Help and support for exporting
Advisory support for exporting
There are several sources of advice for businesses in Northern Ireland wanting to trade overseas.
Trader Support Service
Changes have been made to the way goods move in and out of Northern Ireland. If you have not already prepared for these changes, you may be unable to move your goods.
The Trader Support Service can help your business adapt to the changes. The service is free to use and:
- offers comprehensive education, training and advice about the changes to the way your goods move under the Windsor Framework
- can complete customs and safety and security declarations on your behalf where these are required for movements between Great Britain and Northern Ireland so you do not have to access HMRC systems directly
Northern Ireland Customs and Trade Academy (NICTA)
The Northern Ireland Customs and Trade Academy (NICTA) is an online learning platform preparing firms for new processes involved in moving goods under the Windsor Framework.
Developed as part of the Trader Support Service (TSS), NICTA provides online training, webinars and ‘how-to’ guides to all those involved in trade between Northern Ireland and Great Britain.
Export Support Service (ESS)
The Export Support Service is a UK government helpline and online service that businesses can access to get answers to practical questions about exporting to Europe.
It is a free service available to all UK businesses. You can access the Export Support Service online or call the export support team on Tel 0300 303 8955.
If you’re a UK business trading with Ukraine, Russia, and Belarus or Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories and have questions about the current trading situation, contact the UK government's export support team.
Invest Northern Ireland support
Invest NI offers a range of advisory support to businesses planning to sell outside Northern Ireland:
- Export Health Check - The Invest NI Export Health Check will help you assess your existing exporting capability. By answering a few short questions, you will be provided with a tailored guide that will give you the tools to develop your own bespoke export strategy.
- Workshops - suitable for businesses of all sizes, whether currently exporting or planning to export. Practical Export Skills workshops can assist those with operational responsibility for export business or senior staff who want a thorough understanding of the processes and practicalities of exporting. Businesses participating also have the opportunity to avail of a one-to-one mentoring session with an experienced export adviser. Each workshop costs £50 (including VAT) per person.
- In-market research - Trade Advisers are based in Brazil, China (Beijing), Kuala Lumpur, Singapore, Tokyo, Australia, Dubai, Europe, India, London (construction sector), Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa and the United States of America. Additionally, specialist food advisors are located in France, Germany, Italy and Spain.
- Trade Advisory Services (TAS) GB/ROI - the Trade Advisory Service service provides consultants to work with businesses and assist them in growing their sales in the Republic of Ireland and Great Britain. New exporters can benefit from practical advice in identifying and addressing barriers to export trade while experienced exporters will benefit from increased export sales through current and new export market development and capability development.
- Legal advice - assistance for companies new to exporting or selling into new overseas markets. This support is subject to eligibility criteria.
- Translation services - support for translation services for businesses new to foreign language markets and interpreting services for in-market meetings. This support is subject to eligibility criteria.
Northern Ireland Chamber of Commerce
NI Chamber offers technical expertise, training and advice, specific to the needs of companies trading from and with Northern Ireland.
The Export Documentation service from NI Chamber offers a range of services to help exporters complete the necessary paperwork required when exporting.
NI Chamber can help your business with customs declarations by processing import declarations to the Customs Declarations Service (CDS) for movements from GB to NI. To register for this service you should email: email@example.com.
NI Chamber can also review your import and export processes to ensure that current processes are compliant and that the correct documentation and appropriate codes accompany export activity. To register for this service you should email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
InterTradeIreland offers various advisory support schemes to help businesses export.
Funding Advisory Service
InterTradeIreland’s Funding Advisory Service for Established Businesses is aimed at SMEs who are looking for new or alternative sources of funding to finance business growth.
20 companies each year will be allowed to participate in the programme. 14 from the Republic of Ireland six from Northern Ireland. The programme's objective is to improve participants' capacity to raise finance to enable their businesses to grow.
Note applicants to the programme will be required to have a minimum annual turnover of £100,000 (or €uro equivalent), have a trading history of a minimum of 18 months and should have attended a workshop. Applicants to the programme will be required to submit their most recent annual accounts and a business plan.
Trade Export Pathway
InterTradeIreland’s Trade Export Pathway offers free, specialist support to grow your exports across six different steps of the pathway. It’s a quick and simple application process and your business will benefit from bespoke support tailored to your specific needs.
The Trade Export Pathway aims to help businesses graduate from being non-exporters, first-time exporters, inexperienced exporters, and experienced exporters, to become advanced exporters.
Tailored support is available for each of the below steps, allowing you to have a specialist work with you and your business to help establish and grow your exports over time.
- Charting your route: develop your cross-border export plan
- Reaching the customer: develop your cross-border export marketing strategy
- Opening the door: entering your target market
- Selling your product: building sales development skills
- Growing your exports: cross-border lead prospecting and generation
- Measuring your success: cross-border business strategy development
Cross-Border Trade Hub
InterTradeIreland has created a comprehensive business hub, which contains the latest information for businesses engaged in, or planning to engage in, cross-border trade between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland.
The Cross-Border Trade Hub provides information on a variety of topics, including trade in goods and services, focusing on customs, VAT, regulation and cross-border employment.