10 UK Export News You Might’ve Missed – Week 37

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week 37

In this edition of Export News from Expordite, we’ll cover the top 10 UK export news and headlines from week 37 of 2023 — September 11th-17th, 2023.

Key News:

1. AI Use Cases in Customs Compliance: Are We There Yet?

“Artificial Intelligence (AI) is permeating many areas of commerce, society, and governance. That includes the field of international trade — arguably one of the few fields where these aspects must seamlessly work together.

Experts predict that cross-border trade will reach a volume of several trillion USD by 2031. Today, many countries are dependent on imports and exports, and the free flow of goods and services is a major boost to many economies. However, these huge volumes of trade present a significant challenge to transport and customs authorities around the world. There are attempts to modernize the customs compliance systems to facilitate the process and reduce the administrative burden.

The HMRC’s upcoming upgrade of the UK’s 30-year-old customs compliance system is a big example of that. It’s no surprise that AI, being a major driving force behind overcoming many business challenges, has also made its way into international trade.”

Source: TechAcute (article by our founder Kate Sukhanova)

2. UK Export Finance helps Surrey cleantech firm supply to 2.0 GW solar facility in India

A small cleantech firm in Surrey has secured a £4 million order to supply its technology to a projected 2.0 gigawatt solar facility in India, unlocking a major export opportunity with support from UK Export Finance (UKEF).

Gas Recovery and Recycle Limited (GR2L) is a micro-SME business which has developed, patented and exported cutting-edge technology to reduce the energy consumption, carbon footprint and cost of manufacturing solar panels.

Source: GOV.uk


The ONS data for July shows a 2.1% increase in UK goods export chained volumes (the measure which removes the effects of inflation) on the previous month, and a 0.4% rise in goods import chained value compared with June.

Exports to the EU rose on both the current values and chained volumes measures (by 4.4%) with increases in fuels and machinery sales (including power generators). Exports to the rest of the world experienced downward pressures from fuels, machinery and transport equipment.

Estimated UK services export performance remained at the same levels as in June – on both the chained volumes and current values measures.

Source: BCC

5. Board of Trade should be independent body, government told

“Over 80 leading academics, industry bosses, trade advisors and trade bodies have written to Trade Secretary Kemi Badenoch MP, urging the Government to make the Board of Trade independent.

The letter comes amid speculation that the Government is organising a rare ‘revamp’ of the Board of Trade to include advisers from the music and fashion industries, but with the Secretary of State for Business and Trade continuing to serve as President.

News about the move has brought leading figures from across academia, economics and business, together with trade bodies and former diplomats to ensure the ‘revamp’ is used to give the Board of Trade a meaningful role when it comes to scrutinising new trade deals and assessing the UK’s trading performance.

In the letter, signatories call for the Board of Trade to “be responsible for a range of tasks including analysing the UK’s trading performance, conducting impact assessments of new trade deals, and overseeing the implementation of existing agreements to identify areas where they can be improved”.

Source: UK Trade & Business Commission

6. BMW ‘optimistic’ UK-EU vehicle export tariff rules will be eased

“BMW says it is confident the European Commission will ease regulations that would leave a new generation of electric Minis made at its Cowley plant in Oxford subject to 10% export tariffs.

Speaking as the company announced a £600m investment in the UK, including £75m of taxpayer support, BMW board member Milan Nedeljkovic told Sky News he was optimistic so called “rules-of-origin” regulations will be eased.

Under the rules, from January, 60% of the batteries’ total value and 45% of the car as a whole has to be sourced in the UK or EU, or face 10% export tariffs.

Source: Sky News

7. Scottish exports grow faster than those from UK as a whole

Goods exports from Scotland grew faster than those from the UK as a whole in the year to June, official figures show.

Comparing the year to June with the preceding 12 months, Scotland’s goods exports were up by 12.6% at £36.7 billion, regional trade statistics from HM Revenue & Customs show. The UK’s overall goods exports rose by 12.2% over the same timeframe.

Excluding oil and gas, Scotland’s goods exports rose by 13.2%, the Scottish Government noted, observing this was ahead of a 12% rise in goods exports from the UK as a whole on the same basis.

Scotland’s drinks exports jumped by 17.1%, an increase of £829 million.

Source: The Herald

Food Export News

8. Trade secrets: Successfully expanding into new markets

“Food Manufacture’s upcoming webinar, streaming on 27 September, brings together an expert panel to offer guidance on expanding into new markets for profitable growth.”

Source: Food Manufacture

9. SNP MP urges UK Government to address EU seed potato exports

“Gordon MP Richard Thomson is calling on the UK Government to engage with the EU on seed potato exports. The SNP MP states the UK Government hasn’t raised the issue of seed potoato exports to the EU since March.

In a letter to the SNP MP from DEFRA Minister Lord Benyon it stated: “We continue to raise this issue [lifting of the ban on seed potato exports to the EU] in our engagements with EU officials, most recently at the Partnership Council in March.”

Source: The Scottish Farmer

10. Five new agri-food attachés hope to boost exports worldwide

“Defra has announced plans for the appointment of five new agri-food attachés who will work to boost the UK’s agri-food exports.

The UK now has 16 dedicated UK agri-food attachés who work to broaden market access, break down barriers and drive export growth in priority export markets.

The new attachés cover Northern and Southern Europe, Africa, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand, with existing ones covering the Americas, China, Japan and the Gulf states.

The announcement of two attaché’s in Europe comes at a time where more than 69% of the UK’s food and live animal trade remains with the EU.

Meanwhile, it is hoped that the appointment of an attaché in South Korea will support the development of a more ambitious trade agreement.”

Source: FarmingUK

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