Brexit: UK exports to single market fall amid “unstable” trading environment

March 11, 2022

UK exports to the European Union have fallen by almost £20 billion since leaving the single market in 2021, a major study has revealed.

The figures, published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS), come after research revealed that half of traders are “not confident” in exporting internationally since the introduction of full customs controls.

Here’s what you need to know.

UK Exports to EU fall

According to the ONS, UK exports to the EU have fallen by £20 billion when compared with the last period of “stable trade”.

The figures show that cross-border trade fell by 12 per cent in the year to December 2021, compared with the same period in 2018. This increases to 16 per cent when including only small businesses.

Fewer exporters in 2022

Separate data also revealed that the number of large businesses exporting goods and services in February fell by nine per cent compared to a year ago. This falls to three per cent among medium-sized firms, five per cent among small businesses, and six per cent among micro-businesses.

“Half of firms” not confident trading with the EU

The data comes after the Institute of Export and International Trade (IOE&IT) revealed that half of all traders were not confident with trading with the EU after full customs controls came into force in January this year.

This includes the requirement to make full import customs declarations and pay relevant tariffs at the point of import, as well as using the correct country code for the country of origin and the country of dispatch when completing a customs declaration.

Let’s get trading

If you are unfamiliar with the new customs regime, there is plenty of support available.

  • Firms can use the Export Support Service to ask questions about international trading, such as exporting to new markets, what paperwork you will need to sell your goods overseas, and rules for a specific country.
  • If you move goods in or out of Northern Ireland, the Trader Support Service will guide you through any changes due to the implementation of the Northern Ireland Protocol.
  • Complete the trader checklist to find out what actions you need to take to comply.

Get advice today

For help and advice with related matters, please get in touch with our team today.

Further reading

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