10 UK Export News You Might’ve Missed – Week 15

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week 15

In this edition of Export News from Expordite, we’ll cover the top 10 UK export news and headlines from week 15 of 2024 – April 8th-14th, 2024.

Key News

General Export News

1. UK Export Finance helps medical supplier send lifelines around the world

UK Export Finance (UKEF) and Barclays have secured a £1.3 million trade finance package for Leicester-based business Unimed Procurement Services. The financing has allowed Unimed to fulfil a major delivery of over 350 ultrasound machines to Latin America and expand its international reach.

A winner of the Queen’s Award for Enterprise (2022), Unimed helps to improve health outcomes around the world by distributing medical supplies to international development agencies, governments, NGOs and research institutions. To date, it has supplied pharmaceuticals, medical equipment and laboratory supplies to clients in over 58 countries.

Source: GOV.uk

2. Business is blooming in East Africa – UK suspends tariff for flower exports

Thursday 11 April – From today, the UK has temporarily removed export tariffs for cut flowers, with the aim of making trade with the UK easier and cheaper for growers in East Africa and beyond.

Unlimited quantities of flowers can now be exported to the UK at 0% tariff, even if they transit via a third country. This is particularly important for East African flower growers who transport their blooms via third-countries or auction houses before they arrive in the UK.

The suspension of 8% duty for cut flowers applies across the world but will be a big win for major flower growing regions in Kenya, Ethiopia, Rwanda, Tanzania, and Uganda. The duty suspension will remain in place for two years from 11 April 2024 to 30 June 2026.

Source: GOV.uk

3. Blue Dot Network launched to increase infrastructure investment in emerging markets

Today (9 April), Australia, Japan, Spain, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and the United States, jointly announced the establishment of the Blue Dot Network at the Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD). The Blue Dot Network is an initiative to certify infrastructure projects that meet or exceed established standards of quality and sustainability.

The Secretariat will oversee the Blue Dot Network voluntary framework to certify infrastructure projects that meet internationally recognised standards for financial transparency, economic, environmental and social sustainability, climate resilience, and inclusiveness. This initiative was created to unlock additional private sector financing, recognising that quality infrastructure is a critical driver of sustainable economic growth and prosperity. 

Source: GOV.uk

4. Americas Minister to boost UK-Canadian collaboration

How the UK and Canada are using their close relationship and shared values to meet the most pressing of global challenges will be the focus for UK Americas Minister David Rutley MP as he starts a 3-day visit to Ontario and Alberta today (Monday 8 April).

As the only partners who are members of the G7, G20, NATO, Commonwealth and Five Eyes intelligence community, the UK and Canada share a deep and unique relationship, which puts them at the forefront of the international response to support Ukraine in its fight against Russian aggression.

Source: GOV.uk

5. New Brexit checks to cost UK business £2bn and fuel inflation, report finds

New post-Brexit UK border controls coming into force later this month will cost British businesses £2bn and fuel higher inflation, according to a report warning that UK-EU trade will be damaged as a result.

With less than a month before the introduction of new checks on animal and plant products from 30 April, the insurer Allianz Trade said the controls agreed under Boris Johnson’s Brexit deal could add 10% to import costs over the first year.

Ministers last week revealed that businesses could be charged up to £145 for each consignment imported through Dover, prompting warnings that this would drive up food prices and disproportionately hurt small businesses.

Source: The Guardian

6. Services trade sees UK become world’s fourth largest exporter

The UK has become the world’s fourth largest exporter thanks to a boost in services, fresh trade figures have shown.

It comes after the UK ranked seventh in 2021, moving up three places in the figures for exporting goods and services in 2022, the United Nations (UN) has confirmed.

According to the latest statistics from the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), which leads on global trade for the UN, the UK has overtaken France, Netherlands and Japan to take fourth position, behind only China, the US, and Germany.

Source: City AM

7. David Cameron says UK won’t suspend arms exports to Israel

“Foreign Secretary Lord Cameron has confirmed that UK arms sales to Israel will not be suspended.

The announcement follows mounting pressure on the government over its weapons trade with Israel, after an air strike which killed aid workers and the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Gaza.

Ministers have been asked whether legal advice deems Israel to have breached international humanitarian law.

If proved, it could ultimately bar arms sales from the UK.

On 8 March, Lord Cameron said he would get new advice on the issue “in the coming days”.

Source: BBC News

8. UK updates guidance on reporting export control breaches

The UK has updated its Export controls: military goods, software and technology guidance on breaches of export control and trade sanctions legislation.  The guidance states that:

“As an exporter, you may discover that you have exported strategic / sanctioned goods or transferred controlled technology without an appropriate export licence in place. It may be that you have imported goods subject to sanctions measures. It is also possible that the Export Control Joint Unit has identified an irregularity during a compliance audit and recommended contacting HMRC.

Source: Global Sanctions

9. Murcia’s exports to UK thrive despite Brexit

MURCIA concluded 2023 with over €889 million in exports to the United Kingdom, ranking as the sixth province with the highest exports to the country.

Economy, Finance, and Business Councillor Luis Alberto Marín emphasised the significance of the UK market for the regional export sector. He noted, ‘The quality of our products, especially in agri-foods, has sustained high levels of commercial relations despite the impact of Brexit.’ This is supported by Murcia ranking as the sixth most exporting province to Spain in 2023, and even fourth at the beginning of this year. Top exports include fresh and frozen vegetables and fruits, juices, and chemicals.

Source: EuroWeeklyNews

10. Boost for Welsh food and drink exports at industry event

Food and drink businesses in Wales have been handed a boost after it was announced an event from the Food and Drink Export Council (FDEC) will take place in Pontyclun on April 23.

Aimed at helping local businesses begin or broaden their exporting activities, the free-of-charge gathering at the Vale Resort, is the third in a chain of events designed to foster business expansion for the UK’s food and drink industry.

Source: Free Press Series

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