rules of Origin for duty free trade

  • Incoterms for EU trade

  • Commodity codes

  • Trade and customs documentation

  • Customs procedures

  • Product regulatory compliance

  • Summary and wrap up

Book your support package today.  Our team will help you through the grant application process.

  • £1950 inc. VAT for non-members

  • £1750 inc. VAT for IOE&IT members

The SME Brexit Support Fund can also be used against several of the Institute's one day training courses to ensure key members in your team have the knowledge they need to be able to continue to trade with the EU:

Due to COVID-19, courses are currently being offered through a virtual classroom.  You can view all the courses here.


Aims of the programme

The programme is designed to support innovation in the Construction, Health and Elec-Tech sectors.  It runs from 1 January 2021 until 30 June 2023. It is designed to support innovation to transform products, processes and services for the future, and create possibilities to extend, transform, replace and develop entirely new products and markets, growing their supply chains, feeding into improved productivity, employment and wider economic and other benefits for County Durham.  These sectors have been identified as they are areas of strength in County Durham.

Innovation areas have been further identified as strategically important in the LEP Economic Plan for the North East, to grow productivity, employment and new markets.  At government level, AI, The Data Economy, The Future of Mobility, Clean Growth, Ageing Society, and more recently The Green Economy, Net Zero and the Eight Great Enabling Technologies are very important innovation considerations for the future. Innovation may be disruptive, life enhancing and transition society to adapt, in order to meet our future needs in County Durham, and globally.

For further details on this project, please click here.


From the 31st December 2021 it will be mandatory to use the new UKCA marking (UKNI for Ireland) for products that currently require CE Marking, new guidance has been produced by UK Government.  Please see detailed step by step guidance and one page guides for both UKCA and UKNI as well as a FAQ document.

Work is currently being done to translate guidance into other languages so that businesses can make their overseas clients aware of the changes, as there is currently little awareness within the EU of these planned changes.


Electronic customs data is now required when sending items abroad

Electronic customs data is now mandatory when you send items/goods abroad (excluding personal correspondence).  You are required to provide customs data to us electronically in addition to the physical customs declaration (CN22 or CN23).  This has been effective since 1 January 2020.  Failure to comply is likely to result in delays, having items returned or even destroyed.

As of 1 June 2021, all Royal Mail shipping systems will require mandatory electronic customs data, to ship items internationally.

How to make it easy

Depending on how you are posting your items internationally, this will dictate on how you provide electronic customs data.

One of the ways to provide the required data is to use a shipping platform which meets the compliance requirements.

Royal Mail has shipping platforms such as Click & Drop* and Pro Shipping* or you can integrate you system with API Shipping.  These platforms capture and generate customs data files plus automatically create the required labels to send items abroad.

* Other competitor shipping systems also available

For Online postage, please ensure you complete the electronic customs form fully and completely.  This will pre-advise customs data to the receiving overseas postal authority and generate a physical customs form to attach to your item. 

Franking customers must include a self-adhesive S10 barcode on all untracked items (International Standard & International Economy) containing goods plus a clearly completed customs form (CN22/CN23).  Barcodes are available from  For tracked items an additional barcode is not required but clear and legible customs declarations must be completed.  Royal Mail will take care of customs pre-advice to the overseas postal authority.  See more on our International Services on account and franking page

If you are sending gifts/goods via a Post Office fully complete the relevant customs form (CN22 or CN23) clearly and legibly and attach it to your item. The Post Office will advise you of the correct customs form. Untracked items (International Standard and International Economy) should use the customs form that carries a barcode. If sending using one of our tracked and signature services an unbarcoded CN22/CN23 should be used. Royal Mail will take care of customs pre-advice to the overseas postal authority.

For further information, please visit the Royal Mail website.


I wanted to let you know about some information that our Public Health team have produced regarding lateral flow device testing that I thought might be useful for your business networks and contacts.

I’ve attached images of a postcard for those who are accessing lateral flow device COVID-19 tests - either through an employer programme, community/pharmacy collect or by directly ordering them from NHS Test and Trace.  It reminds people of their duties should they test positive (i.e. self-isolate and book PCR test) as well as signposting to sources of advice and support.

Andrea McGuigan, Business Durham


DBT North East would like your input in shaping our 2021/22 virtual events and webinar programme.

Ahead of the new programme release, we’re asking North East businesses which topics they feel would be most beneficial to maximise export potential.

To ensure the 2021/22 virtual events and webinar programme is beneficial to businesses in our region we would be grateful if you could spare a few minutes to complete our short survey.

Responses can be anonymous and any feedback you can provide will help influence the practical knowledge and support we can offer North East businesses.